Stars of India-Rukmini Devi Arundale

jayababy By jayababy, 13th Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Celebrities>Personalities

Rukmini Devi popularised 'Bharatanatyam' in those days, with great self-confidence.

Rukmini Devi married is the founder of Kalakshetra-a dance school

Born in 1904 at Madhurai, Tamil Nadu, Rukmini Devi, as a teenager, came under the influence of the Theosophists - Dr Annie Besant and Dr George S. Arundale. Their spirit of selfless service inspired her to work in areas not approved by social custom for Indian women of those days.

Rukmini Devi married Dr Arundale, an Australian and involved herself in the activities of the Theosophical Society. During her stay in Australia, Rukmini Devi met the well-known Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova and took ballet lessons in 1926. Returning to India she started classes under Mylapore Gowri Ammal. Later on, she went on learning under her teacher of many years, Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai.

With courage and self-confidence she took to dancing. At that time dancing in the South was considered a low profession because it was practiced only by the temple dancers or Devadasis.

In fact, Rukmini Devi popularized the words ‘Bharatanatyam’ for the dance form, which in those days was called ‘Sadir’ or ‘Devadasi’ dance. Rukmini Devi set up ‘Kalakshetra’ and produced dance dramas that included Andal Charitam, Gita Govindam, Shakuntalam etc.

Some of her plays in English are – Light of Asia; Bhishma; Rukmini Kalyanam and Usha Parinayam. She made great effort to help the growth of arts and art awareness in the country of her birth.

Rukmini Devi’s voice continues to be heard in the quiet and peaceful surroundings of her dance school - Kalakshetra. None can forget the fine and amazing changes that she brought about in the Indian world of art.

Rukmini Devi Arundale passed away at Chennai on 24 February, 1986.


Australia, Ballet, Bharatanatyam, Chennai

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author avatar Bridgitte Williams
14th Nov 2011 (#)

Wonderful article! :-) Very inspiring.

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author avatar Buzz
14th Nov 2011 (#)

I love the exotic Indian beauty. They're marvelous to behold. Thanks, jaya.

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author avatar Spicy
22nd Nov 2011 (#)

Its really a great article on Rukmini devi, Bharatanatyam is a beautiful art. Thank you Jaya for publishing of this article.

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
30th Nov 2011 (#)

This is a wonderful tribute to the great classical dancer Rukmini Devi.
Good work Jayababy!

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5th Dec 2011 (#)


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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Makes me think of the evergreen words of HW Longfellow - lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time. One of pioneering women of India that we can all be proud of - a rare gem indeed. Thanks, Jayababy - siva

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author avatar jayababy
18th Jan 2012 (#)

hi Siva, thx a lot for a very expressive comment.

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author avatar Funom Makama
9th Feb 2012 (#)

A great article and a wonderful piece. How have you been my friend. Its been a while now and I needed to check on you. I hope you are good.

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author avatar richardpeeej
17th Feb 2012 (#)

A well written account jayababy. I really enjoyed reading about this lady..

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

What a fantastic account of this lady's achievements. Loved every word. You write so well, Jaya. Why am I missing your work? I don't understand why it isn't coming through my mailbox. Need to check it out.

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