Born on 20 December 1933 in
Mumbai, Shri Sunil Kothari
qualified as a Chartered
Accountant before turning to the
study of Indian dance. His
research in Bhagavata Mela and
Kuchipudi earned for him a
Ph.D. from the M.S. University,
Vadodara, in 1977. For his
research in the dance sculpture
of medieval temples of north
Gujarat he was awarded a D.
Litt. by Rabindra Bharati
University, Calcutta, in 1986. He
also took practical training in
Bharatanatyam with Shri T.
Kuppaiah Pillai and Shri
Kalyanasundaram Pillai and in
Kathak with Shri Ratikant Arya.
Studying various dance forms and interacting with eminent gurus and artists, Shri Kothari has served the cause of dance through his research and writing. He has authored works on Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Chhau and Kathak, coedited two recent works, Rasa and Damaru, and contributed papers to a number of journals. He is widely known as a dance critic writing in the national dailies. Shri Kothari has held the Uday Shankar Chair in Rabindra Bharati University, has been a National Professor of Dance, and has taught in the Dance Department of New York University. He has served as a member of the International Dance Council of Unesco, and is a recipient of the Emeritus Fellowship of the Department of Culture, Government of India.
Shri Sunil Kothari receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his overall contribution to dance.