With passion and great love for Bharatanatyam, Smt. Chandrika Chandran founded Natyanjali Academy of Dance in Atlanta, GA in 1997 to increase awareness and appreciation among children for this ancient dance form from India. After training for many years under the stalwarts Padmashri Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai and his son V.R. Samraj and later under Kalaimamani Swamimalai K. Rajarathinam and Smt. Revathi Ramachandran, Chandrika dedicated her time and energy towards teaching and performing during her early years of settling in the USA.
Chandrika started learning Bharatanatyam at the tender age of four from Smt. Saraswathi Thyagarajan. At five years, she started her training with Gurus Sri. Ramiah Pillai and Sri. Samraj and gave her full length, solo dance debut (Arangetram) at the age of nine and stole the hearts of the audience with her rendition of the snake dance. After training briefly under Guru Smt. K.J. Sarasa and Bhagavatulu Seetharama Sarma (for Nattuvangam), her interest led her to develop and perfect the skills learned on her own. Chandrika also continues to work closely with Smt. Revathi Ramachandran in Chennai.

The finesse and elegance in Chandrika's performances have been widely acclaimed and have brought her many laurels. Sixteen students from Natyanjali Academy of Dance have given their Arangetram performances under her guidance. Chandrika has earned an admirable reputation as a patient and skilled teacher, with the ability to nurture and encourage her students, while maintaining high standards of excellence. She has also been trained in Carnatic music and is a graduate of The University of Illinois at Chicago in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Highlights of Dance career in India
  • Performed her first mini-solo recital at age 7 and then her Arangetram at age 9. Awarded the honorary title "Natya Ilavarasi" (Dancing Princess) by Sri. A.N. Parasuraman.
  • Received recognition as a promising young dancer from the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram (Center for Dance, Music and Drama). Under the auspices of the mandram, she performed at Chennai, Tiruchi, Thanjavur and Madurai. 1974.
  • Performed for Russian delegates and other foreign officials in Chennai.
  • Performed regularly at various Chennai Sabhas for the inauguration of dance festivals and other sabha events. Venues include Krishna Gana Sabha, Mylapore Fine Arts, Raja Annamalai Mandram, R.R. Sabha, Kalaivanar Arangam, Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha etc.
  • Toured many towns in Kerala along with Guru Sri. V.R.Samraj.
Highlights of Dance career in USA
  • Organized and presented a one hour performance for Ogelthorpe University Museum of Art to commemorate the exhibit on Modern and Contemporary Indian Art. Included demonstrations illustrating pure dance movement, hand gestures and facial expression in Bharatanatyam. April 2011.
  • Produced and directed a full length dance ballet, "Mohana Krishna" for a charitable, non-profit organization – ASHA for Education, raising funds for the education of underprivileged children in India. In addition to drawing an audience of more than 500 metro Atlanta area residents, the show was covered by local papers and continues to garner praise. Aug 2010.
  • Performed a one and a half hour dance show at Albany, Georgia, with demonstrations illustrating pure dance movement, hand gestures and facial expression, as a fundraiser for the Graduate School at Albany State University. Nov, 2009.
  • Performed at the fundraiser show for the new and upcoming "India Center" organized by India American Cultural Association (IACA), Sept 2009.
  • Produced and directed "Valli Thirumanam," a mini dance ballet which was performed at several gatherings including the FETNA National Tamil convention in July 2009.
  • Invited to perform at the Multicultural Festival hosted by Congressman John Lewis. June 2008.
  • Invited to give a guest performance at the annual recital of Jump On It Performing Arts Center. May 2008.
  • Showcased both solo and group fusion dances with Latin and Modern dancers at the "Women of Color Technology Awards" Conference to a sold-out audience of more than 500 attendees. Nov 2007.
  • Choreographed, conducted and directed key items for "Sivoham Sivoham," a major fundraiser for the Hindu Temple of Atlanta. Chandrika not only directed the youngest group of dancers in the show, but was also recognized by community members for the quality of the performance. Several Natyanjali students participated in this show which was attended by an audience of 1000+. Dec 2004.
  • One of the two Bharatanatyam dancers invited to perform in "Saptapadi", a major fundraiser for the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, which showcased the best of four classical Indian dance forms. The show was attended by an audience of 1000+. Dec 2001.
  • Presented full length 'solo' concerts at The Bradley University (Peoria, IL) and at Purdue University (Purdue, IN). April-May 1982.
  • Performed as a guest artist at "Caravan'80" in Toronto, Canada. Gave a repeat performance the next day at the request of the organizers. June 1980.
  • Invited to judge at dance competitions hosted by India American Cultural Association and Atlanta Desi Idol competition by Raksha in Atlanta.
  • Continuous involvement in local shows including the Festival of India, South India Cultural Festival, Asian Heritage month celebrations, corporate programs and many regional India Association events in Atlanta.