(Last Updated on : 26/07/2014)
Damayanti Joshi has been regarded as one of the great advocator of the traditional classical dance form, Kathak. She was born in the year 1932 in Mumbai, India. General Sokhey and his wife, Madame Menaka, raised Damayanti Joshi.. They adopted her as their daughter at her four years of age.
Damayanti Joshi started touring with Madame Menaka's troop at her tender age of 5 years. She already became an accomplished dancer when she was 15 years. In all the major cities of Europe she had been performed Kathak and received appreciation for her execution. Simultaneously she was acquiring her education. Damayanti Joshi got her first training under the great tutelage of Pandit Sitaram Prasad. Pandit Sitaram Prasad was from the Lucknow Gharana. This illustrious Kathak dancer had also training in Bharatanatyam. She learnt both the discipline in an intensive manner.
Damayanti has fetched the honor of being trained under the legendary figures of Kathak, Achchan Maharaj, Lachchu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj. It is through her performances her expertise and mastery over the dance form reflects. Damayanti Joshi has established herself as the most cherished solo Kathak dancer after the middle of 1950s. She has also undergone training under the maestro of Jaipur gharana, Guru Hiralal. she has also taught kathak at Indira Kala Vishvaidyalaya, Khairagarh, and Kathak Kendra in Lucknow.
Throughout the world her performances have been appreciated for her rhythmic footwork. 'Ashta Nayika' and 'Sur Sundari' are two of her thematic presentations that have been appreciated throughout the world. Acknowledging her talent, she has been felicitated with the 'Sangeet Natak Akademi Award', in the year 1968 and one of the highest civilion award 'Padma Shri' in the year 1970. Noted performer Bireshwar Gautam has also received the expert tutelage of Damayanti Joshi.
This great prominent Kathak dancer died on 19the September in the year 2004 at Mumbai. For almost one year, she has been suffering from illness.