2012

Bharatanatyam dancer Dr. Jaya, Head of the Department of Dance, Jain University, Bangalore, expired after a heart attack on the evening of December 23, 2012 while conducting rehearsals at her residence.

One of the giants of twentieth century music, sitar maestro/composer Pt Ravi Shankar passed away on December 11, 2012 at San Diego. He was 92. He is well known for his pioneering work in bringing Indian music to the West. Ravi Shankar has written three concertos for sitar and orchestra, last one of which in 2008. He has also authored violin-sitar compositions for Yehudi Menuhin and himself, music for flute virtuoso Jean Pierre Rampal, music for Hosan Yamamoto, master of the Shakuhachi and Musumi Miyashita - Koto virtuoso, and has collaborated with Phillip Glass (Passages). George Harrison produced and participated in two record albums, ‘Shankar Family & Friends’ and ‘Festival of India’ both composed by Ravi Shankar. Ravi Shankar has composed for ballets and films in India, Canada, Europe and the United States, which includes the films ‘Charly,’ ‘Gandhi,’ and the ‘Apu Trilogy.’
Born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury on April 7, 1920 at Varanasi, he joined his brother Uday Shankar’s dance troupe at the age of 10 and toured the world. In 1937 he gave up dancing and returned to India to start learning classical music and sitar from Allauddin Khan. In 1968, he wrote his autobiography ‘My music, my life.’ Ravi Shankar was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen of England.
He received many awards and honours from all over the world, including fourteen doctorates, the Bharat Ratna (1999), Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan (1967), the Music Council UNESCO award (1975), the Magsaysay Award from Manila etc. In 1986 Ravi Shankar was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha, India's upper house of Parliament. A three-time Grammy-award winner, his album The Living Room Sessions, Part 1 has received a 2013 Grammy nomination, news of which reached Shankar the night prior to his heart valve replacement surgery, from which he was too weak to recover.  Ravi Shankar will be honored posthumously with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on Feb 10, 2013, becoming the first Indian to get this prestigious award.
http://www.ravishankar.org/EMWM_Ravi.pdf

Bharatanatyam Guru Acharya Parvati Kumar passed away in Mumbai on November 29, 2012. He was 94. He learnt Kathak, Kathakali and Bharatanatyam from respected masters. He had profound knowledge of Sanskrit and the Shastras. He founded Tanjavur Nrityashala in 1968. A scholar, choreographer and teacher, Parvati Kumar applied himself to an in-depth study of an entire repertoire of compositions by the Maratha rulers of Tanjavur. The research resulted in the publication of his Tanjavur Nritya Prabandha. These nirupanas (repertoires) which he researched were also choreographed by him into dance form. He studied and choreographed the entire verses of the Abhinaya Darpana. His interest in preservation of some of these ancient and almost extinct texts, led him to develop a system of notation that is useful for dancers and choreographers.

Renowned for his female impersonation in Kuchipudi, Guru Vedantam Satyanarayana Sarma (Born on September 9, 1935) passed away in Vijayawada in the early hours of November 16, 2012. He was famous for his female roles as Usha in Usha Parinayam, Satyabhama in Bhamakalapam , Mohini in Mohini Rukmangada, Deva Devi in Vipra Narayana, Sasirekha in Sasirekha Parinayam and Gollabhama in Gollakalapam.
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/the-perfect-impersonator/article4099808.ece


Guru Gopalakrishnan (April 9, 1926 - September 5, 2012) passed away on Teacher’s Day in Chennai. He created Kerala Natanam, the simplified version and adaptation of Kathakali. With his wife Kusum, he created a unique method of ‘Drishyakatha’ narrative, a blend of Kerala Natanam, free dance style and folk forms.
Obit/Tribute

Kuchipudi dance guru Vempati Chinna Satyam passed away in Chennai on July 29, 2012. He was 83.
http://www.narthaki.com/info/profiles/profl141.html
http://www.narthaki.com/info/profiles/profl142.html

