Sumitra Charat Ram
|Died||8 August 2011 96)(aged|
|Known for||Founder Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (established 1952)|
Sumitra Charat Ram (17 November 1914 – 8 August 2011) was a noted Indian arts patron, impresario and the founder of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK) established in 1952. She played a key role in the revival of performing arts, especially Kathak, in the post-independence era, for which she received a Padma Shri Award.
She was the wife of industrialist Lala Charat Ram of DCM Shriram Group.
She was born on Diwali day in 1917 to Raja Jwala Prasad and Rani Bhagyawati in Meerut in United Provinces, now in Uttar Pradesh. Her father was the Chief Engineer of Canals and Irrigation of United Province (U.P). She was the youngest of her five siblings: brothers Dharam Vira, Kanti Vira and Satya Vira, and sisters Yashoda and Sushila.
He elder brother Dharma Vira (1906–2000) joined ICS (1906–2000) and was Cabinet Secretary of the Government of India, as well as a governor of Punjab, West Bengal and Karnataka.
After her marriage to Lala Charat Ram, son of Lala Shri Ram, she gradually became an art patron. In 1947, upon the suggestion of Ravi Shankar, she took a loan of Rs. 10,000 from her father-in-law, and started the Jhankar Committee in Delhi. At the turn of the independence of India, princely states were abolished, which also left a large of number of musicians and dancers without patronage. Thus in the coming years, Jhankar provided patronage to leading musicians and artists of the time by organising musical concerts and dance performances. This included Siddheshwari Devi, Ravi Shankar, Hafiz Ali Khan, Baba Allaudin Khan, Shambhu Maharaj, Sunder Prasad, Birju Maharaj, Durga Lal and Aminuddin Dagar.
She went on to establish Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, a performing arts and music school in 1952, where noted gurus of the time were teachers,with noted classical singer Nilina Ripjit Singh, later known as Naina Devi, acting as its director. Throughout the 1950s, SBKK remained a focal point for the top dancers and musicians of the period, especially among leading gurus of Kathak gharanas, and Delhi became a centre of cultural revival as well new creative bursts in performing arts. The National Institute of Kathak Dance or Kathak Kendra was originally established as the Kathak wing of the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra in 1955, and was later taken over by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama in 1964.
In February 2011, the first 'Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement' established by Shri Ram Bhartiya Kala Kendra was awarded to Pandit Birju Maharaj .
For her contributions to the arts, in 1966, she was awarded the Padma Shri Award, fourth highest civilian honours, by Government of India.
Her husband Charat Ram built companies like Shriram Pistons, Jay Engineering, Usha International and Shriram Industrial Enterprises Ltd. (SIEL). He died on 16 May 2007, at the age of 89, survived by his sons Deepak and Siddharth, and daughters Shobha and Gauri.Her father-in-law Lala Shri Ram had established educational institutions like Lady Shri Ram College (established 1956), Shri Ram College of Commerce (established 1926). Shri Ram School in Delhi, was founded by Manju Bharat Ram, wife of Arun Bharat Ram, Lala Bharat Ram's son.
She died on 8 August 2011 in New Delhi, after a brief illness at the age of 96. She was survived by her centenarian sister Sushila, and her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.Her daughter, Shobha Deepak Singh, continues to run Bhartiya Kala Kendra.
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.
Munna Shukla is a Kathak guru and choreographer of Lucknow Gharana based in New Delhi, India. Born to a family who has been involved in dance for generations, Munna Shukla specializes in Kathak, a classical dance form of North India. He is a grandson of the noted Kathak Maestro, Late Achhan Maharaj, and a nephew of Birju Maharaj.
Damayanti Joshi was a noted Indian classical dancer in the Kathak dance form. She began in the 1930s dancing in Madame Menaka's troupe, which travelled to many parts of the world. She learnt Kathak from Sitaram Prasad of Jaipur Gharana and became an adept dancer at a very young age, and later trained under from Acchan Maharaj, Lacchu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj of Lucknow gharana, thus imbibing nuances from both the traditions. She became independent in the 1950s and achieved prominence in the 1960s, before turning into a guru at her dance school in Mumbai.
Saswati Sen is a leading Indian exponent of Kathak, an Indian classical dance form. She is a senior disciple of Pandit Birju Maharaj. She achieved early fame by dancing in Satyajit Ray's film, Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977), his invocation of Lucknow society at its "Paris of India" zenith.
Pand Shambhu Maharaj was a Guru of the Lucknow Gharana (school) of the Indian classical dance form, Kathak.
Uma Sharma is a kathak dancer, choreographer and teacher. She is also runs the Bharatiya Sangeet Sadan, Delhi, a classical dance and music academy, situated in New Delhi, founded by her father in 1946. She is most known for reviving the old classical dance form of Natwari Nritya or the Raslila of Brindavan, which later evolved into the Kathak.
