Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale
Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian classical dancer who led the renaissance of the ‘Bharatanatyam’ dance form and founded the Kalakshetra Foundation, an academy of dance and music in Chennai. Born into an upper-class Brahmin family in India, she grew up in an environment where she was exposed to dance, music and culture. Her interest in theosophy led her to marry a fellow theosophist, the Britisher Dr. George Arundale. Inspired by the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, she decided to discover traditional Indian dance forms and began learning Bharatanatyam and eventually founded Kalakshetra, a centre for artistic endeavor. Founded in 1936 by the vibrant visionary Rukmini Devi Arundale, the Institution stands testimony to her dream of creating a space where the essence of Indian thought would find expression through artistic education. An institution she established with the vision "of imparting to the young the true spirit of Art, devoid of vulgarity and commercialism". She played a vital role in revitalizing Bharatanatyam and popularizing it all over the world.