Rukmini Devi Arundale

The Kalakshetra of today is a place bustling with activity, an island of excellence preserving tradition overall, but with numerous new initiatives naturally unheard of during the lifetime of its founder Rukmini Devi Arundale, whose centenary fell on 29 February 2004. We had to wait four years to celebrate her next birthday. She would have been 104 last month. The story of Rukmini Devi and Kalakshetra is now part of the cultural history of contemporary India. Her life was part fairytale, part heroic saga, a life lived by lofty ideals and unshaken conviction. She played a large role in the revival of Bharatanatyam, redefined its stage and costume aesthetics as well as its grammar and spiritual underpinnings. A brilliant choreographer and designer, she created the genre of dance-drama, collected around her some of the finest artists and teachers from a variety of disciplines, to teach and practice at Kalakshetra.