Kumudini Lakhia

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Kumudini Lakhia
OccupationFounder-Director, Kadamb School of Dance and Music
Known forKathak dance and choreography

Kumudini Lakhia (born 1930) is an Indian Kathak dancer and choreographer based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where she founded Kadamb School of Dance and Music, an institute of Indian dance and music in 1967.[1]

A pioneer in contemporary Kathak dance, she is credited for moving away from the solo form of Kathak starting in the 1960s, by turning it into a group spectacle, and also innovations like taking away traditional stories and adding contemporary storylines into Kathak repertoire.[2][3][4]


She began her career dancing with Ram Gopal as he toured the West, bringing Indian dance to the eyes of people abroad for the first time, and then became a dancer and choreographer in her own right. She learned first from various gurus of Jaipur gharana, and then from Shambhu Maharaj.

She is particularly known for her multi-person choreographies. Some of her most famous choreographies include Dhabkar (Pulse), Yugal (The Duet), and Atah Kim (Where Now?), which she performed at the annual Kathak Mahotsav in Delhi in 1980. She was also a choreographer in the Hindi film, Umrao Jaan (1981), along with Gopi Krishna.[5][6]

She is a guru to many disciples, including Kathak dancers Aditi Mangaldas, Vaishali Trivedi, Daksha Sheth, Prashant Shah, Sanjukta Sinha, and Parul Shah.

Personal life[edit]

She was the Cornell Visiting Professor at Swarthmore College for the 2012-2013 academic year.


  • "Variation in Thumri" (1969)
  • "Venu Nad" (1970)
  • "Bhajan" (1985)
  • "Hori" (1970)
  • "Kolaahal" (1971)
  • "Duvidha" (1971)
  • "Dhabkar" (1973)
  • "Yugal" (1976)
  • "Umrao Jaan" (1981)
  • "Atah Kim" (1982)
  • "Okha Haran" (1990)
  • "Hun-Nari" (1993)
  • "Golden Chains" (for Neena Gupt, London)
  • "Sam Samvedan" (1993)
  • "Samanvay" (2003)
  • "Bhav Krida" (1999)
  • "Feathered Cloth – Hagoromo" (2006)
  • "Mushti" (2005) [4]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Pathak, Rujul (17 July 2002). "A dancers opinion". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  2. ^ Rachel Howard (24 September 2006). "When Many Feet Make Loud Work". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Dance of the masters". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 21 November 2004. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b Leela Venkatraman (25 May 2008). "New vocabulary for Kathak". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  5. ^ Kumudini Lakhia on IMDb
  6. ^ "Bollywood's new dancing queen". Rediff Movies. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 6 October 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]