Tirath Ram Azad

Shri Tirath Ram Azad was born in 1933 in Lyallpur in western Punjab, now in Pakistan. His training as an actor, dancer, and singer started in theatre groups run by Master Bundey Khan and O.P. Tarun at Lyallpur. He continued his work in theatre in Delhi after the Partition, training with Girija Shankar and Champak Lal. Eventually, he was groomed as a Kathak dancer under Hanuman Prasad, Giriraj Maharaj, Narain Prasad, Chiranji Lal, and Krishan Maharaj. He also trained in vocal music of the Talwandi school under Ustad Mehar Ali Khan. Shri Tirath Ram Azad established himself as a performer and teacher of Kathak dance in the 1950s. He has travelled extensively, performing and conducting workshops and seminars both in India and other countries. From 1958 to 1988, he was Head of the Department of Dance at Gandharva Maha- vidyalya, New Delhi. Shri Tirath Ram Azad has taught Kathak dance to several dancers who have emerged as eminent artists themselves. His students include Pandit Durga Lal, Shrimati Madhavi Mudgal, Shashi Sankla and Ram Gopal. He has authored several books on Kathak dance such as Kathak Praveshika, Kathak Sringar, Kathak Darpan, Kathak Nritya mein Natyashastriya Tatva, and Kathak Nritya ke Gharane. Shri Azad has been honoured by various organizations for his dedicated service in the field of Kathak. Shri Tirath Ram Azad receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Kathak dance.