first_imgRenowned danseuse Amala Shankar turns 100Kolkata, Jun 27 (PTI) Eminent danseuse andchoreographer Amala Shankar turned 100 today and her familymembers have decided to make the occasion memorable with anexhibition on her photographs and paintings.A film, starring Amala Shankar and her husband andclassical dancer Uday Shankar, has also been scheduled forscreening at the three-day exhibition, which begins tomorrow,her family members said.The 1948 Hindi film ‘Kalpana’, directed by UdayShankar, revolves around a young dancer’s dream of setting upa dance academy.The centenarian, who had been active even in herearly 90s, was awarded Banga Vibhushan by the state governmentin 2011 for her contributions in the field of art.”Maa took part in a dance drama, ‘Sita Swayamvar’, atthe age of 92. She essayed the role of the King Janaka. Shealso took part in a dance piece for ‘Missing You’ the sameyear. It was composed by (her son) Ananda Shankar. That washer last stage performance,” her daughter and actor MamataShankar said.Although age has taken a toll on her auditoryfaculties, she speaks when she wishes to, her son-in-lawChandrodoy Ghosh said.Besides being a dancer of repute, Amala Shankar alsotook interest in paintings.She was not a trained artist but her artworks wereoften reminiscent of Uday Shankar’s dance performances, Ghoshsaid.”She created her images with colours using her fingersand not brushes. For finer edges, she would use toothpicks,broom sticks and even nails. These art works were often usedin some the dance dramas and shadow plays such as ‘Life ofBuddha’ and ‘Ramleela'” he added.advertisementDaughter of Kolkata-based jeweller, Amala Shankar,then Amala Nandy, met Uday Shankar in Paris in 1931, when shewas just 12.Her father Akshay Nandy had gone there to attend anexhibition as a member of an Indian delegation. Uday Shankarwas there at that time with his troupe, Ghosh said.”Before meeting him, Maa had thought that Baba wouldbe an old man sporting a beard like Rabindranath Tagore. Buthe turned out to be a man in his early 30s,” Mamata Shankarsaid.When Uday Shankar’s mother requested Akshay Nandy toleave Amala with the troupe, he agreed.”One day Baba asked her to perform a dance step whichshe did at ease. She was also asked to dance with a stick andshe did it. That’s when he realised Maa has talent indancing,” Mamata Shankar said.Amala Shankar’s first performance as Kaliya in ‘KaliyaDaman’ was staged in Belgium in 1931.After returning to Kolkata, she even wrote a book onher tour of Europe.It was only after the insistence of Netaji SubhasChandra Bose, Akshay Nandy sent her daughter to the danceinstitute of Uday Shankar at Almora, Ghosh said.”Uday Shankar married Amala, who was 19 years juniorto her, in 1942,” he added.Talking about her mother’s multiple talents MamataShankar said, the centenarian has always been a perfectionist.”Maa is a versatile woman. She never learnt to paint,much like Baba who did not have any formal training ofdancing,” she said.Whatever she does, there is aesthetics in it – even inthe garnishing of food prepared by her, she said.”If we are able to build on her legacy, that would bebest gift for her,” she added. PTI NN RMSNN NN NNlast_img

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