Famous Indian Women : Rukmini Devi Arundale

  • Rukmini Devi (1904 -1986) was an Indian dancer and choreographer of the Indian classical dance form of Bharatnatyam.
  • She was born in an upper class Brahmin family in Madurai.
  • In 1920 she married Dr.George Arundale, a prominent British Theosophist who was closely associated with Annie Besant.
  • During the 1930s Rukmini met Bharatnatyam by E. Krishna Iyer, founder-secretary of the Madras Music Academy.They fought a successful battle to save Bharatnatyam which seemed likely to be buried along with the disfavoured devadasi system as it was considered a low and vulgar art in the early 1920s and known as sadhir.
  • Along with her husband she established Kalakshetra, an academy of dance and music, built around the ancient Indian Gurukul system at Adyar.The academy has grown to a deemed university under the Kalakshetra Foundation and is situated at Tiruvanmiyur.
  • In 1956,She was hourned by Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India.
  • In 1977, Morarji Desai offered to nominate her for the post of President of India, but she rejected the offer.