The brother of influential sitar player Ravi Shankar, Uday Shankar had a profound effect on Indian dance as a dancer and choreographer. In addition to leading his own troupe of Hindu dancers (founded in March 1931), he helped many aspiring Indian dancers to learn their craft. Formally trained at the J.J. School of the Arts in Bombay, Shankar continued his studies at the Royal College of Art in London. While in England, he choreographed two ballets -- Krishna and Radha and A Hindu Wedding -- that were premiered at the Convent Garden in September 1923 and worked with dancer Anna Pavlova from 1923 until 1924. Returning to India in 1929, Shankar soon formed his own dance troupe. Between 1932 and the 1960s, the troupe appeared regularly in the United States. Wishing to pass his knowledge of dance and theater to the next generation, Shanakr opened a school, the Uday Shankar Indian Culture Center, in Almore, Uttar Pradesh, in 1938. Closed during World War II, the school was reopened, as the Uday Shankar Centre of Dance, in 1965. Directed by Shankar's widow, the school continues to teach an all-embracing performance curriculum that includes training in folk and classical dance, improvisation, costume design and theatrical makeup.
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