Uday Shankar

In the sphere of Indian Dance, the name of Udaysankar is imprinted with an indelible ink. This legendary dancer had taken Indian Dance to dizzying heights and was highly acclaimed all over the globe.

Uday Shankar 

Uday Shankar, one of the world's renowned Indian dancer and choreographer, was most known for adapting Western theatrical techniques to traditional Indian classical dance, imbued with elements of Indian classical, folk, and tribal dance. This layed the roots of modern Indian dance, which he later popularized in India, Europe, and the United States in 1920s and 1930s.

Uday Shankar Early Days

Udaysankar was born on 8th December 1900 in Udaipur, Rajasthan. He was the eldest child of Pt. Shyamsankar Chowdhury and Hemangini Devi. Uday's father Pt. Shyamsankar was an erudite scholar in Sanskrit. He graduated with honours from the Calcutta University and the Oxford Univrsity.
He had a profound love for music and possessed a mellifluous voice. The Maharaja of Jhalwar was very fond of him and not only employed him but developed grave responsibilities on his shoulders life and could not spend much time his family. Hence, Udaysankar spent his childhood in his maternal uncle's house at Nasbatpur with his mother and brothers.
He had no formal training in any of the schools of classical dancing. His dances were creative. He had a wonderful gift of taking the essence from various dance traditions and techniques and using them to choreograph his dance dramas.
His multi faceted talent shone forth in his creative works. The experience he gained from experiments in music composition for his creative dances during the formative years of his European and American tours was fully utilized at the Almora Center. Along with Ustad Allaudin Khan, Vishnudass, Uday Shankar had, in Paris, experimented with creative music for his solos, duets and ballets.
His contemporaries were the dancers like, Rukmini Devi Arundale (1904-86), Madam Menaka (1899-1947),E. Krishna Iyar (1897-1968), Ram Gopal (1912-)and Tagore (1861-1941) and poet Vallathol Narayana Menon (1878-1957).

Awards and Recogniation

In 1962, he was awarded by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's The National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama, with its highest award, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement

In 1971, Govt. of India awarded him with its second highest civilian award 'The Padma Vibhushan'.