‘The Fragrance of a Legend’ – A tribute to Rukmini Devi, the legendary Bharatnatyam dancer, organized in NY


Our Bureau

New York, NY

Kazakh artists & Kalakshetra alumni Damir & Tatyana enthralled the audience with their exquisite Bharatanatyam performance at a festival to mark Rukmini Devi’s 120th birth celebration. This was a spell-binding dedicated to one of India’s greatest classical dancers Rukmini Devi Arundale.  

Damir Tasmagambetov and Tatyana Popova, from Kazakhstan, both alumni of the Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, India, presented this impressive Bharatanatyam performance, “The Fragrance of a Legend” on February 24, 2024, at the Theatre at St. Jean, to honor the legacy of Padma Bhushan recipient Rukmini Devi Arundale on her 120th Birth Anniversary celebrations.

Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian theosophist, dancer and choreographer of the Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam, and an activist for animal welfare. She was the first woman in Indian history to be nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India.

The two dancers joined hands in 2017 and have been teaching and performing across New York and New Jersey in collaboration with organizations such as, City Lore, Arts Horizons, and Joffrey Ballet. Currently, they manage two centers in NY and NJ areas teaching Bharatanatyam to over 200 students.

Rukmini Devi was the founder of Kalakshetra. She wrote, “When I think about the events that led to the formation of Kalakshetra, I am more and more convinced that there is a divine destiny which shapes our lives. Many people have said many things about my being a pioneer. I can only say that I did not consciously go after the dance. It was the dance that found me.” 

The event, which showcased the “rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions” of India and its core message “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one family” was supported by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations. Damir and Tatyana graduated from the Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts, Kalakshetra Foundation, through a six-year scholarship they received from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top