Dancing is a form of carrying out art generally known as the rhythmic movement of body to music. It is not just a hobby; it has actually become a part of life for most of the people across the world. There are many forms of Dances across the globe, starting from western to cultural dances. In India, we have 8 forms of classical dances that are recognized internationally. They are Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Manipuri, Odissi, Sattriya and Mohiniyattam.
Out of these we generally see Bharatanatyam, Kathakali and Kuchipudi being played in most of the events internationally by Indian Dancers. This has actually got some publicity worldwide and many foreigners are now interested in learning of cultural dance, besides western. There are many classical dancers who were internationally well known for their performances. Five out of these have actually won the hearts of international audience.
Rukmini Devi was the first in the list. She was born on 28th February, 1904 in thiruvayur, Madurai. She hails from a cultural background. She was married to Dr. George at the age of 16. After marriage, she has travelled across Europe giving lectures on Indian classical culture.
Later Rukhmini learned Russian Ballets from a Russian Legend Anna Pavlova. Pavlova has renowned the spark in Rukhmini and advised here to learn Indian classical dance. This has motivated her and she travelled back to India to learn lessons from Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai. Her presence in Bharatanatyam has brought a great revolution in the history of Indian Dance. She has even made some corrections to the dances and played a role in costume designing. Later on she has started bharatanatyam kalakshetra to train the students. She has also taught the art of Nattuvangam. With this art she has got the reputation worldwide.
Padma Subramanyam is the next well recognized dancer from India. She is not just a dancer. She is also a choreographer, a music composer, a teacher and a research scholar. She was born to a famous directory K Subramanyam in the year 1943 at Chennai. Her mother was a lyricist in tamil and sanskrit and also a dancer. Padma has her own dance school by name “Nrutyodaya”. This was actually started by her father and currently she is the director. Padma did Bachelors in music and masters in Ethno musicology.
She has also received PHD in dance from Annamalai University. Her first public performance “Arangetram” in the year 1956 brought her name and fame worldwide and also she gave countless performances across the world later on. She was the first dancer to introduce Pushpanjali as a dance item.
Alarmel valli was born in the year 1957. She holds the division of proponent tradition in Bharatanatyam. Valli was the youngest dancer to receive the Padma Shri Award. She has performed in many major festivals across India and also in many cultural capitals of the world. In her childhood, she was trained by Shri Chokkalingam Pillai and his son. At the age of 16, she has got an invitation to perform at the International Dance festival in Paris.
This has actually been a turning point in her life. She has got the reputation worldwide. Later on she has received ovation for her dance in leading theaters across the globe. Valli was the Founder of “Dipashikha” in the year 1984. It is a center for performing arts. She has also conducted classes, lectures and workshops.
Balasaraswati was looked upon as a bright dancer by many Pandits, Born in the year 1918, She did her Arangetram when she was 7 years old. She started her journey from Kamakshiamman temple in kancheepuram under the coaching of the great guru Kandappa.
She was known for her Sancharibhavas. Bala was invited to perform in a festival at Edinburg, Scotland in the year 1963. This was the major asset in her life. She has become popular throughout the world with this performance. As an appreciation, Government of Tamil Nadu has prepared a documentary on her.
Yamini Krishnamurthy was born at Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu in the year 1940. She was born in a telugu family. She is a well-known classical dancer. She went to Madras at the age of 5 to learn dance at Kalakshetra School. Rukhmini Devi was her tutor. Later on Yamini went on for advanced studios of Dance. Yamini has given her debut performance in the year 1957 at Madras, Tami Nadu. Her excellent performance on that day has made her an overnight star.
She has been acknowledged as the international vista by the year 1960. She has also become the AsthanaNarthaki of Tirumala Tirupathi Devastanam, Andhra Pradesh. Kuchipudi has become popularized worldwide with the presence of Yamini and at the very young age she has received an international appreciation. Yamini has received Padma shri in the year 1968 and Padma Bhushan in 2001. She has also started “YaminiSchool of dance” in New Delhi.