When we talk about the diverse art forms of India, one of these is Dance. They are also diverse and varied. The Dance forms in India can be broadly divided into two categories; Classical dances and Folk dances. The classical dance forms are spiritual where as folk dances are a symbol of celebration, fun and enjoyment with a flavor of spirituality and religiousness.
Classical Dances are an integral part of Indian culture and the classical Dancers like Birju Maharaj, Hema Malini, Mallika Sarabhai, Sonal Mansingh, Rukmini Devi Arundale etc. have taken it to another level. Today because of these great dancers the classical dance forms of India are famous world over.
Pandit Birju Maharaj
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.
Mallika is 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-developmental projects initiated by the United Nations. Mallika Sarabhai has also received the “French Palme D’or”, the highest civilian award of France.
Rukmini Devi Arundale
Rukmini was a reputed dancer and choreographer of Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance form. Her charismatic personality and contribution to the renaissance of Indian Classical music attained her niche in the arena of Indian culture. 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.
Shovana 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 a deeper and wider canvas of expression and dimensions.
Sinal 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 organizations.
Uday 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.
Yamini ‘Poornatilaka’ Krishnamurthy
Yamini better known as Yamini Krishnamurthy is a renowned Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam dancer. She is also considered as the torch-bearer of the Kuchipudi form of dance. She started her career with a dance performance in 1957, at the age of seventeen years.