Roshan Kumari
Born24 December
Ambala, Haryana, India
Occupation(s)Classical dancer
Known forKathak
Parent(s)Fakir Mohammed
Zohrabai Ambalewali
AwardsPadma Shri
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Nritya Shiromani
Nritya Vilas
Vishwa Unnyyan Samsad
Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar
Kathak Kendra Man Patra
All India Bhuwalka Award
Hanumant Award
Hafiz Ali Khan Award Latest

Roshan Kumari Fakir Mohammad is an Indian classical dancer, actor and choreographer, considered by many as one of the foremost exponents of the Indian classical dance form of Kathak.[1][2] She follows the Jaipur Gharana and is the founder of Nritya Kala Kendra, Mumbai, an academy promoting Kathak.[3] A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1975,[4] she received the fourth highest Indian civilian honour of Padma Shri from the Government of India in 1984.[5]


Roshan Kumari was born on Christmas Eve (year of birth uncertain) at Ambala in the north Indian state of Haryana (erstwhile Punjab) to Choudhury Fakir Mohammed, a noted Tabla player and Zohrabai Ambalewali, renowned classical and playback singer.[6] She learnt the basics of Kathak from K. S. Moray and continued her studies at Maharaj Bindaddin School of Kathak, Mumbai under Sunder Prasad ji and learnt the jaipur gharana.[7] Later, she also trained under Ghulam Hussain Khan and Hanuman Prasad and learnt Bharat Natyam from Govindraj Pillai and Mahalingam Pilai.

Roshan Kumari has performed in many places in India including a special performance at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.[2] She has also performed in front of personalities such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Nikita Khrushchev, Milton Obote, Hussein of Jordan and the King of Nepal.[6] In 1971, she founded the Nritya Kala Kendra, at Bandra in Mumbai, where she tutors several students.[2] Muktha Joshi, Aditi Bhagwat,[8] Nandita Puri,[9] Anonna Guha[10] and Shailla Aurora[11] are some of her notable students. Also, Sehajpreet Singh, another dancer who belongs to her gharana, is propagating her jaipur style with her blessings and permission.

Roshan Kumari Ji, who remains unmarried, lives in Mumbai and is Propagating this unique jaipur style she learnt from greatest masters.

Film career

In 1953, Bimal Roy invited Kumari to perform a Kathak number in his film, Parineeta. The next year, she performed in Waris of Nitin Bose and a Hindi / Urdu bilingual, Mirza Ghalib, directed by Sohrab Modi. Her next appearance was in Basant Bahar, a 1956 film by Raja Nawathe. Satyajit Ray, the renowned Indian filmmaker used a dance sequence performed by her in his 1958 film, Jalsaghar. In 1970, Films Division of the Government of India released a documentary on the history and practice of Kathak, which features performances by notable Kathak exponents like Damayanti Joshi, Uma Sharma, Sudarshan Dheer and Shambhu Maharaj, besides Roshan Kumari.[12] Later she also worked as a choreographer in Hindi feature films such as Gopi, Lekin... (1990), Chaitali (1975) and Sardari Begum (1996).

Awards and honours

Kumari received the Nritya Shiromani title from the Prayag Sangeet Samiti at the Twelfth All India Music Conference of 1963[2] and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1976.[4] A year later, Sur Singer Samsad awarded her the Nritya Vilas honour.[6] The Government of India honoured her with the civilian award of Padma Shri in 1984[5] and the Government of Bengal awarded her the Vishwa Unnyyan Samsad in 1989.[2] She received the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar from the Government of Maharashtra in 1990 and the Man Patra honour from Kathak Kendra, Jaipur in 1993.[2] Kumari, an Emeritus fellow of the Government of India, is also a recipient of the All India Bhuwalka Award (2005) and the Hanumant Award (2008).[2]


See also


  1. ^ Sangit Mahabharati (2011). Roshan Kumari - The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Music of India. Oxford University Press. p. 1161. ISBN 9780195650983. OCLC 5112086158.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "My Guru-Padmashree Dr. Roshan Kumariji". Muktha Joshi. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Kathak Institutions". Narthaki. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Awards)". Sangeet Natak Akademi. 2015. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Elizabeth Sleeman (2001). The International Who's Who of Women 2002. Psychology Press. p. 699. ISBN 9781857431223. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  7. ^ Sunil Kothari (1989). Kathak, Indian Classical Dance Art. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 9788170172239. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Aditi Bhagwat". Aditi Bhagwat. 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Nandita Puri Profile" (PDF). Maharashtra Foundation. 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Anonna Guha". Anonna Guha. 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  11. ^ "One with Kathak". Harmony. 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Kathak (Motion picture)". WorldCat. 2015. OCLC 78849651. Retrieved 15 July 2015.

Further reading

Roshan Kumari at IMDb