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Damayanti Joshi passes away
by Indu Raman, Mumbai

September 28, 2004

Damayanti Joshi, the great exponent of Kathak passed away in Mumbai at her home on Sunday, September 19, 2004. She had been ailing and was bed-ridden for almost one year.

Awarded the Padmashree and innumerable awards and honours in her long career as a star dancer, Damayanti was admired for her perfection of technique and path-breaking innovations in choreography.

Initially trained by Pandit Sitaram Prasad of the Lucknow Gharana, Damayanti was the chosen protégé of the legendary Madame Menaka, who adopted her as a daughter when she was just four years old. Damayanti grew up training intensely in Kathak and Bharata Natyam. She toured with Menaka's troupe in India and abroad. Damayanti trained with all the three brothers, Achchan Maharaj, Lachchu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj. Her expertise and mastery over rhythm was greatly appreciated as was her thematic presentations like Ashta Nayika and Sur Sundari. Dignity and grace was the hallmark of her personality.

In the passing away of this great dancer we have lost a great wealth of knowledge which we can only hope was imparted to her students like Pt. Bireshwar Gautam who remained a faithful student, dedicated to her till her end.

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