Noted dance historian and Padma Shri awardee Sunil Kothari passes away aged 85

Kothari was recovering at his home in Asian Games Village but was rushed to a hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest this morning.

Press Trust of India December 27, 2020 12:52:24 IST
Noted dance historian and Padma Shri awardee Sunil Kothari passes away aged 85

File image of Sunil Kothari via Facebook

Padma Shri dance historian and critic Sunil Kothari passed away Sunday morning at a Delhi hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 85.

"He had tested positive for COVID-19 almost a month back and was not in a good condition," Vidha Lal, a family friend told the Press Trust of India.

Kothari was recovering at his home in Asian Games Village but was rushed to a hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest this morning, she added.

Born on 20 December, 1933, in Mumbai, Kothari qualified as a Chartered Accountant before turning to the study of Indian dance forms.

Kothari authored more than 20 books on the subject of Indian dance forms including Sattriya Dances of Assam, New Directions in Indian Dance, and also on Bharatanatayam, Odissi, Chhau, Kathak, Kuchipudi, and Photo Biographies of Uday Shankar and Rukmini Devi Arundale.

The dance scholar held the Uday Shankar Chair in Rabindra Bharati University, and taught in the Dance Department of New York University as a Fulbright Professor.

Kothari received numerous titles and awards for his contribution to Indian dance forms including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1995); the Gaurav Puraskar conferred by the Gujarat Sangeet Natak Akademi (2000); the Padma Shri bestowed by the Government of India (2001); and the Life Time Achievement Award of the Dance Critics Association, New York, USA (2011).

He was also an elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to Indian dance as a scholar.

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