Practising the Pandanallur/Tanjore style, popular for its crisp execution of Nrittya, Akhila Rao, blends the fluidity and purity of movements effortlessly. Born into a musical family, Akhila achieved excellence under “Sangeet Natak Academi” Award recipient Guru. Smt. Narmada, who ably guided her enthusiasm and passion. Akhila has had the fortune of being guided by many renowned & stalwart artists including Legendary Dancer & Teacher Padma Subrahmanyam. She has performed extensively in India and United States, most notably “India International Trade Fair”, Indo-Russian Festival of arts and many charitable events. Based in NJ, she is dedicated to providing meticulous training to youngsters with a vision to impart the rich culture and heritage that are an integral part of this supreme art form, while emphasizing theoretical aspects for a more holistic learning experience.


Bharata Natyam dance has been handed down through the centuries by dance teachers (or gurus) called nattuwanars and the temple dancers, called devadasis.

In the sacred environment of the temple these familes developed and propagated their heritage. The training traditionally took around seven years under the direction of the nattuwanar who were scholars and persons of great learning.

The four great nattuwanars of Tanjore were known as the Tanjore Quartet and were brothers named Chinnaiah, Ponnaiah, Vadivelu and Shivanandam. The Bharata Natyam repertiore as we know it today was constructed by this talented Tanjore Quartet.


This website is dedicated to the great art of Bharatanatyam. Through this school, Apoorva Noopura, located in Bridgewater, NJ, Guru Smt. Akhila Rao works with aspiring students, initiating them into the art and helping them unlock its many wondrous pathways to the freedom of the soul and expression.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello Akila,
    I am Dharani Koppisetti (Sodagum), we went to NJIT the same year in 1994. We met in the Bridgewater temple during the Children’s day celebration. I would like to get some information about the dance classes you conduct. I am interested in learning dance from you. Could you please send me the details. I would really appreciate it.
    My cell phone number is 908-656-4034. You can contact me on phone as well.


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