Odissi Guru Harekrushna Behera (father of Odissi dancer Kavita Dwibedi) passed away at his residence in New Delhi on June 24, 2012. He was 81.
He learned the Gotipua and Mahari style of Odissi from Ramhari Behera, Shriram Chandra Dey and Ramchandra Mahapatra apart from learning champu, chhanda, tabla, and contemporary dances like Chhota Khayal. He joined the Nritya Sangeet Kala Mandir (Balasore) in 1952 as a dance teacher. In 1957, he joined the Kala Vikas Kendra to pursue his education under Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. He also joined the Jayantika movement committed to evolve Odissi with a classical character. In 1960, Babulal Joshi, the then secretary of the Kala Vikas Kendra sponsored his entrance to the Natya Ballet Centre at Delhi to learn ballet. Behera took this opportunity to teach Odissi to aspiring students of the Natya Ballet Centre and thus started the pioneering work of propagating Odissi outside Orissa.
In 1964 he joined Kathak Kendra, New Delhi and received training in Kathak from Birju Maharaj. Simultaneously, he learnt pakhawaj from Purushottam Das and Thumri from Siddheswari Devi. Later he concentrated on Odissi and started an institution Nritya Niketan and brought Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Guru Mayadhar Raut and Guru Surendra Nath Jena to New Delhi. When this institution closed he joined Gandharva Mahavidyalaya as an Odissi guru in 1971 and Sri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra in 1974. He started his own institute Odissi Kendra in 1979. 
He composed many new items in Pallavi, abhinaya, tandav, Mangalacharan etc. He choreographed several dance dramas combining classical Odissi with folk forms. Guru Harekrushna Behera College of Art and Culture, Balasore, imparting training in Orissan music and dance was established in 1997.
Guru Behera has been honored with The All India Critics Association Award, Calcutta (1981), The Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1983), Sahitya Kala Parishad Award from Delhi (1990), Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2003). He has trained many celebrity dancers like Sonal Mansingh, Yamini Krishnamurthi, Aloka Panikar, Surendra Nath Jena, Radha Reddy, Madhavi Mudgal and Kavita Dwibedi.

Known for his prowess in paccha, kathi and minukku characters, Kathakali exponent Kalamandalam Rajan passed away at Tripunithura, Kerala, on June 13, 2012. He was 81.


Jyotindra Prasad Mishra, sitarist for Odissi dance, passed away on May 2, 2012 at Bhubaneswar.

Scholar Manna Srinivasan passed away in his sleep on March 10, 2012 at New Delhi. He was 78.  He was roving editor of Sruti magazine.

Tributes
We have lost a wonderful, self effacing, erudite, warm hearted person. He was a rare human being not expecting anything from anyone. He wanted to write about how Delhi dance - music scene was 50 years ago. Alas now all that is gone. It is indeed a great loss.
- Dr. Sunil Kothari

We don't ever get another Manna, we can only pay a tearful tribute to him. It's very shocking and saddest news.
- Dr. Pappu Venugopal Rao

I can't believe it that he is no more. I totally agree with Pappu Venugopal ji… we won't ever get another Manna. May his soul rest in peace. 
- Manjari Sinha

It is a matter of deep regret that Manna Srinivasan is no more. There can never be another like him. A colossus has left a void difficult to fill. The many who came in contact with him will know of his scholarship, erudition and his penchant for promoting the arts where he was at his creative best.
- Satish Suri

A lovely, learned, kind man. I will remember his smiling face at every kutcheri, seminar, at the season, the IIC. I was very fond of him and will miss him dearly! My prayers and condolences to his family and the dance fraternity.
- Navtej Johar

Very nice person who was always encouraging to all artists! A big pillar of support. I remember him very fondly as AIFACS Srinivasan... this is how he was known in Delhi in the early sixties. He will be dearly missed.
- Hema Rajagopalan

With the passing away of Manna-ji, Indian art world lost one individual who lived only for the arts. His contributions will be always remembered.
- GS Rajan

Manna-ji always greeted with a warm smile and words of encouragement. He was genuinely engaged in the service of the arts, and Indian dance, in particular. A great vacuum has been left and we will miss him sorely.
- Mamata Niyogi Nakra

Manna's sudden demise has created a vacuum among the friends of artistes in general, particularly artistes of Dakshina-Bhaarat. He was a spokesperson and a helping hand to all coming to Delhi from the south. He was a host to many, contact person and ever ready to guide the artistes. A quiet, unassuming personality who just did his duty without expecting any return mileage...a rarity in today's world. May his soul rest in peace.
- VP Dhananjayan

Remembering Manna Srinivasan
- Dr. Sunil Kothari

Dancer Uma Namboodiripad Sathyanarayanan lost her husband in a car crash on Jan 14, 2012.
Contact: umaasn@gmail.com

Zhang Jun (1933 - 2012), the first Chinese dancer to study classical dance in India, brought Bharatanatyam and Kathak to Mao’s China in the 1950s and inspired many to follow her passion for classical Indian art over a five decade long teaching career. She passed away in January 2012 following a long battle with cancer. She was 79. Her cremation took place on Jan 8, 2012. She had asked to be cremated with an anklet wrapped around her leg.
http://www.thehindu.com/arts/dance/article2790539.ece


Bharatanatyam guru K J Sarasa passed away on January 2, 2012 at Chennai. She was 78.
http://www.narthaki.com/info/profiles/profl132.html