Rukmini Devi Arundale

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Rukmini Devi Arundale

Rukmini Devi Arundale (29 February 190424 February 1986) was an Indian theosophist, dancer and choreographer of the Indian classical dance form of Bharatnatyam, and also an activist for animal rights and welfare. She is considered the most important revivalist in the Indian classical dance form of Bharatnatyam from its original 'sadhir' style, prevalent amongst the temple dancers, Devadasis. She was well known for her pioneering academy - the Kalakshetra in Chennai, India.

Quotes[edit]

  • To recreate the temple atmosphere on the urban stage, and thus to facilitate a new kind of seeing that would enable the spiritual revival of the dance.
    • On the revival of 'sadir' dance form (which till then was the forte of the devadasis) she said on the settings of the theater for her performances quoted in "Rukmini Devi Arundale, 1904-1986: A Visionary Architect of Indian Culture and the Performing Arts", page 12
Office of Kalakshetra Academy
  • Dance was really the art of the temple and that her temple theater was built with that purpose in mind. It has many features of the temple , and we have adopted as much as possible all the ideals enshrined in Natyashastra.
    • On her "Kootahmabalam temple theater" set up in her hundred acre Kalakshetra, quoted in "Rukmini Devi Arundale, 1904-1986: A Visionary Architect of Indian Culture and the Performing Arts", page 14
  • Women have everything to do with bringing culture into everyday life, with the expression of it, with the helping and influencing of a nation, not only because they are mothers but also because they themselves are an example as individuals. The modern world needs a new force for the revitalizing of its ideals. India’s art has always been unconscious, unconscious of its own beauty, unconscious of others’ admiration, unconscious of the physical though expressed in Form. India is now beginning to be conscious and we do not know how to express ourselves consciously. A great dancer’s art must depend first on the life he or she expresses, secondly upon the beauty of technique and lastly only, upon its arrangement, costume, and presentation....Though form, technique and skill are essential, great Art must have the impetus of genius, and inspiration. Then there is permanency.
  • Animals cannot speak, but can you and I not speak for them and represent them? Let us all feel their silent cry of agony and let us all help that cry to be heard in the world.
  • The demand for vegetarian food will increase our production of the right kind of plant foods. We shall cease to breed pigs and other animals for food, thereby ceasing to be responsible for the horror of slaughter houses where millions of creatures cry in vain because of man's selfishness. If such concentration camps for slaughtering continue, can peace ever come to earth? Can we escape the responsibility for misery when we are practicing killing every day of our lives by consciously or unconsciously supporting this trade of slaughter? Peace cannot come where Peace is not given.
  • Many people have said many things. I can only say I did not consciously go after dance. It found me."

About Rukmini Devi[edit]

  • An iconoclastic dancer, visionary institution builder, educationalist, elite woman privileged to travel the world when she was barely 25 years of age and empowered to work for global causes in Europe, Australia, England and America. Also perceived as uncompromising traditionalist, quintessential South Indian Brahmin girl, champion of animal rights, woman parliamentarian, craft revivalist, social reformer, cultural educator, and national icon.
    • Dr Avanthi Meduri in "Rukmini Devi Arundale, 1904-1986: A Visionary Architect of Indian Culture and the Performing Arts", page=xiii
  • Rukmini of glorious past will be guru Agastya’s messenger to the women and young ones in India taking up for a large part of the work there that I have been carrying on for years. Young in body, yet she is old in wisdom and power. Child of the indomitable will is her welcome in the higher world.
    • Theosophist Annie Besant in "Rukmini Devi Arundale, 1904-1986: A Visionary Architect of Indian Culture and the Performing Arts", page=10
  • A full flowering of the arts is only possible when Literature and Art, Philosophy and Science interact with one another. Kalakshetra is among the very few institutions where all such disciplines interact.
  • Narayana Menon quoted in "Rukmini Devi Arundale, 1904-1986: A Visionary Architect of Indian Culture and the Performing Arts", page=17

External links[edit]

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