Rukmini Devi Arundale



I present to you, Sir, Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale. Smt. Rukmini Devi was born in 1904, in Madurai, in a family with a rich heritage of learning in music and Sanskrit. Her interest in dance was awakened by the great Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, under whom she also had her initial training in the art. She received instruction in Bharata Natyam from Shri Pandanallur Meenakshisundaram Pillai. In 1936, she founded the famous Kalakshetra, a Centre for the Arts. Smt. Rukmini Devi has played a vital role in resuscitating and promoting Bharata Natyam dance. She has composed several new pieces in Bharata Natyam and also produced over ten dance-dramas in that technique. She has received numerous titles and honours from various national and international bodies, and in 1957, she was given the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Bharata Natyam. For her contribution to the enrichment of the Bharata Natyam School of Dance, Smt. Rukmini Devi has been elected Fellow of the Akademi.