Mrinalini Sarabhai

Mrinalini Sarabhai

Mrinalini Sarabhai

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Mrinalini Sarabhai (Malayalam:മൃണാളിനി സാരാഭായി) (born 1918) is a celebrated Indian classical dancer, choreographer and instructor. She is the founder director of the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, an institute for imparting training in dance, drama, music and puppetry, in the city of Ahmedabad. She has received many distinguished awards and citations in recognitions of her contribution to art. She has trained over 18,000 students in Bharatnatyam and Kathakali.


Early life and Education

Mrinalini was born to Dr. Swaminathan, a Palghat Iyer, and Ammu Swaminathan who belonged to a famous Nair family called Vadakkath near Aanakkara close to Pattambi in present-day Palakkad district of central Kerala. She spent her childhood in Switzerland, where, she received her first lessons in Dalcroz, a Western technique of dance movements. She was educated at Santiniketan under the guidance of Rabindranath Tagore where she realised her true calling. She then went for a short time to the United States where she enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. On returning to India, she began her training in the south Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam under Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai and the classical dance-drama of Kathakali under the legendary Guru Thakazhi Kunchu Kurup.

Marriage and the following years

Mrinalini got married in 1942 to the Indian physicist Vikram......
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