The respectable Bengali families started appreciating dance as an art with the initiative of Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan. Rabindranath's exposure to one of the most lyrical dance styles of India, the Manipuri dance, in Tripura brought about a dance-renaissance in the Bengali society in the early 20th century. Though he first witnessed Manipuri dance in the Vasantotsava in Agartala in 1899, it took him almost 20 years i.e. 1919 to introduce the dance in his ashram in Santiniketan. This only establishes the fact that Manipuri dance as an art form had appealed to Rabindranath in such an intense manner in 1899 that even after 20 years, he felt the necessity for introduction of dance among his ashramites.
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