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Damayanti Joshi

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Damayanti Joshi

Born: 5 September 1928

Died: 19 September 2004

  • She was a noted Indian classical dancer in the Kathak dance form.
  • She began in the 1930s dancing in Madame Menaka’s troupe, which travelled to many parts of the world.
  • She learnt Kathak from Sitaram Prasad of Jaipur Gharana and became an adept dancer at a very young age, and later trained under from Acchan Maharaj, Lacchu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj of Lucknow Gharana, thus imbibing nuances from both the traditions.
  • She became independent in the 1950s and achieved prominence in the 1960s, before turning into a guru at her dance school in Mumbai.
  • She received the Padma Shri in 1970, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Dance in 1968, and had remained Director of the U.P. Kathak Kendra in Lucknow.
  • After the mid-1950s, she established herself as a successful solo Kathak dancer, taking training from Pandits, Achhan Maharaj, Lachhu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj of the Lucknow Gharana and Guru Hiralal of the Jaipur Gharana.
  • Particularly, at Kathak Kendra, Delhi, she trained under Shambhu Maharaj.
  • She was the first person to introduce “Saree” as a costume in Kathak dance.

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