Shanta Rao

Last updated

Shanta Rao (1925 - 28 December 2007) was a notable dancer from India. She studied and performed Kathakali, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi.

Contents

She was a recipient of the Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award [1] and Kalidas Samman for Classical Dance. [2]

She was born in 1925 in Bombay, [3] and lived in Mumbai and Bangalore. She hailed from Mangalore. She died on 28 December 2007 at her home at Malleswaram, Bangalore. [4]

Life and career

Shanta Rao was born in 1925 to the Saraswat Brahmins, who were an honourable family in Bombay. She wished to pursue Kathakali but faced opposition at an early age. Eventually, she went on to develop a passion for classical traditions away from an urban setup. She rejected the ideology of mainstream schooling to pursue dance. Rao traveled to Kerala Kalamandalam with a chaperone, G. Venkatachalam, in the year 1939. The proprietor of Kerala Kalamandalam was a poet named Vallathol Narayan Menon. [5]

P. Ravunni Menon, a Guru from Kalamandalam, was taken by surprise at the sight of a young girl wanting to participate in a masculine art form like Kathakali. Shanta Rao was one of the first female pioneers of Kathakali who challenged the traditional norms of classical dance. In the Kalamandalam, Shanta had the opportunity to meet the last great Guru of Mohini Attam, Krishna Panikkar, who eventually endowed his legacy of movements and music. She made her debut in Kathakali in 1940 in front of an audience of Namboodiris and Kathakali experts in Thrissur. [6] [7]

Shanta Rao learnt Bharatanatyam from Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai. [7] She made her debut in Bharatnatyam in the Music Academy of Madras in 1942. [5] Rao explored the dance form Kuchipudi under Vempati Chinna Satyam when she was believed to be in her 50s. She formulated Bhama Natyam, [8] inspired and influenced by Venkatachalapathi Sastri, who introduced her to Bhamasutram rituals. Sastri entrusted and blessed her with the sanctity of the art. [5]

Performances

Awards and Achievements

Bibliography

Related Research Articles

Kuchipudi One of the classical dances of India

Kuchipudi is one of the eight major Indian classical dances. It originated in a village named Kuchipudi in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

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

Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian theosophist, dancer and choreographer of the Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam, and an activist for animal welfare.

Sonal Mansingh

Sonal Mansingh is an Indian classical dancer and Guru Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancing style. She has been nominated by the President of India to become a Member of parliament, Rajya Sabha.

Adyar K. Lakshman was a noted Indian Bharatnatyam dancer, choreographer and guru.

Kanak Rele

Kanak Rele is an Indian dancer, choreographer and academic best known as an exponent of Mohiniyattom. She is the founder-director of the Nalanda Dance Research Centre and the founder-principal of the Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya in Mumbai.

Sunanda Nair

Sunanda Nair is an Indian dancer trained in Mohiniattam. She did her masters in this dance form from Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya affiliated to the University of Mumbai. She has completed her PhD from University of Mumbai for her thesis "Intrinsic Lyrical Feminism in Mohiniattam". She was born in Mumbai, India.

Indrani Rahman

Indrani Rahman was an Indian classical dancer of Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi, which she popularised in the west, and later settled in New York in 1976.

Sunil Kothari Indian academic

Sunil Kothari was a noted Indian dance historian, scholar and critic. He was also former Uday Shankar Professor at Ravindra Bharti University, Kolkata.

C. V. Chandrasekhar is an Indian Bharatanatyam dancer, academician, dance scholar, composer, and choreographer. He retired as Head of the Faculty of Performing Arts of M.S. University, Baroda in 1992. Professor Chandrashekhar and wife Jaya Chandrasekhar are one of the best known dancing couples of Bharata Natyam in India, during the 1970s and ’80s, they performed with their daughters Chitra and Manjari. Also, his grandchildren Viraj, Dhenuka, Harshavardhan and Amshuman have been of great support to him. He now runs his own dance institution, Nrityashree, in Chennai.

Chandralekha Prabhudas Patel, commonly known as just Chandralekha, was a dancer and choreographer from India. The niece of Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first deputy Prime Minister, she was an exponent of performances fusing Bharatanatyam with Yoga and martial arts like Kalarippayattu.

