Rukmini Devi Arundale

Rukmini Devi Arundale

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Category: Art

Rukmini Devi Arundale Profile

  • Name:
  • Rukmini Devi Arundale
  • Born:
  • February 29, 1904
  • Died:
  • February 24, 1986
  • Spouse:
  • Dr. George Arundale

Rukmini Devi Arundale Biography

Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian dancer and choreographer who received Padma Bhushan award in 1956 for her contribution. He was a popular Bharatnatyam dancer and theosophist. She was contributed to reestablish the traditional Indian arts and crafts.


She was born on 29th February 1904 in Madurai. In the 1920s Bharatanatyam was considered as a low and vulgar art and she worked to change this notion among the people. When she presented it among the public she had to face strong protests.


She was born in an upper class Brahmin family. Her parents are Neelakanta Sastri and Seshammal. His father was an engineer and her mother was a music enthusiast. Due to her father’s frequent transfers she had to move from place to place. She was influenced by the Theosophical Society of Annie Besant.


She met Dr. George Arundale of Britain who was also a theosophist. He served as the Principal of Central Hindu College in Varanasi. They fell in love with each other and she married him in 1920 to the shock of her society. She travelled to many places of the world and established relationship with Maria Montessori, the famous educationist.


She became the President of All India Federation of Young Theosophists in 1923 and the President of the World Federation of Young Theosophists in 1925. She performed with the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova in 1928. She went with her to Australia. At the behest of Anna she turned her attention towards the classical dance of India and worked for its revival.


She gave her first public performance in the year 1935 at the Diamond Jubilee Convention of the Theosophical Society. She established Kalakshetra with her husband in January 1936. She was nominated as the member of Indian Parliament Council of states in the Rajya Sabha in April 1952 and was again nominated in 1956.


She played a main role in enacting the legislation for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1960. She served as the chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India in 1962. She was the Vice President of International Vegetarian Union. When she was given a chance to become President of India, she did not accept it.


She received Padma Bhushan award in 1956 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1967. She died on 24th February 1986 at Chennai

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Updated: January 05, 2012

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