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Critic & Writer Dr. Sunil Kothari

Written By Manik Chittorgarh on Monday, August 5, 2013 | 10:52 PM

Dr Sunil Kothari

Dr Sunil Kothari
Dr Sunil Kothari, aged 80, has been active in the field of Indian classical dance from the year 1956  and was the youngest scholar to attend historic All India Dance Seminar in 1958 in DelhiSince then he has devoted his life to field work, research, learning Bharatanatyam  and Kathak,to acquire practical knowledge and has written more than 16 books based upon his research and field work all over India visiting places of traditional performance, watching them first hand and writing about them, meeting gurus, exponents and observing the formsHis books are based on this field work and his own studies of Sanskrit texts.

devoting his entire career to dance.He obtained Ph.D in Dance from M.S.University of Baroda in 1977.Then he taught as Prof and Head of Dance Dept at Rabindra Bharati University and later on at JNU.His books  are  published by  prestigious  Marg Publications (list attached ) and by Abhinav  publications and Dance Seminar 1958 papers by SNA

They are scholarly works and have become primary source for further dance research

The major books  include

  1. Bharata Natyam
  2. Kathak,
  3. Odissi,
  4. Chhau Dances of India
  5. Kuchipudi,
  6. New Directions In Indian Dance,
  7. Rasa (volume I)
  8. Damaru
  9. Photo-biographies of Uday Shankar
  10. Rukmini Devi


Sattriya: Classical Dance of Assam( latest published by Marg Publications in March 2013)

Dance sculptures of Medieval Temples of North Gujarat
with reference to Sangitopanishatsaroddhara ( under print)

Dance in Retrospect (SNA Dance Seminar Papers 1958 edited by him)

Books in Gujarati:
  1. Shastriya Nrityo
  2. Uday Shankar:
  3. Manipuri and Jhaveri Sisters
  4. Jugalbandi ( dance travelogue) 

For Oxford University Press he is editing Indian Dance, a comprehensive book with 
references to terms, artists, forms and several entries

Besides his various articles on dance are in several anthologies on dance.

Besides Dr Kothari has been a critic for The Times of India Publications for 40 years and
has been contributing articles in various journals regularly.

He has been honoured by SNA with award for his overall contribution in dance
and by President of India with Padma Shri Award.

Awards, Fellowships and Honours

  • Received the civil honour PADMA SHRI from the President of India
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for overall contribution to the field of dance.
  • Gujarat State Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the Governor of Gujarat.
  • Awarded Fulbright Fellowship for residencies at The University of Georgia, Athens and The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Seattle.Travel award under Fulbright Fellowship to guest lecture at the three univesities: University of California: Berkely Riverside and World Arts and Culture, Los Angeles.
  • Member of the Advisory committee of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, (ICCR)
  • Former member of the General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi
  • Member of the jury for Kalidas Samman, selection of dancers for the 'Festivals of India' held abroad and for Khajuraho Dance Festival etc.
  • Visiting Professor(Dance) at the School of
  • Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
  • Resident professor at the Dance Department of New York University, New York, USA for the year 1993 under Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, New York,USA.
  • Currently a Vice President of the World Dance Alliance, Asia Pacific, South Asia, representing India
  • Member of the Executive Commiteee of International Dance Council, UNESCO, Paris.
  • Participated in several international dance conferences both in India and abroad.


Lectured at the Universities in USA: New York Univeristy; University of Georgia, South Asia Department of University of Atlanta, University of Minneapolis/Minnesota, University of California, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Seattle, University Stony Brook University, Long Island;, University of Houston and various Musuems, The Asia Society, New York, New York Public Library, Lincoln Centre; Swarthmore College, Philadelphia etc.

Dr. Sunil Kothari
94, Asiad Village
New Delhi 110049
(m) +91 98107 48029
land line +91 11 2649 8823

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