Rohini Bhate
Born(1924-11-14)14 November 1924
Died10 October 2008(2008-10-10) (aged 83)
EducationIndian classical dance, Hindustani classical music
Alma materFergusson College
Occupation(s)Classical dancer, choreographer, writer, researcher
OrganizationNrityabharati Kathak Dance Academy
AwardsSangeet Natak Akademi Award
(see all)

Rohini Bhate (14 November 1924 – 10 October 2008)[2] was among the senior most Kathak dance exponents in India, who developed as a performer, teacher, writer, researcher and critic this Indian classical dance.[3] During her career, she was awarded with several recognitions, such as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Kalidas Samman.[1]

Rohini studied Kathak from Jaipur and Lucknow gharanas.[4] She created a large corpus of dance compositions, where she applied an analytical and innovative approach to abhinaya.[5] Due to her knowledge in Hindustani classical music, she often composed the music for her dance creations.[1] According to the critic Sunil Kothari, her choreography for Shakuntala, directed by Vijaya Mehta, is noteworthy. Her choreography of Kālidāsa's Ṛtusaṃhāra and Usba Sukta from Rigveda was also well acclaimed.[6]


Born in Patna, Bihar, Bhate completed her school and college in Pune.[3] She came from a middle-class Karhade Brahmin family.[citation needed]

Rohini was initially trained in Bharatanatyam under Guru Parvati Kumar.[6] She obtained her degree in arts of the Fergusson College in 1946.[3] The same year she started learning Kathak with Sohanlal of Jaipur Gharana.[4]

Shortly after,[7] she specialised in Kathak under the guidance of Pandit Lachhu Maharaj, for more than twelve years, and of Pandit Mohanrao Kallianpurkar,[1] from the Lucknow gharana,[4] for more than fifteen years.[1]

She also learnt Hindustani music from the musicians Keshavrao Bhole and Vasantrao Deshpande,[1] and obtained a doctorate in Kathak.[3]


Due to different circumstances of her learning, geographical, intellectual, temporary, among others, Rohini could experiment freely in Kathak, applying her musical and intellectual interests.[7] Bhate founded the Nrityabharati Kathak Dance Academy at Pune in 1947.[1] Over the last six decades she trained hundred of dancers from her academy.[3] She popularized kathak dance among the middle-class families of Maharashtra.[6]

In 1952, she visited China as a member of Indian cultural delegation. This travel was an opportunity to her to study old scriptures relating to Indian dances and drama, and thus refined her technique.[4]

She served on the committee of Khairagarh University and guided the preparation of syllabi for Kathak courses at Lalit Kala Kendra, University of Pune, where she served as Visiting Lecturer and Guru.[1] Rohini also served as an examiner for students in the Delhi Kathak Kendra, although she never adopted its curriculum.[7]

Rohini Bhate authored several books in Marathi, including her autobiography, Majhi Nrityasadhana, a translation of the autobiography of Isadora Duncan, Mi Isadora, and an edited version of the Sanskrit manual of music and dance, Abhinaya Darpana, called Kathak Darpana Deepika.[1] Rohini based several of her choreographies and creative projects in this ancient book.[7] She also wrote numerous papers on Kathak.[4]

In 2002, she participate as herself in a German documentary movie called Time and Space.[8]

Regarding collaborations with other artists, Rohini known the Hindustani classical tabla player Chandrakant Kamat when he came to Pune in 1952. The musical association of both artists lasted for 15 long years.[9] Rohini also made a comparative study of abhinaya in Kathak and Bharatanatyam with Kalanidhi Narayanan.[6] She was a close friend of Reba Vidyarthi, another important Kathak exponent.[7]


Bhate died on 10 October 2008 at the age of 83, in Pune, Maharashtra, India. According to her daughter-in-law and disciple Shama Bhate, Rohini Bhate had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for her last five years and died from complications arising from the ailment.[3]


Rohini Bhate performed extensively for five decades,[1] and trained a large number of disciples who became important exponents of Kathak,[10] such as Shama Bhate,[11] Neelima Adhye, Prabha Marathe,[6] and Prerana Deshpande,[10] among several others, who continued to perform posthumously events in her honor.[12]

The academy has its head office in Pune's Shivaji Nagar, seven branches in the Pune city, one each in Indore, United States and Germany,[citation needed] and another in Mumbai.[6]

Documentary films have been made on her work.[1]


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Rohini Bhate passes away". The Hindu. 11 October 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Rohini Bhate". IMDb. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Noted Kathak exponent Rohini Bhate no more". The Times of India. 11 October 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Biographies of Kathak Gurus". Nad Sadhna: Institute for Indian Music & Research Center. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  5. ^ Jafa, Navina (4 August 2016). "Dissolving the dissonance". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Kothari, Sunil (1989). Kathak: Indian Classical Dance Art. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications. p. 191. ISBN 9788170172239. OCLC 22002000.
  7. ^ a b c d e Walker, Margaret E. (2016). India's Kathak Dance in Historical Perspective. London: Routledge. p. 126. ISBN 9781315588322. OCLC 952729440.
  8. ^ "Time and Space". IMDb. Retrieved 20 January 2017.[unreliable source?]
  9. ^ "Tabla maestro Chandrakant Kamat passes away, leaves a void in city music scene". The Indian Express. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  10. ^ a b Grover, Heena (26 February 2016). "They have danced their way to glory". The Golden Sparrow. Retrieved 25 November 2016.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Kathak". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008.
  12. ^ "Artistes to honour Rohini Bhate's legacy". The Times of India. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.