Astad Deboo, known for marrying Kathak and Kathakali into a unique form, dies at 73
- Deboo is noted for creating a modern dance vocabulary that was uniquely Indian
- He was also a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2007
- Deboo founded Astad Deboo Dance Foundation in 2002 to provide creative training to marginalised sections
Contemporary Indian dancer Astad Deboo died in Mumbai on Thursday, reports PTI quoting his family. He was 73-year-old and known for marrying Kathak and Kathakali into a unique form.
The family shared the news on social media and said that Deboo died on early hours of December 10 at his home in Mumbai after a brief illness.
"He leaves behind a formidable legacy of unforgettable performances combined with an unswerving dedication to his art, matched only by his huge, loving heart that gained him thousands of friends and a vast, number of admirers," read the post.
The announcement said, "The loss to the family, friends, fraternity of dancers, both classical and modern, Indian and international, is inestimable. May he rest in peace. We will miss him."
Deboo is noted for creating a modern dance vocabulary that was uniquely Indian.
He once said there was a time when most Indians saw his style as "too western" while westerners found that it was "not Indian enough".
He was born on July 13, 1947 in Navsari town of Gujarat. He studied Kathak with Guru Prahlad Das from a young age, and later Kathakali with Guru E K Pannicker, described his style as "contemporary in vocabulary and traditional in restraint".
With a career spanning half a century, he had performed in over 70 countries.
Known for his charitable endeavours, Deboo worked with deaf children, both in India and abroad for two decades.
He founded Astad Deboo Dance Foundation in 2002 to provide creative training to marginalised sections, including the differently-abled.
Deboo also forayed into other art disciplines, like films, choreographing for directors such as Mani Ratnam, Vishal Bhardwaj and legendary painter MF Hussain's "Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities".
"He has created a dance-theatre style which successfully assimilates Indian and Western techniques," said the citation for the the Sangeet Natak Akademi award he received in 1995 for his contribution to contemporary creative dance. He was also a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2007.