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Chandralekha

(1929—2006)


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(b Nadiad, Gujarat, 6 Dec. 1929; d Chennai, India, 30 Dec. 2006)

Indian dancer, choreographer, designer, and writer. She was educated in Bombay and moved to Madras in 1949. She trained in bharata natyam with E. Pillai in Madras and made her debut in 1952. She enjoyed a career as a soloist in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Disenchanted with the profession, however, she took up writing and designing and pursued radical feminist causes. In 1982 she was charged with sedition by the Indian government, although was later cleared. In 1984 she came out of retirement to present Tillana, originally made in 1960, at the East-West Dance Encounter in Bombay. In 1985 she returned to the stage with a groundbreaking production, Angika, which rejected the decoration and narrative of bharata natyam and offered new directions in Indian contemporary dance. Since then she produced work on a regular basis. She and her company toured internationally; in 1997 she collaborated with Toronto Dance Theater on Namaskar, the first time she had set her work on Western dancers. Author of the novel The Street and a collection of poems.

Subjects: Dance.


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