|Pandit Durga Lal|
|Died||21 January 1990(aged 41–42)|
Pandit Durga Lal (1948 - 21 Jan 1990) was a renowned Kathak dancer of the Jaipur Gharana. He was born in Mahendragarh, Rajasthan. He is known for playing the title main role in the 1989 dance drama Ghanashyam; the music of which was composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar and was produced by Birmingham Opera Company. For his contributions to the field of Kathak form of dance he was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by Government of India. He had also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for the year 1984.
Lal was a disciple of Sunder Prasadji. Along with being a Kathak dancer he was also a singer and would play Pakhvaj. He taught Kathak at the National Institute of Kathak Dance (Kathak Kendra), New Delhi. Lal's brother Pandit Devi Lal was also a renowned Kathak dancer. Devi Lal's wife Gitanjali Lal is also a Sangeet Natak Akademi Award winner (2007). Both brothers died at an early age. After Durga Lal's death his children and other art fraternity members have been organising an annual festival called Pandit Durga Lal Memorial Festival. He has two children, elder daughter Nupur and younger son Mohit. Nupur is Kathak performer and vocalist and Mohit is a percussionist. His disciples include renowned dancers Uma Dogra, Jayant Kastuar and Mangala Bhatt amongst others. Nighat Chaodhry is Pandit Lal's notable student in Pakistan. In memory of Lal, Dogra has arranged the "Pandit Durga Lal Samaroh" for more than 15 years as of 2005. She has also made a documentary Nirvana Through Dance on him. Mangala Bhatt through her dance school Aakruti Kathak Kendra organises "Antarang" every year in memory of Pt.Durga Lal.
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