Nritya Samragini Sitara Devi the Kathak Queen


Sitara Devi was born on 8 November, 1920 to a Brahmin family in Varanasi. She was brought up in Kabirchaura streets of Kashi.

Her father, Sukhdev Maharaj was a school teacher but practised Kathak as well. Since Sitara Devi was born on the day of Dhanteras (a Day before Diwali), so was named Dhanlaxmi. She got the nickname Dhanno and remained famous with this name in her life time in her family and relatives.

Sitara Devi had inclination towards Kathak, the famous Indian old classical form of dancing since her childhood. So, she learnt Kathak and made it popular in the work. She got famous with the name “Sitara Devi”. Once she recalled, how people would call her prostitute when she started doing Kathak and her family had to face the humiliation due to this.

Once she was giving performance in the Atiya Begum Palace in Mumbai. Novel laureate Ravindra Nath Tagore was also sitting in the audience. After seeing her performance at the age of only 16 years old, he named her “Nritya Samragini”. Later the world called her with this name.

Sitara started Kathak at the age of 10 years and gave her Kathak performance at the age of 16 in the Royal Albert Hall, London, and Carnegie Hall, New York. Sitara Devi did performance in many famous bollywood movies like Nagina. Roti, Mother India, Vatan etc. Many Bollywood actresses like, Madhubala, Mala Sinha, Kajol and Rekha consider Sitara Devi as their mentor and have taken Kathak training from her.

After a prolonged illness she was admitted in Jaslok Hospital, mumbai. She took her last breath on 25 November, 2014.

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