Sunday 25 June 2023

Obit/Tribute - Guru Valmiki Banerjee: A lifetime in dance - Ashish Mohan Khokar

Veteran dancer-choreographer nonagenarian guru Valmiki Banerjee passed away on June 25, 2023 at his home in Delhi at 11.20am. He was 97. He taught nearly every early dancer of Delhi in the 1950s-1970s. He was a pioneer who loved dance and went to Kerala to learn from Guru Gopinath and hailing from Bengal, he taught ballet and tried long and hard to establish Rabindra Natyam, as a classical form. He was possessed with this cause. He tried very hard to get it recognition and acceptance as a 9th classical form but none of the agencies or institutions helped his cause. After 90+ years of work and contribution, sadly he did not get a national award. He leaves behind his gifted dancer-daughter Nupur and son Partha and many students in three generations. His principal disciple and right hand, Nancy Sahu served him like a daughter in his end years.

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