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Biography: Maya Rao

Born in Bangalore in 1928, Shrimati Maya Rao initially learnt Kathak dance from Pandit Sohan Lal of Jaipur and Sunder Prasad of the Lucknow and Jaipur gharanas . Beginning her career as a Kathak dancer Shrimati Maya Rao soon branched out into choreography. From 1961 she studied choreography in Moscow on a Soviet scholarship and on the return home in 1964 founded the Natya Institute of Choreography in New Delhi.

Formerly Director of the Natya Ballet Centre Delhi, Maya Rao has over fifty dance-dramas to her credit including Krishna Leela, Vision of Amir Khusro, Tulsi Ke Ram, and Surdas. She has also been consultant choreographer for two Soviet ballet productions-- Shakuntala and Ramayana.She has recently established the Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography in Bangalore. Shrimati Maya Rao received the Mysore State Akademi Award  in 1968,then Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, Delhi, in 1985,antd the Rajyotsava Award of Karnataka in 1986. 

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
Kathak Dancer Maya Rao
Kathak Dancer Maya Rao
Bangalore, circa 1988

Source of Text: Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan Souvenir, All India Radio, 1992
Photograph by K.L.Kamat

 

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