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Into the world of eternal dance

Into the world of eternal dance
Highlights

In the death of legendary danseuse, the world of culture lost one of her most illustrious daughters. As described by her daughter Mallika Sarabhai, the dance exponent has left for her eternal dance. She spent her childhood in Switzerland. She received her first lessons in dancing from an institute of western technique of dance movements. 

In the death of legendary danseuse, the world of culture lost one of her most illustrious daughters. As described by her daughter Mallika Sarabhai, the dance exponent has left for her eternal dance. She spent her childhood in Switzerland. She received her first lessons in dancing from an institute of western technique of dance movements.

She refined her dance skills at American Academic of Dramatic Acts in the United States. Yet, Mrinalini became a celebrated artist in South Indian classical dance form –Bharatanatyam. Besides, she got trained in classical dance drama of Kathakali. At a time when Indians are swayed away by western culture, her journey is an impressive tribute to Indian art.

Not just a dancer of high repute, nurtured generations of dancers who fondly called her Amma. Through her institute, Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Gujarat, she imparted training in dance, drama, music and puppetry indicating her multifaceted interest in the world of art and culture.

The legacy of Mrinalini Sarabhai can be best described as a dancer who was traditional yet contemporary in her work. Her impeccable taste will be long remembered by art lovers. The philosophical questions often confronting the world of art are for whom and with what purpose.

The life and works of Mrinalini had a glorious answer to offer. She courageously embraced contemporary themes of social integration, social justice and human rights into her dance repertoire this is an illustration of her iconic legacy.

There are many outstanding dancers. But, Mrinalini was a leader who left behind a rich legacy and a great vision of culture. Indian art community cherishes her keenness on dance aesthetics. Besides an incredible contribution to the Indian cultural landscape, Mrinalini has untiringly stood for pluralistic values which are under question today than ever before.

The nation not only salutes her wonderful legacy but remembers with great pride the amazing contribution of her husband Vikram Sarabhai, a pioneer of Indian space science. It is rather interesting to note that their son, Kartikeya Sarabhai inherits Vikram Sarabhai‘s legacy while their daughter Mallika continues to carry forward her mother Mrinalini’s cultural legacy.

Besides being a great practitioner and teacher of classical dance, she was also legendary choreographer. As described by veteran art critic, S D Desai, in his tribute, If Rukmini Devi brought Bharatanatyam out of the temple to the open stage and accorded it dignity; Mrinalini steadied it there and gave it contemporary significance.

At an early age, she was Rabindranath Tagore's favourite at Shantiniketan. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had special words of praise for her creation- Manushya, a Kathakali performance which portrayed man's evolution from birth till death.

Besides, Mrinalini was a Gandhian and an activist of Sarvodaya movement. Besides choreographing more than three hundred dance dramas, she has also written many novels, poetry, plays and stories for children. She has great love for handicrafts. Mrinalini Sarabhai is a true voice of the heart.

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