Know More About Career And Awards Of Mrinalini Sarabhai
Sarabhai, an expert in the classical dance genres of Bharatanatyam and Kathakali, was given the Padma Bhushan as well as Padma Shree, in addition to several other accolades, for her contribution to the world of dance. She was born into the famous Swaminadhan family of Chennai, which has roots in Kerala.
At Shantiniketan, she had attended classes led by Rabindranath Tagore and received his guidance. After working for a short time at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Mrinalini Sarabhai moved back to India and started his studies in the dance form known as Bharatanatyam.
In 1948, she was the one who initiated the establishment of the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in this location. She was affectionately referred to as “Amma.” Over 18,000 students have completed the Bharatanatyam and Kathakali programs offered by the institution.
Sarabhai trained herself in the traditional dance style of Bharatanatyam under the direction of Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, and she trained in the classical dance-drama form of Kathakali under the direction of the famed Guru Thakazhi Kunchu Kurup. Mrinalini Sarabhai’s outstanding contribution to the arts earned her the Padma Bhushan in 1992 as well as the Padma Shri in 1965. Both awards were presented to her by the Indian government. You can click here for facts about Mrinalini Sarabhai.
Achievements and awards
In 1965, the Government of India presented Mrinalini Sarabhai with the Padma Shri, which is one of the highest civilian honors that may be bestowed in the nation. Moving on, in the year 1992, she was honored with the Padma Bhushan award for her achievements. She also became the first person from India to be awarded the medal as well as diploma presented by the French organization Archives Internationales de la Danse. This honor was bestowed upon her by the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom in the year 1997. In addition, she was presented with the degree of Doctor of Letters by this institution. A gold medal was given to Sarabhai by the Mexican Government in recognition of the choreography that she created for the Ballet Folklorico of Mexico. In the year 1990, she was put forward for election to the Executive Committee of the International Dance Council, which was based in Paris. After a few more years had passed, in 1994, she was presented with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in New Delhi, India.
It is interesting to note that while Mrinalini Sarabhai was staying in Shantiniketan, Indira Gandhi, as well as Kamala Chaudhary were in the same room as her. The first of these individuals rose through the ranks to become the leader of the nation, while the second established the first Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. Both men are considered notable figures in Indian history.
These three young women went on to become illuminating figures in their respective industries once they reached adulthood. One might expect that Sarabhai would leverage her connections among her childhood pals to obtain prizes and honors, but she has never been one to choose the path of least resistance.
During the time that Mrinalini Sarabhai was still getting her feet wet in Bharatnatyam, the dance genre was mostly taught by male choreographers such as Uday Shankar and Ram Gopal. In 1949, Sarabhai presented her debut choreographic work titled “Manush.” She is credited with becoming the first female choreographer to disrupt the mold of gender-determined norms in the field.
A true gem of India
She was a staunch supporter of Indian culture, and as such, she advocated unequivocally for the practice of having young women dress in traditional Indian garb. She was almost always seen wearing a saree, which she wore elegantly. The vision of her bright smile, flower bedecked bun, and the huge bindi on her forehead would continue to linger alongside the sound of feet rhythmically pounding on a hard stone at Darpana. These memories would be accompanied by the sound of feet pounding on hard stones in a rhythmic pattern.