Rukmini Devi: A Life

01 March, 2010

Leela Samson

Penguin India

256 pages, Rs 550

On 30 December 1935, 31-year old Rukmini Devi created history with her performance of Sadir, later known as Bharatnatyam, which had until then been confined to temple precincts and was the preserve of devadasis. A celebrated artist and dancer, she was also a Theosophist, a composer of acclaimed dance-dramas, an educationist, an animal welfare and child rights activist, and a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha. This biography illuminates her many lives.