National Institute of Kathak Dance, also known as Kathak Kendra, is the premier dance institution for the Indian classical dance form of Kathak, and a unit of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, situated in New Delhi. Established in 1964, the institution is primarily dedicated to Kathak, though it also offers courses in Hindustani classical music (Vocal) and Pakhawaj and Tabla.
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.
Guru Mayadhar Raut is an Indian classical Odissi dancer, choreographer and Guru.
Naina Devi also known as Naina Ripjit Singh, was Indian vocalist of Hindustani classical music, most known for her thumri renditions, though she also sang dadra and ghazals. She was a music producer at All India Radio and later with Doordarshan. She started her musical training under Girja Shankar Chakravarty in her teens, later restarted it with Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan of Rampur-Sahaswan gharana and Rasoolan Bai of Benaras gharana, in the 1950s. Born in an aristocratic family in Kolkata, she was married into the royal family of Kapurthala State at age 16, and was started singing in concerts only after her husband died in 1949, and she moved to Delhi.
Prerana Shrimali is a senior dancer of Jaipur Gharana of Kathak. Born in 1959 at Banswara in Rajasthan, Shrimati Prerana Shrimali was initiated in Kathak dance by Shri Gauri Shanker. Later, she was groomed in the art at Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, under Shri Kundan Lal Gangani of the Jaipur gharana. She also learnt to play the Pakhawaj and studied vocal music. Shrimati Prerana Shrimali is among the leading Kathak dancers of her generation. A versatile dancer, she has evolved an individual style in her presentation and gained wide popularity as a soloist. She has also choreographed several productions including Doosro Na Koi – Verses of Meera, Aavartan, Vistaar, Vivriti and Aaratis. She has participated in several international dance seminars and conferences and has presented Kathak in the Festival of India in the U.K., the Asian Performing Arts Festival in Japan, the Avignon Festival in France, and the Dance Festival in Switzerland. In the U.S., she has performed at Carnegie Hall, New York, and presented a series of performances in Jordan, Syria and Muscat. She has also imparted training to young dancers at well-known institutions such as Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. She has served as Repertory Chief of the Kathak Kendra, Delhi. Shrimati Prerna Shrimali has been bestowed the Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Rashtriya Ekta Award of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. Her dance has been featured in the film The Far Pavilions produced by BBC. She has herself directed a film, Pathrai Ankhon ke Sapne, for Doordarshan. Shrimati Prerana Shrimali was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for the year 2009 for her contribution to Kathak dance.
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.
Rani Karnaa was an Indian classical dancer, known for her proficiency in the Indian dance form of Kathak, and regarded by many as one of the greatest exponents of the art form. She was honoured by the Government of India, in 2014, by bestowing on her the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for her services to the field of dance.
Yamunabai Waikar, née Yamunabai Vikram Jawle was an Indian folk artist, known for her expertise in the Marathi folk traditions of Lavani and Tamasha, folk art forms involving music and dance and reported to be one of the leading exponents of the art genres. A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, she was honored by the Government of India, in 2012, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.
Shobha Deepak Singh is an Indian cultural impresario, photographer, writer, classical dancer and the director of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, a Delhi-based cultural organization which promotes music and performing arts, through its schools and stage shows. She is known for her contributions for the revival of Mayurbhanj Chhau, a tribal martial dance form from Odisha. The Government of India awarded her the fourth highest civilian award of the Padma Shri in 1999, for her contributions to Arts and culture.
Munmun Ahmed is a Bangladeshi film and television actress and dancer. She specializes in kathak dancing. Besides, she is a regular performer in radio plays for Bangladesh Betar.
Dr. Pt. Nandkishore Kapote is a leading senior exponent of Kathak, an Indian classical dance form. He is a senior disciple of Pandit Birju Maharaj. He is the Artistic Director of Nandkishore Cultural Society.
Vibha Dadheech is a noted Indian classical dancer in the Kathak dance form. She began learning Kathak from Raigarh Court dancer Pt. Firtu Maharaj, and later in Guru Shishya Parampara from Padma Shri Pt. Shambhu Maharaj as a ganda bandh shagird, living and learning at her guru’s home. She is also the senior-most disciple and wife of Padma Shri Dr. Pt. Puru Dadheech. Together they founded the prestigious Natavari Kathak Nritya Academy, Indore. Currently, Dr Vibha Dadheech is serving as Professor Emeritus at world’s first dedicated Kathak Research centre at the Sri Sri University, The Sri Sri Centre for Advanced Research in Kathak.
Raghav Raj Bhatt is a renowned Kathak dancer, sketch artist and folk and tribal arts expert. He is the prime disciple of Padma Vibhushan Pt Birju Maharaj Ji. His solo, duet and group productions have been staged at numerous prestigious festivals in India and abroad.
Mangala Bhatt is a prominent exponent, dancer, choreographer and guru of Kathak dance. She is the senior disciple of Kathak maestro Pt. Durga Lal Ji of Jaipur Gharana. Her solo, duet and group productions have been staged at numerous prestigious festivals in India for the last 35 years. She is also the founding director of Aakruti Kathak Kendra.