Rohini Bhate

Born in 1924 in Patna, Shrimati Rohini Bhate is among the seniormost Kathak exponents of India. She initially learned Bharatanatyam under Guru Parvati Kumar, and later specialized in Kathak under the guidance of Pandit Lacchu Maharaj and Pandit Mohan Rao Kallianpurkar. She also acquired proficiency in Hindustani vocal music as a student of Keshavrao Bhole and Vasantrao Deshpande. In 1946, Shrimati Rohini Bhate took her Bachelor’s degree at Fergusson College, Pune, where she read Marathi and Sanskrit. She established the Nrityabharati Kathak Dance Academy at Pune in 1947. Here, she has trained generations of dancers and teachers, who are engaged in promotion of Kathak within and outside India. A dancer, teacher, and scholar par excellence, Shrimati Rohini Bhate has gained wide respect in the field of dance. She has performed extensively for five decades. With her deep understanding of the structure and aesthetics of talas, her flair for adaptation of oral tradition, and her analytical and innovative approach to abhinaya, she has enriched the Kathak repertoire creating a large body of dance compositions. She has composed dance-dramas on various themes and has choreographed dance sequences for many films and plays as well. Shrimati Rohini Bhate has several publications to her credit including Majhi Nrityasadhana, her autobiography written in Marathi; Mi Isadora, a Marathi translation of the autobiography of Isadora Duncan; Kathak Darpan Deepika, an edited version of Abhinaya Darpana; Darpani Pahata; and Laheja. Documentary films on her work have been made by eminent producers. She has also guided the preparation of syllabi for Kathak courses at Lalitkala Kendra University of Pune, where she has served as a Visiting Lecturer and Guru from 1988 to 2001. Shrimati Bhate has been honoured with the Kalidas Samman, the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. For her outstanding contribution to Indian dance, Shrimati Rohini Bhate is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.