Early Life of Gopi Krishna
Gopi Krishna was born on 22nd August 1935 to a family of Kathak dancers. His maternal grandfather was Pandit Sukhdev Maharaj who was a Kathak teacher while his aunt, Sitara Devi, was a Kathak dancer having worldwide acclaim. Gopi Krishna started his Kathak training at the age of 11 years under the tutelage of his grandfather. He had also received training from the renowned Shambhu Maharaj. Apart from Kathak, he has also received extensive training in Bharatanatyam from Govind Raj Pillai and Mahalingam Pillai. Despite of being a patient of chronic asthma, he continued to explore the world of dancing and earned huge acclamations in the same. At the age of 15 he was honoured with the title of "Nataraj" (King of Dancers) at the All Bengal Music Conference.
Career of Gopi Krishna
Gopi Krishna began his career as a choreographer at the age of 17, in the year 1952. He was accredited as one of the youngest choreographers of Hindi film industry. Firstly he was appointed to choreograph dance sequences for one of the most charming and acclaimed Bollywood actresses Madhubala for the movie Saqi. He made his debut on silver screen in the year 1995 with the movie Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje. In the movie he portrayed the role of a talented young dancer named Girdhar whose dancing career jeopardizes owing to his love for his partner. He had also lent choreography in popular films such as Umrao Jaan, Mehbooba, Dastaan and The Perfect Murder. He made a tour in 1960s and 70s to the border posts of India along with Sunil Dutt's Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe for entertaining the soldiers. Later on he established the Nateshwar Nritya Kala Mandir and the Nateshwar Bhavan Dance Academy. In the year 1975 he was honoured with India's fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri by the Government of India. Gopi Krishna is also known for his world record of the longest continuous Kathak dance for 9 hours and 20 minutes.
Personal Life of Gopi Krishna
Gopi Krishna was married to the famed Kathak dancer Savitri since 1954. Her daughter named Shampa Sonthalia is also a choreographer and dancer and was the winner of dance based reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, Season 5.
Death of Gopi Krishna
Gopi Krishna died of a massive heart attack on 18th February 1994 at his residence in Mumbai.