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|Born||25 December 1928|
|Died||16 September 2020 91)(aged|
|Alma mater|| Delhi University |
University of Michigan
Banaras Hindu University
|Occupation||scholar, art historian|
|Spouse(s)||Sachchidananda Vatsyayan 'Agyeya'|
Kapila Vatsyayan (कपिला वात्स्यायन) (25 December 1928 – 16 September 2020) was a leading scholar of Indian classical dance, art, architecture, and art history. She served as a member of parliament and bureaucrat in India, and also served as the founding director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
In 1970, Vatsyayan received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's national academy for music, dance and drama; this was followed by the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour in the fine arts conferred by Lalit Kala Akademi, India's national academy for fine arts in 1995. In 2011, the Government of India bestowed upon her the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour.
She was born in Delhi to Ram Lal and Satyawati Malik.She earned an MA in English literature from Delhi University. Thereafter, she completed a second MA in Education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a PhD at the Banaras Hindu University.
The poet and art critic Keshav Malik was her older brother, and she was married to the noted Hindi Writer S.H. Vatsyayan 'Ajneya' (1911–1987). They married in 1956 and separated in 1969.
Kapila Vatsyayan died on 16 September 2020, aged 92, at her home in New Delhi.
Vatsyayan authored many books, including The Square and the Circle of Indian Arts (1997), Bharata: The Natya Sastra (1996), and Matralaksanam (1988).
In 1987, she became the founder trustee and member secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (Indira Kalakendra), India's premier arts organisation, in Delhi.Thereafter, in 1993, she was made its academic director, a post she held until 2000, when she was retired by a BJP-led centre-right government. In 2005, when an Indian National Congress-led centre-left government returned to power, she was made the chairperson of the institution. She also served as Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Education, where she was responsible for the establishment of a large number of national institutions of higher education. She was the chairperson of the Asia Project at the India International Centre, New Delhi.
She is known for her collaboration with great artists, such as legendary Kutiyattam maestro Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar (1899-1990) and played pivotal role in safeguarding the legacy of classical Indian art forms.
She was nominated as a member of the Upper House of Parliament of India, the Rajya Sabha in 2006, though subsequently in March 2006, she resigned following an office of profit controversy.In April 2007, she was renominated to the Rajya Sabha, with a term expiring in February 2012.
Vatsyayan received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1970.In the same year she was awarded a fellowship from the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Fund to survey cultural institutions and contemporary art developments in the United States and Indonesia. She was awarded the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship in 1975. In 1992 the Asian Cultural Council honoured her with the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award for outstanding professional achievement and her significant contribution to the international understanding, practice, and study of dance and art history in India. In 1998, she received the "Outstanding Contribution to Dance Research" award, given by Congress on Research in Dance (CORD). In 2000, she was a recipient of Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award and in 2011, she was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.
Brijmohan Mishra, popularly known as Pandit Birju Maharaj, is an exponent of the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance in India. He is a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers, which includes his two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj. Even though dancing is his first love, he practices Hindustani classical music and is a vocalist.
Kuchipudi is one of the eight major Indian classical dances. It originated in a village named Kuchipudi in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
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Sattriya, or Sattriya Nritya, is a major Indian classical dance. It is a dance-drama performance art with origins in the Krishna-centered Vaishnavism monasteries of Assam, and attributed to the 15th century Bhakti movement scholar and saint Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev.
Mohiniyattam,, is one of the famous classical dances of India that developed and remained popular in the state of Kerala. Kathakali is another classical dance form of Kerala. Mohiniyattam dance gets its name from the word Mohini – a historical enchantress avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, who helps the good prevail over evil by developing her feminine powers.
Indian classical dance or 'Shastriya Devesh' is an umbrella term for various performance arts rooted in religious Hindu musical theatre styles, whose theory and practice can be traced to the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra. The number of classical dances range from eight to more, depending on the source and scholar. The Sangeet Natak Academy recognizes eight – Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, Sattriya, Manipuri and Mohiniyattam. Scholars such as Drid Williams add Chhau, Yakshagana and Bhagavata Mela to the list. Additionally, the Indian Ministry of Culture includes Chhau in its classical list. These dances are traditionally regional, all of them include music and recitation in local language or Sanskrit, and they represent a unity of core ideas in a diversity of styles, costumes and expression. At present officially there are 9 classical dances in India.
Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian theosophist, dancer and choreographer of the Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam, and an activist for animal welfare.
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The Sangeet Natak Academy fellowship, officially known as Sangeet Natak Academy Ratna Sadasya, is an Indian honour for the performing arts presented by Sangeet Natak Academy. It is "the most prestigious and rare honour" conferred by the Academy and is restricted to 40 individuals at any given time.
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Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK) is an Indian cultural institution which runs a noted school for music, dance and performing arts in New Delhi. It was founded by Sumitra Charat Ram in 1952, and imparts training in Indian classical dance styles and music, including Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Chhau, Hindustani Classical music, both Vocal and Instrumental. It associated organisation is the Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts at Safdar Hasmi Marg, in the Mandi House area, the cultural hub of Delhi, the centre includes a theater for the performing arts, a theatre repertory company and an acting school.
Professor Maheswar Neog was an Indian academic who specialised in the cultural history of the North East India especially Assam, besides being an Assamese-language scholar and poet. An editorial in the Assam Times called him "a versatile scholar and visionary thinker with encyclopedic range." He remained Jawaharlal Nehru Professor at Gauhati University and later Saint Sankaradeva Professor at Punjabi University.
Maya Rao was an Indian classical dancer, choreographer and educator, in Kathak dance. She is known for her pioneering work in Kathak choreography, especially in dance ballets, and is credited for bringing Kathak, a North Indian-dance style to South India, when she opened her dance school, Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography (NIKC) in Malleswaram, Bangalore in 1987. She was also the founder director of her dance company, "Natya and Stem Dance Kampni", an amalgam of NIKC and the STEM Dance Kampni based in Bangalore. After her early training under Guru Sohanlal of Jaipur Gharana, followed by Guru Sunder Prasad also of the Jaipur Gharana, and went to train under Guru Shambhu Maharaj of Lucknow Gharana at National Institute of Kathak Dance in Delhi.
Deba Prasad Das was an Indian classical dancer, considered by critics and connoisseurs as one of the four first generation gurus of the Indian classical dance form of Odissi. His Odissi style is robust and unique. He was a recipient of the 1977 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. and 1974 Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
Mukund Lath was an Indian scholar and cultural historian, known for his writings on music, dance, aesthetics and culture of India. He was honored by the Government of India, in 2010, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.
Bharati Shivaji is an Indian classical dancer of Mohiniyattom, choreographer and author, known for her contributions to the art form by way of performance, research and propagation. She is the founder of Center for Mohiniyattam, a dance academy promoting Mohiniyattom and the co-author of two books, Art of Mohiniyattom and Mohiniyattom. She is a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman. The Government of India awarded her the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2004, for her contributions to Indian classical dance.
Sushil Kumar Saxena is an Indian musicologist, academic, scholar and the author of several books on music, philosophy and aesthetics. He is a former member of the faculty of the University of Delhi and has served the University Court as a member. His works include Studies in the Metaphysics of Bradley, Hindustan Music and Aesthetics Today, Art and Philosophy: Seven Aestheticians, Croce, Dewey, Collingwood, Santayana, Ducasse Langer, Reid, and Swinging Syllables Aesthetics of Kathak Dance and his lectures have been included in a book, Indian Music: Eminent Thinkers on Core Issues ; Discourses by Premlata Sharma, S. K. Saxena and Kapila Vatsyayan. He is a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship which he received in 2007. The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 2008, for his contributions to Indian music.
Nritya, also referred to as Nrit, Nritta, Natana or Natya, refers to "dance, act on the stage, act, gesticulate, play" in the Indian traditions. It is sometimes sub-divided into two forms: nritta or pure dance, wherein expression-less movements of a dancer play out the rhythms and phrases of the music; and nritya or expressive dance, wherein the dancer includes facial expression and body language to portray mood and ideas with the rhythmic movements to communicate with the audience.