(Last Updated on : 13/08/2015)
Medha Yodh was a notable Indian and Indian American Bharatanatyam dancer
. She was also a teacher of Indian classical dance
at UCLA. She was a disciple of the renowned dancer Tanjore Balasaraswati. Yodh had performed in various parts of India and the world. Apart from her dance, she is remembered for creating a documentary on Garba
Early Life of Medha Yodh
She was born on July 31, 1927 in Ahmedabad
, India. Yodh started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of four. She was a student of Tanjore Balasaraswati, one of the most important Indian dancers
of her time. She was also a lifelong student and disciple of Balasaraswati
. Despite having so much interest in dance, Yodh did not allow her passion affect her education
. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Bombay
) and master's degree from Stanford University in California.
Career of Medha Yodh
Yodh had performed Bharatanatyam both in India and foreign countries. During her younger years, she had travelled extensively outside of India which exposed her to different forms of modern and world styles of dance
. Her exposure established her as an artist of the highest caliber. She became a faculty member at UCLA in 1976. During her tenure there, she taught Balasaraswati's values and dance styles to the students. She continued educating at UCLA until her retirement from the school in 1994.
Even after her retirement, she continued to serve as an adviser for a number of UCLA organizations, including Dance Kaleidoscope series. Until 2002, she was teaching dance privately. And she continued to dance throughout California following her retirement. She created a documentary film titled Garba-Ras: A Glimpse into Gujarati Culture which focused on the Garba, a traditional Gujarati dance in 1987. The film garnered positive reviews form critics.
Personal Life of Medha Yodh
She tied the knot with a Swedish medical student, Carol von Essen, during her travels. However, the couple later divorced. She passed away on July 11, 2007 due to failing health in San Diego, California, at her daughter Kamal's home. She was 79 years old. She was survived by two daughters, Kamal and Neila von Essen, and two granddaughters.