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Google celebrates Mrinalini Sarabhai’s birth centenary with a doodle

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Internet search engine Google today celebrated the birth centenary of renowned Indian classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai with a doodle.
 
Mrinalini was born in Kerala on May 11, 1918. Her parents were S Swaminathan, a lawyer at Madras High Court and AV Ammukutty, better known as Ammu Swaminathan, a social worker and independence activist from an aristocratic Nair family at Anakkara in Palakkad.
 
During her childhood in Switzerland, she had her first lessons in dance at the Dalcroze school on the western techniques of dance. Later, Mrinalini joined Shantiniketan under the guidance of Rabindranath Tagore. She also had a short stint as a student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the US.
 
On her return, she underwent training in Bharatanatyam under Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai and the classical dance-drama of Kathakali under the legendary Guru Thakazhi Kunchu Kurup.
 
She married Vikram Sarabhai, who is considered to be the Father of the Indian Space Programme, in 1942. She has a son, Kartikeya and a daughter Mallika who too went on to attain fame in dance and theatre.
 
Mrinalini founded Darpana in Ahmedabad in 1948. A year later, she performed at the Théâtre national de Chaillot in Paris where she received critical acclaim.
 
Mrinalini has the distinction of having choreographed more than 300 dance dramas. She had also authored several novels, poetry, plays and stories for children.
 
She passed away at the age of 97 on January 20, 2016.
 
Google, in a write-up about the doodle, noted that Mrinalini had developed her own technique, spirit, and strength by training at a young age, studying both the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam and the classical dance-drama of Kathakali.
 
“One of the few classical dancers trained in more than one form, Sarabhai was able to quickly build a career in choreography and teaching. Despite seeing the continuous evolution of dance forms over her multi-decade career, she was inspired to choreograph more than three hundred dance dramas with a strong base of classical tradition behind them.
 
“Sarabhai hoped to share the craft with future generations, which led her and her husband to found the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in 1949. The small dance academy grew to become not only a study centre for diverse art forms but one that used the power of arts to bring about positive change to the critical issues facing society.
 
“Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Sudeepti Tucker, depicts Sarabhai with her signature parasol, standing proudly in the auditorium of that same academy where her students are dancing on stage,” it added.
 
NNN
 
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