Rukmini Devi Arundale : Arts Revivalist and Institution Builder – VR Devika


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Rukmini Devi Arundale: Arts Revivalist and Institution Builder tells the story of an extraordinary woman who found herself in fortuitous circumstances and used them to revive the arts and build educational institutions. She was courageous enough to say no to the offer of becoming India’s first woman President and to the title of World Mother proposed by the Theosophical Society.


In this book we see how Rukmini Devi saw dance, learnt it and made it available to everyone who desired to learn it through her institution, Kalakshetra. She resituated the dance and set up a traditional space for its training amidst nature, clothing it in handloom, pure colours and texture, jewellery and handicrafts that deserved to be celebrated. She used the unique position she found herself in, to tap into and revise the regenerative resources of the tradition of dance, reinterpreting it in her own creative way. This monograph describes how a young Rukmini became the celebrated Rukmini Devi, and the struggle she underwent to set up the various institutions that are her living legacy today.


About the Author: V R Devika is a well-known storyteller, educationist and Gandhi scholar with a PhD on M.K. Gandhi’s Communication Strategies. She is known as a cultural activist having been associated with Prakriti Foundation, Madras Craft Foundation and Dakshinachitra. Trained in Bharatanatyam, she gives lectures on Gandhi and various heritage topics. Winner of several awards, Devika contributes frequently to leading publications. She is the founder of The Aseema Trust linking traditional performing arts and education. She is amentor of Rukmini Devi Natyakshetra.


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