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Classical Dance scholar Kapila Vatsyayan passes away

Kapila Vatsyayan, a leading scholar of Indian classical dance, art, architecture, and art history passed away today in New Delhi. She was the founding director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

Vatsyayan authored many books, including The Square and the Circle of Indian Arts (1997), Bharata: The Natya Sastra (1996), and Matralaksanam (1988).

In 1970, Vatsyayan received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s national academy for music, dance and drama; this was followed by the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour in the fine arts conferred by Lalit Kala Akademi, India’s national academy for fine arts in 1995. In 2011, the Government of India bestowed upon her the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour.

In 1987, Kapila Vatyayan became the founder trustee and member secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and in 1993, she was made its academic director, a post she held until 2000 till the age of 72.

She is known for her collaboration with great artists, such as legendary Kutiyattam maestro Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar (1899-1990) and played a pivotal role in safeguarding the legacy of classical Indian art forms.

She was nominated as a member of the Upper House of Parliament of India, the Rajya Sabha in 2006, though subsequently in March 2006, she had to resign following an office of profit controversy.

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