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|April 27, 2001||
UNESCO observes grand centenary functions in Paris
A community of international dancers, choreographers and scholars assembled at the UNESCO venue, Paris, on April 26 to formally launch the birth centenary celebrations of India's legendary dancer Uday Shankar, who put the country's classical dance forms on the world map.
The launch of celebrations in the French capital were to coincide with International Dance Day at Salle de Cinema at UNESCO.
Nearly 70 years ago, on March 3, 1931, Uday Shankar had opened the first series of his dance performance at the Champs Elysees Theatre in Paris, where he interacted with the leading dancers and choreographers of France and other countries of Europe in the 30s.
The Central Government's Department of Culture, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and the International Dance Council have also drawn up a series of programmes in various parts of the world over the next year to mark the centenary functions.
Amala Shankar, a dancer of repute and wife of Uday Shankar, will travel all over the world to present the programmes, including an illustrated talk on the gifted dancer, an IGNCA release said.
The celebrations in Paris included screening excerpts from the film Kalpana, made by Uday Shankar himself, a dance recital by famed classical dance exponent Sonal Mansingh and an introduction to the dancing legend by Dr Sunil Kothari, noted critic and former Uday Shankar Professor at Ravindra Bharti University, Calcutta.
Uday Shankar, who made Paris his second home, traveled throughout Europe and America winning laurels for his exceptional presentation of Indian classical dance forms. He partnered Anna Pavlova in two of his choreographic works - Krishna and Radha and The Hindu Wedding, which were premiered at Royal Opera House, London, in 1923.
It was in Paris that he met Amala, who later partnered him in a number of his choreographic works.
After the events in Paris, Amala, Sonal Mansingh and Dr Kothari will move on to London where they will present similar performances at the Nehru Centre, Indian High Commission, on May 3 and 4.
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