Sunday, 20 July 2014

Remembering Zohra Segal (1912-2014) - Dr. Sunil Kothari

Zohra Segal was a dancer, who had worked with the legendary Uday Shankar. Born in Sharanpurin 1912, in a large orthodox Muslim family from Rampur, she was from a very young age of independent temperament. After passing her matriculation examination in 1924, she travelled with her uncle to Germany and studied modern dance from Mary Wigman. During those years, Uday Shankar was making his name in Europe and on knowing about Zohra studying dance, he invited her to join his company. When she met Uday Shankar, she had said, “I was surprised to see a man as a dancer and thought what this young man was doing as a dancer?But what I saw I liked very much as it had a lot of folk element and some of the music was based on peasant music which I loved. I thought his partner Simkie was a Kashmiri girl because though she had a fair complexion she had dark hair. But she had adapted wonderfully; in her movements and feelings she was very Indian. I liked what they did, and it made me homesick. I thought it was beautifully presented and very colourful.” At that time Zohra was in Dresden and wanted to return to India.

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