Indian Culture - Famous Classical Dancers
Mallika Sarabhai (born 1954, Ahmadabad, Gujarat), a multifaceted personality, is a noted Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam dancer. She has immensely contributed to the fields of acting, writing and publishing. She is a social activist and has participated in many socio-development projects initiated by the United Nations. Mallika Sarabhai has been awarded with the "Padma Bhushan". She has also received the "French Palme D'or", the highest civilian award of France.
Rukmini Devi Arundale
Rukmini Devi Arundale (29 February 1904 - 24 February 1986), was a reputed dancer and choreographer of Bharatnatyam. Her charismatic personality and contribution to the renaissance of Indian Classical music attained her niche in the arena of Indian Culture. She was awarded with numerous awards, a few of which form these are "Padma Bhushan" (1956), "Sangeet Natak Akademi Award" (1957), "Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship" (1967), etc. It is believed that Rukmini Devi had declined the chair of the President of India, once offered by Morarji Desai, the then Prime Minister of India.
Sonal Mansingh (born April 30, 1944) is an eminent Indian classical dancer and a leading exponent of Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Chhau. Besides being a dancer, Sonal Mansingh is a well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and a social activist. For her contributions in the field of "Classical dancing" she has received accolades from many national and international organisations.
Pandit Birju Maharaj
Pandit Birju Maharaj (born 4 February 1938) is a leading exponent and torch-bearer of the Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Lucknow. He is the only son and disciple of Shri Achhan Maharaj and is a familiar face of Indian Kathak dance all over the world. He has performed in almost all the countries of the globe. Birju Maharaj has won many accolades, including Padma Vibhushan in 1986, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the KAlidas Samman.
Uday Shankar (8 December 1900 - 26 September 1977) initiated a unique movement of revival of classical dances in 1930. Though he had no formal training in any classical form, his presentations were creative. Uday Shankar used the essence of various traditions and techniques in his dance dramas and succeeded in presenting an integrated composition. He had been awarded with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1960, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1962 and Padma Vibhushan in 1971.
Shovana Narayan (born 17 February 1949) is a Kathak Maestro and an outstanding dancer. She is an incarnation of the great artistic and social traditions of India. She created a new and innovative style of performing arts by enriching it with deeper and wider canvas of expression and dimensions. She writes books as well on the Classical dance Kathak. A few of her books are "Indian Classical Dances", "Performing arts in India: a policy perspective", "Rhythmic echoes and reflections: Kathak", etc.
Yamini Krishnamurthy (born 20 December 1940) is a renowned kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam dancer. She is also considered as the torch-bearer of the Kuchipudi form of dance. Her autobiography is "A Passion for Dance", a book well received by the readers. Her dancing career brought her many awards, including the Padma Shri (1968), Padma Bhushan (2001) and Padma Vibhushan (2016).