Nataraja Ramakrishna was a dance guru from Telangana, India. He was the chairman of Andhra Pradesh Sangeeta Nataka Academy. He was also a scholar and musicologist who promoted classical dance in Andhra Pradesh and worldwide.

Uma Rama Rao

K. Uma Rama Rao was an Indian Kuchipudi dancer, choreographer, research scholar, author and dance teacher. She was also the Founder & Director of Lasya Priya Dance Academy, established in 1985 in Hyderabad, India.

Kalanidhi Narayanan Indian dancer

Kalanidhi Narayanan was an Indian dancer and teacher of Indian classical dance form of Bharatnatyam, who was the early non-devadasi girl to learn the dance form and perform it on stage in the 1930s and 1940s. After a brief career in the 1940s, she returned to dance in 1973 and became a notable teacher of abhinaya.

Kalamandalam Kshemavathy

Kalamandalam Kshemavathy is a Mohiniyattam dancer from Thrissur, Kerala. She is an alumna of the reputed Kerala Kalamandalam. She joined the institute when she was ten. After completion of the course, she undertook advanced training in Bharata Natyam under Muthuswamy Pillai and Chitra Visweswaran, and in Kuchipudi under Vempati Chinna Satyam, but chose to remain within the Mohiniyattam tradition. She has been in the field for 47 years.

Rohini Bhate Indian dancer

Rohini Bhate was among the senior most Kathak dance exponents in India, who developed as a performer, teacher, writer, researcher and critic this Indian classical dance. During her career, she was awarded with several recognitions, such as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Kalidas Samman.

Kalamandalam V. Satyabhama was an Indian classical dancer, teacher and choreographer, known for her performances and scholarship in mohiniyattam. She is regarded as a matriarch of the classical dance form. She was also well versed in other classical dances of Kerala. She was awarded the Padma Shri, in 2014, for her contributions to the art and culture, by the Government of India.

Madras Kadiravelu Saroja, is an Indian classical dancer, known for her expertise, as an exponent and as a teacher, in the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam. The Government of India honored her, in 2011, with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for her services to the field of art and culture.

Kavungal Chathunni Panicker

Kavungal Chathunni Panicker was an Indian classical dancer, known for his proficiency in Kathakali, the traditional dance form of Kerala. He was an exponent of the Kavungal School of Kathakali, noted for its rigorous training methods and overt physical interpretation of abhinaya. He is known to have brought innovations to the dance form, especially in the decorative movements (kalasam) and his contributions are reported in the development of grammar and costumes for the Kavungal School. A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1973, Panicker was honored again by the Government of India, in 2006, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.

Vedantam Satyanarayana Sarma (1935–2012), popularly known as Satyam, was an Indian classical dancer and choreographer, considered by many as one of the leading exponents of the classical dance form of Kuchipudi. He was known for his portrayal of female characters such as Usha, Satyabhama, Deva Devi, Mohini, Sasirekha and Gollabhama (Gollakalapam). He was a recipient of several honors including Kalidas Samman, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 1970, for his contributions to Dance.

References

  1. 1 2 "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees". Sangeet Natak Akademi Official website. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Kalidas Award Holders (Classical Dance)". Department of Culture, Government of Madhya Pradesh. Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  3. Selma Jeanne Cohen; Dance Perspectives Foundation (1998). International encyclopedia of dance: a project of Dance Perspectives Foundation, Inc. Oxford University Press. ISBN   978-0-19-512309-8.
  4. Dr. Sunil Kothari (16 May 2008). "Remembering the one and only Shanta Rao". Narthaki. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 "The Sunil Kothari Column - Remembering the one and only Shanta Rao - Dr. Sunil Kothari". narthaki.com. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  6. Kothari, Sunil (17 June 2019). "Paucity of archival material threatens legacy of Kathakali dancer Shanta Rao". The Asian Age. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  7. 1 2 3 "676 Ashoke Chatterjee, A perfect stillness: the art of Shanta Rao". www.india-seminar.com. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  8. Interview with Shanta Rao , retrieved 28 March 2021
  9. "Shanta Rao". Sahapedia. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  10. "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2013)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  11. 1 2 3 "Shanta Rao". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved 28 March 2021.