(Last Updated on : 14/08/2014)
Dinanath Mangeshkar was a singer as well as actor in Marathi theatre. He was born in Mangeshi, Goa, to a temple priest and handmaiden of the deity Mangesh. He had an innate sense of rhythm and tone. He learnt music from Baba Mashelkar and even as a child was well known for his singing talent. The Kirloskar Natak Mandali invited him, at the age of 14, to fill the vacuum created by Bal Gandharva's departure. He acted female roles in the company's Urdu and Hindi productions as well.
Dinanath Mangeshkar left to establish his own Balwant Sangit Natak Mandali in 1918. It staged plays combining politically progressive messages with entertainment, such as N. C. Kelkar's Vira vidamban or 'Mockery of the Hero' in 1919, Gadkari's Bhavbandhan or 'Bond of Affection' in 1919 and Rajsanyas i.e. 'Kingdom Renounced' in 1922. Some other examples can be given as Wamanrao Joshi's Ranadnndubhi or 'Battle Trumpets' in 1927, and Vishram Bedekar's Brahmakumari in 1933. He enjoyed doing roles of independent, self-willed aggressive characters, and also male or female. Consequently his acting of Latika in Bhavbandhan, Shivaji in Rajsanyas, Tejaswini in Ranadundubhi, Gautam in Brahmakumari, and Dhairyadhar in Khadilkar's Manapaman won immense popularity in the stiff competition with Bal Gandharva and Keshavrao Bhonsle.
A stablemate of Ramkrishnabuwa Vaze, Mangeshkar had studied music under several gurus. Yet his singing was famous for an invigorating, fresh, and energetic style that synthesized an expressive dynamism with imaginative experimentation. Dinanath Mangeshkar was always interested in sarangi music and Kathak dance. He became a disciple of Kathak dancer Sukhdev Prasad, and was the first to introduce Kathak and Punjabi music on the Marathi stage. His and Chintamanrao Kolhatkar's performances for the Balwant earned high appreciation for their combination of devotional Haridasi, Hindustani, Carnatic, and Punjabi singing, which created its own tradition in Sangitnatak. Mangeshkar started the Balwant Picture Corporation in 1934. this was started filming Bedekar's Krishnarjunyuddha i.e. 'Krishna and Arjuna's Fight', in which he acted as Arjuna. The Balwant Sangit Natak Mandali gradually stopped functioning, as he grew more interested in cinema. Dinanath Mangeshkar died prematurely after contracting jaundice.