Amala Shankar (née Amala Nandy) was an Indian dancer and choreographer, known for her significant contributions to the world of dance.
Here are some key points about Amala Shankar:
- Birth: Amala Shankar was born on June 27, 1919, in Jessore, British India (now in Bangladesh).
- Early Training: Amala started learning dance at a young age under the guidance of the legendary dancer Uday Shankar, whom she later married. Uday Shankar was a pioneering figure in Indian dance and had a significant impact on the development of modern dance in India.
- Marriage to Uday Shankar: Amala married Uday Shankar in 1938. Their partnership extended beyond personal life to professional collaboration in the field of dance.
- Dance Career: Amala Shankar was a prominent member of the Uday Shankar Ballet Troupe, which gained international acclaim for its innovative approach to dance. The troupe toured various countries, showcasing a synthesis of Indian classical and folk dance with Western influences.
- Influence of Tagore: The Shankars were closely associated with Rabindranath Tagore, and Amala Shankar performed in dance dramas written and directed by Tagore.
- Film: Amala Shankar also appeared in the film "Kalpana" (1948), which was directed by Uday Shankar. The film is noted for its pioneering efforts in incorporating dance into the narrative.
- Later Years: After Uday Shankar's death in 1977, Amala Shankar continued to be actively involved in dance and maintained the legacy of the Uday Shankar style. She performed and taught dance, and her artistic contributions were recognized globally.
- Awards: Amala Shankar received several honors and awards for her contributions to dance and cultural exchange.
- Family: Amala and Uday Shankar had a son, Ananda Shankar, who became a renowned musician.
- Death: Amala Shankar passed away on July 24, 2020, at the age of 101. Her death marked the end of an era in the world of Indian dance.
Amala Shankar's legacy is intertwined with the rich history of Indian dance and the Uday Shankar style, which combined elements of classical and folk traditions with modern sensibilities. Her long and illustrious career made her a revered figure in the world of dance.