Search engine giant Google paid tribute to the Khatak queen Sitara Devi on her 97th birth anniversary with a doodle. Google is known for coming up with such fascinating illustrations to honour significant people and historic events. Sitara Devi who was a legendary Kathak dancer, is hailed as the ‘Empress of dance’. She had taken her last breath on November 25, 2014, at the age of 94 in Mumbai’s Jaslok hospital after a prolonged illness. Devi was one of the pioneers who brought the classical Indian dance into the context of Bollywood. According to reports, Sitara Devi had played a pivotal role in bringing Kathak dance genre to Bollywood. In case you don’t know who is Sitara Devi, here is all you should know:
Sitara Devi was born in 1920 in Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta). She had impressed Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore had even described her as ‘Nritya Samragini’. “By training, I am just a ‘kathakar’ of Krishna-leela (tales of Krishna),” the danseuse said.
She had first married K Asif, the director of popular Bollywood movie Mughal-e-Azam and later Pratap Barot.The Kathak queen was honoured with a number of awards including
India Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 for her contribution to the classical dance genre for six decades, accoridng to Indian Express report. Sitara Devi had also acted in a number of Hindi movies in which she did dancing roles. She, however, stopped accepting movie offers in the sixties as she believed that it was affecting her dance.
“Her performances on and off the silver screen revived popular interest in the classical dance of Kathak. Showcases at international venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, London and Carnegie Hall, New York brought the dance form a global audience,” Google said in a statement.
Following her death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid homage by recalling her “rich contribution” to Kathak. “PM has condoled the passing away of noted Kathak dancer Sitara Devi. PM also recalled her rich contribution to Kathak,” the Prime Minister’s Office had said in a tweet.