Kumudini Lakhia: Energetic at 87 (Day 1054)

By 21 March, 2017Event

Kumudini Lakhia, born in 1930, is an Indian Kathak dancer and choreographer based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where she founded Kadamb School of Dance and Music, an institute of Indian dance and music in 1967.

21.3.17A pioneer in contemporary Kathak dance, she is credited for moving away from the solo form of Kathak starting in the 1960s, by turning it into a group spectacle, and also innovations like taking away traditional stories and adding contemporary storylines into Kathak repertoire.

She began her career dancing with Ram Gopal as he toured the West, bringing Indian dance to the eyes of people abroad for the first time, and then became a dancer and choreographer in her own right. She learned first from various gurus of Jaipur gharana, and then from Shambhu Maharaj.

She is particularly known for her multi-person choreographies. Some of her most famous choreographies include Dhabkar (Pulse), Yugal (The Duet), and Atah Kim (Where Now?), which she performed at the annual Kathak Mahotsav in Delhi in 1980. She was also a choreographer in the Hindi film, Umrao Jaan (1981), along with classical dancer Gopi Krishna.

She is a guru to many disciples, including Kathak dancers Aditi Mangaldas, Vaishali Trivedi, Daksha Sheth, Prashant Shah, Sanjukta Sinha, and Parul Shah.

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