STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Arts scholar Kapila Vatsyayan dies in Delhi home

Kapila Vatsyayan, renowned scholar of art history, architecture and Indian classical dance, died at her Delhi home on Wednesday.

Published: 16th September 2020 01:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2020 10:26 AM   |  A+A-

Arts scholar Kapila Vatsyayan

Arts scholar Kapila Vatsyayan (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Leading scholar of Indian classical dance, art and art history Kapila Vatsyayan passed away at her home in Delhi. She was 92.

A former Rajya Sabha MP and lifetime trustee of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Vatsyayan was the chairperson of the Asia Project at the India International Centre. During her active professional career spanning over decades, she also served as the Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Government of India.

Groomed by freedom fighter Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay and theosophist-dancer Rukmini Devi Arundale, she was instrumental in setting up of several art and culture institutes, including the IIC.

Born to Satyawati Malik and Ram Lal in Delhi on December 25, 1928, Vatsyayan was fiercely independent from the beginning. She graduated in English Literature from Delhi University and later did her MA in Education from University of Michigan, followed it with a Ph.D from Banaras Hindu University.  

In 1956, she got married to Hindi author-poet S H Vatsyayan ‘Ajneya’ but the couple separated in 1969. Vatsyayan was a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (1970) and Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship (1995).

In 2011, she was bestowed with Padma Vibhushan. Vatsyayan was a lover of Indian classical art forms who welcomed experimentation, but only which didn’t dilute the innate essence of indigenous art forms.

In her own words: To be innovative is imperative for traditions to renew, but inventiveness needs to happen within the framework of basic principles defining each dance.

“She was a great mentor and took great interest in me. When I was selected for Indian Audit & Accounts Service, she advised me to not accept a deputation to any ministry remotely connected with culture. She said, ‘If you do so, people will attribute other motives.’ I followed this all through my career,” says noted Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan. 

Learnt classical dance from greats

Vatsyayan learned Kathak from Pt Achhan Maharaj, and Manipuri dance from Guru Amobi Singh. She then learnt Odissi (from Guru Surendranath Jena), Bharatanatyam (from Gurus Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai and Lalitha, a disciple of Rukmini Devi).


Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp