Mrinalini Sarabhai ,Celebrated Indian classical dancer who passed away on Thursday morning ,was the first classical dancer who turned to Choreography. Passionately dedicated to her profession, she continued dancing well till her eighties. She refused to let age slow her down and continued expressing her true self through the classical dance forms.
‘Amma’ was admitted to a hospital on Wednesday morning due old age complications. Her son and noted environmentalist Kartikeya Sarabhai told to media that She had an infection which deteriorated her health and her condition was critical.
Noted activist and dancer Mallika Sarabhai, Mrinali’s daughter’ announced the news on her facebook page.
Mrinalini received the Padma Shri award in 1965 and Padma Bhushan in 1992. She is the founding director of Darpana Academy of Performing Arts , a pioneer institute in training dance,drama,music and puppetry,in Ahmedabad. She trained over 18,ooo students in Bharathanatyam and Kathakali.
She was born on 11 May 19 in Kerala as the daughter of former Parlamentarian Ammu Swaminathan and famous Barrister Dr. Swaminathan. She was raised in Switzerland, where, she recieved her first lessons of western dance techniques aka the Dalcroze method. Upon returning to India, she recieved her education at Santiniketan under the guidance of Rabindranath Tagore which helped her to realise the true purpose of her life.
She married famous Indian Scientist Vikram Sarabhai. Her Sister Lakshmi Sehgal was the commander -in -chief of the ‘Rani of Jhansi Regiment’ of the Indian National Army.
Apart from Choreographing more than 300 hundred dance dramas, she authored numerous novels, poetry, plays and stories for Children. Mrinalini Sarabhai: The Voice of the Heart is her autobiography. She was the Chair person of the Gujarat State Handicrafts and Handloom Developement Corporation Ltd.
Mrinalini is survived by daughter Mallika Sarabhai and son Kartikeya Sarabhai. Following mother’s foot steps Mallika Sarabhai is a famous danseuse and activist on her own right.
As Mrinalini said ” The real self of an artiste lies in art, so when an artiste performs, all the pain , trauma and tension get released through art , be it dancing, painting, singing, writing or even martial arts.”