Shri. Balakrishnan was born in 1944 in Taliparamba in North Kerala and showed remarkable interest in Kathakali from his child hood. He was initiated into this art by Guru Kondiveetil Narayanan Nair under the patronage of Late. Brahmashri. Kurumathur Narayanan Namboothiripad and subsequently took intensive training for 10 years (8 years diploma and 2 years post diploma with Central government Scholarship) under famous Gurus Thekinkattil Ramunni Nair and Keezhupadam Kumaran Nair at Gandhi Seva Sadan Kathakali Academy. It was during his training under the most outstanding contemporary Guru, shri Keezhupadam Kuamaran Nair, that Balakrishnan blossomed into a great artiste and competent teacher.

Before joining International Centre for Kathakali in 1974 Shri Balakrishnan has worked as artiste and teacher in well known, institutions like Parassinikadavu Sree Muthappan Kathakali Yogam, Gandhi Seva Sadan Kathakali Academy, Perur and took over charge as Principal and chief artiste since 1980 on the retirement of his Guru.

During this tenure with the international Centre for Kathakali, Shri Balakrishnan got ample opportunities to prove his mettle in the three departments of Kathakali, i.e., Abhinaya, Choreography and Direction and Teaching. He has got the outstanding ability to do justice to all important Kathakali characters. And the characters presented by Shri Balakrishnan are highly acclaimed both by the media and the audience.

Balakrishnan is rated as one of the most outstanding teachers in this discipline today. He has the capacit y to bring out the best in his students.

Balakrishnan's services are also often sought by institutions and artistes from India as well as from abroad; such as National School of Drama, Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, Indian Council for Cultural Relation, Delhi University, ARTA (Association de Recherches des Traditions de l'Actor, France), Bhoomika, SPIC-MACAY, Bhaskara etc., for teaching , conducting workshop, lecture demonstration and full fledged Kathakali performance.