The Vazhuvoor style of Bharathanatyam is a vibrant synthesis of ‘natya’ and ‘abhinaya’. The Vazhuvoor baani, as popularized by Padmashree Natya Kala Kesari Guru Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai, stands out for its brisk tempo, flowery grace, attractive ornamentation, light leaps with soft landings, sculpturesque poses, sparkling eye movements and unique sollukattu. Hailing from a ‘parampara’ of dance masters, Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai was tutored under his uncle Vazhuvoor Manickam Pillai since the age of seven and mastered the art with dedication.
A noteworthy aspect of the Vazhuvoor baani is the technique of occupying the stage. The dancer often comes around the stage, pirouettes, leaps and goes back to position. While doing these gestures, every movement has its relevant pace, place and artistic purpose. The ‘varnams’ are another special element to this unique style. The massive piece unfolds part by part with the dancer expressing the ‘nritta’ and persuasive ‘abhinaya’.
To enable many to learn the art, the Vazhuvoor Classical Bharathanatyam Art Center was established. The school organizes the Vazhuvoorar Dance and Music Festival every year during the December season in Chennai.