08 DECEMBER UDAY SHANKAR (1900 to 1977)
Born on 08 December 1900, in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Uday Shankar was a dancer and choreographer who revolutionised the classical Indian dance form. Uday Shankar began his formal art training in 1917 and then went on to study at the Royal College of Art in London. On his return to India in 1929, he founded his own dance company. Considered the ‘Father of Indian Contemporary Dance’, Uday Shankar played a pivotal role in fusing Indian and Western culture, which was characterised by Indian non-classical dance forms. Together with his brother, the sitarist Ravi Shankar, he explored classical and folk dance and created dance dramas that had social relevance. After several full-length ballets, Shankar’s swansong appeared in the 1970s as ‘Shankarscope’, a blend of film, stage, dance, and drama. In 1962, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement, and in 1971, he was the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan. Uday Shankar passed away on 26 September 1977.
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