Updated March 1st, 2024 at 17:41 IST

International Women’s Day 2024: World Famous Classical Dancers Who Have Brought Glory To India

These Indian women have made India proud by performing, conserving and continuing the tradition of classical dance.

International Women’s Day 2024: World Famous Indian Classical Dancers
International Women’s Day 2024: World Famous Indian Classical Dancers | Image:Instagram

India is a powerhouse of talent and there are amazing women who have contributed to the tag. From dancers to singers, story-tellers to painters, Indian women have been pioneers in their creative fields. Likewise, Indian classical dancers have also made India proud worldwide.

Rukmini Devi Arundale

Rukmini Devi is regarded as one of Bharatanatyam's most impactful artists. Her role was much more than a dancer, she changed the entire perspective associated with Bharatnatyam. But she was a key figure in transforming the dance form into the one we know today. Bharatanatyam was actually an extension of Devadasi dance and Rukmini Devi revolutionised it by bringing in creative costumes and accessories inspired by temple designs and sculptures. Her performances popularised dance dramas as well.

Mrinalini Sarabhai

Mrinalini Sarabhai | Image - Instagram @bjpsaudansingh

Padma Bhushan Mrinalini Sarabhai was a master of both Bharatanatyam and Kathakali dance, the latter being a male-dominated dance form before she became a maestro in it. She also helped to popularise Bharatanatyam outside of temples and establish it firmly in creative circles. She founded the famous Darpana Academy of Performing Arts. Her daughter Mallika Sarabhai is a well-known and brilliant dancer, and she was married to renowned physicist Vikram Sarabhai.

Mallika Sarabhai is a Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi dancer who has won awards. She is the current director of the Darpana Academy and a passionate champion for women's empowerment as well as a well-known social activist.


Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma

Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma is considered a Mohiniattam legend. She was born in Kerala and gave her everything to bring this classical dance form back from the brink of extinction. She has also written works on Mohiniyattam and helped give it a formal structure. Kalyanikutty Kalamandalam Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, a Kathakali artist, was Amma's husband. She helped propagate Mohiniyattam to countries outside of India as well.


Shovana Narayan

Shovana Narayan, a disciple of the legendary Birju Maharaj, is a well-known Kathak dancer. Shovana Narayan is well-known as a performer and choreographer who has experimented with her art and brought out the best in it. A Padma Shri awardee, Shovana continues to contribute to the beautiful art of Kathak.

Sudha Chandran

Sudha Chandran is a popular Indian dancer, actor and performer. Hers is a story of resilience, an example to everyone. She was 16 when she lost her right leg to gangrene as a result of an accident. She continued dancing and with her grit and determination, she even went on to win a National Award for the film Mayuri despite having to act with a prosthetic leg. She is an active actor and continues to enthrall the audience with her art.


Published March 1st, 2024 at 17:41 IST

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