Who was Sitara Devi?

The Kathak queen who impressed Rabindranath Tagore. Search engine giant Google today paid rich tribute to Kathak queen Sitara Devi on her 97th birth anniversary with a doodle. Sitara Devi was a legendary Kathak dancer.

 

In the honor of Kathak legend Sitara Devi, Google has dedicated its doodle to mark her birth anniversary on Wednesday. Born in Kolkata on November 8, 1920, the eve of Diwali, Devi had begun giving solo performances by the age of 10. Witnessing her dance, during one of her performances in Bombay, Rabindranath Tagore titled her as the Nritya Samragini, meaning the Empress of Dance.

The Kathak queen was honored with numerous awards including. The Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1969. Padma Shree in 1973, Kalidas Samman in 1995 and the India Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. For her contribution to the classical dance for six decades.

In 2002 the legendary dancer took offense on being awarded. The Padma Bhushan and turned down the award saying.“I will not accept any award less than Bharat Ratna”.

Devi also performed in Bollywood movies like Mother India (1957). Her debut was in Usha Haran (1940). She taught many the dance she performed so passionately. Reaching her sixties, the legend stopped acting in movies as she feared it was affecting her dance.

At the age of 94, the Empress of Dance took her last breath at the Jaslok Hospital in 2014, Mumbai due to multiple organ failures.

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