Rukmini Arundale Born This Day

rukminiRukmini Devi Arundale, the great danseuse was born on this day 112 years ago in Madurai to Seshamma and Neelakanta Sastri. She was a child prodigy when she was initiated into Bharatanatyam by her parents. She was brought up in the environ of Theosophical Society at Adayar, Chennai, founded by Annie Besant. Rukmini’s father was a member of this society. Rukmini learned Bharatanatyam here under the cool shades of large trees.  Much to the happiness of her parents she became an expert in Bharata Natyam soon and gave hundreds of performances worldwide and won accolades. She was a lover of animals and was a member of Animal Welfare Board. She married George Sydney Arundale, the president of the theosophical society and got his surname ‘Arundale.’ She founded Kalakshetra to train girls in Bharatanatyam. Her inimitable talent in dance and teaching of dance was suitably rewarded by the government with Padma Bhushan civilian award. She was recipient of the Sangeeta Nataka Academy award also. She breathed her last on February 24, 1986 at the ripe old age of 82. The Google remembers her with reverence by a befitting doodle today.

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