Famous Indian Classical Dancers

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 1 
Vani Ganapathy
(Classical Dancer)
Vani Ganapathy
7
Birthdate: June 6, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Indian classical dancer Vani Ganapathy now owns a Bangalore-based dance school called Sanchari. She is also known as veteran actor Kamal Haasan’s first wife and appeared with Haasan in a dance sequence in the Tamil film Melnaattu Marumagal. She was also Haasan’s costume designer for a while.
 2 
Mrinalini Sarabhai
(Classical Dancer and Choreographer)
Mrinalini Sarabhai
2
Birthdate: May 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kerala
Died: January 21, 2016

Padma Shri- and Padma Bhushan-winning classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai received a unique education, having been part of both the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Shantiniketan. She specialized in Bharatnatyam and Kathakali, and later launched her own dance academy, along with her physicist husband Vikram Sarabhai.

 3 
Mallika Sarabhai
(Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer)
Mallika Sarabhai
4
Birthdate: May 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ahmedabad

Mallika Sarabhai is an Indian classical dancer, activist, and actress. She is best known as the daughter of prominent space scientist Vikram Sarabhai. An accomplished Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer, Mallika Sarabhai uses the dance forms to bring about a social change. She is the recipient of Gujarat's prestigious Gaurav Puraskar and India's third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan.

 4 
Rukmini Devi Arundale
(Bharatnatyam Dancer)
Rukmini Devi Arundale
4
Birthdate: February 29, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: February 24, 1986

Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian dancer and choreographer. An exponent of Bharatanatyam, Rukmini Devi helped revive the original sadhir style of the dance form. She also popularized Bharatanatyam among Indian upper-caste elites for which she was named in India Today's 100 People Who Shaped India list. In 1956, Rukmini Devi Arundale was honored with the Padma Bhushan.

 5 
Birju Maharaj
(Kathak Dancer)
Birju Maharaj
4
Birthdate: February 4, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Varanasi
Died: January 16, 2022

Birju Maharaj was an Indian dancer and singer. An exponent of the popular classical dance form Kathak, he was one of the most celebrated Kathak dancers ever. He won many prestigious awards like the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar, and India's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan.

 6 
Prabha
(Indian Actress and Kuchipudi Dancer)
Prabha
3
Birthplace: Tenali, Andra Pradesh, India

Prabha is an Indian Kuchipudi dancer and actress best known for her work in the Telugu film industry. The recipient of two Nandi Awards, Prabha has acted alongside popular stars like Akkineni Nageswara Rao and N. T. Rama Rao. As a Kuchipudi dancer, Prabha has given 40 performances in the United States of America.

 7 
Sonal Mansingh
(Odissi Dancer)
Sonal Mansingh
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mumbai

Sonal Mansingh is an Indian classical dancer best known for her skills as an Odissi and Bharatanatyam dancer. Over the years, Mansingh has been honored with several prestigious awards like Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship. In 2003, she became only the second woman after Balasaraswati to be honored with India’s second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan.

 8 
Indrani Rahman
(Dancer)
Indrani Rahman
1
Birthdate: September 19, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chennai, India
Died: February 5, 1999

Indrani Rahman was an Indian dancer who could perform multiple classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathakali, and Kuchipudi. Rahman is credited with popularizing dance forms like Odissi in the west. In 1969, she was honored with the Padma Shri Award for her contribution to Indian classical dance. In 1981, Indrani Rahman won the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

 9 
Yamini Krishnamurthy
(Indian Classical Dancer)
Yamini Krishnamurthy
1
Birthdate: December 20, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madanapalle, India

Yamini Krishnamurthy is an Indian dancer best known for her skills in popular dance forms like Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam. She is credited with founding the Yamini School of Dance where she teaches. Yamini Krishnamurthy has been honored with many awards, such as the Padma Vibhushan. She also has the honor of being a resident dancer of the Tirupati temple.

 10 
Balasaraswati
(Indian Classical Dancer)
Balasaraswati
5
Birthdate: May 13, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chennai, India
Died: February 9, 1984

T. Balasaraswati was an Indian dancer best remembered for her contribution to the popular classical dance form, Bharatanatyam. Balasaraswati is credited with popularizing the dance form throughout India and in different parts of the world. In 1977, she was honored with India's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. In 1981, she received the prestigious Sangeetha Kalasikhamani award.

 11 
Kelucharan Mohapatra
(Indian Classical Dancer)
Kelucharan Mohapatra
3
Birthdate: January 8, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Raghurajpur, Puri, Odisha, India
Died: April 7, 2004

Kelucharan Mohapatra was an Indian classical dancer and teacher best remembered for his contribution to the popular dance form, Odissi. Mohapatra is credited with popularizing Odissi in the 20th century. In 2000, Mohapatra became the first person from Odisha to be honored with India's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. He was also the recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship.

 12 
Mayadhar Raut
(Indian Classical Odissi Dancer, Choreographer and Guru)
Mayadhar Raut
4
Birthdate: July 6, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kantapenhara, Cuttack district, Orissa, India

Mayadhar Raut is an Indian dancer, choreographer, and teacher. An exponent of Odissi, Raut played a key role in giving the dance form its classical status. A revered teacher, Mayadhar Raut has taught at various institutions including Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. He has won many prestigious awards like the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padma Shri Award.