before Rukmini Devi Arundale, did not qualify as art. Her
life and her work has done more for the revival of Indian artistic
and cultural heritage, than that of any other individual.
Born on February 29th, 1904, into an orthodox Brahmin family in
South India, Rukmini Devi grew up in an atmosphere of enlightened
appreciation of the arts. She was drawn to the Theosophical movement
Along with her husband - Dr George Arundale (British born
theosophist and educationist) she founded Kalakshetra in
1936. Set on the sprawling 100-acre campus at Adyar, Chennai, students
learn in proximity to nature.
Devi's vision has helped make Kalakshetra one of the finest schools
of Dance in the country. And through her efforts, the cultural renaissance
in India received its most impassioned defence.
By an Act of Parliament in 1993, the Kalakshetra Foundation was
acknowledged as an Institution of National importance.
For more information on Rukmini Devi Arundale and Kalakshetra:
Renowned Bharatanatyam, Mohini Attam and Kathakali Dancer, Anita
Ratnam is recognised today as one of the country's most gifted
With a career spanning three decades and over 1000 performances
in 15 countries, Anita Ratnam has made significant contributions
in other fields as Choreographer, Television Personality, Scholar
and Cultural Activist.
Having done her Master's degree in Theatre and Television from
the University of New Orleans, she spent ten years as a Television
Producer in the United States. Her work there earned her Emmy and
Ace award nominations.
She is also the author of Natya Brahman (which many consider
a must-read for Dance students) and is editor and publisher of 'Narthaki'
- a directory of Indian dance. Narthaki is now online as a website:
She is the founder of the Arangham Trust at Chennai, which
works towards nurturing of the performing arts. A truly multi-dimensional
personality, Anita Ratnam has also made an impressive entry into
films (with her role as an antagonist in Rajiv Menon's family drama
For more on Anita Ratnam and the Arangham Trust: