Biography of Uday Shankar:

Uday Shankar, born Uday Shankar Chowdhury on December 8, 1900, was a pioneering Indian dancer, choreographer, and one of the key figures in the development of modern dance in India. He was not to be confused with the film director of the same name, Uday Shankar, who is often associated with Shankar’s brother, Ravi Shankar. 

Here is a brief biography of the renowned dancer Uday Shankar:

Early Life:

Uday Shankar was born in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, into a Bengali family.
He was the eldest son of Shyam Shankar Chowdhury and Hemangini Devi.
Early Life and Training in Dance - Formation of Dance Troupe - Marriage and Collaboration - Film Career and Death of Uday Shankar

Uday Shankar’s Training in Dance:

Uday Shankar’s initial exposure to dance came through his younger brother, Ravi Shankar, who was learning to play the sitar.
He went on to study dance in India under renowned gurus like Pandit Durgalal.

European Tour:

In the early 1920s, Uday Shankar traveled to Europe to study Western classical dance forms.
He trained in ballet under famous dancers like Anna Pavlova and toured extensively, absorbing diverse dance influences.

Blending East and West:

Uday Shankar became known for his unique style of dance that blended elements of Indian classical dance with Western forms.
He incorporated various dance traditions, folk dances, and innovative choreography to create a distinct form of modern dance.

Formation of Dance Troupe:

In 1929, Uday Shankar formed his dance troupe, which included both Indian and Western dancers.
The troupe gained international acclaim for its performances in Europe and the United States.

Marriage and Collaboration:

Uday Shankar married Amala Shankar, one of the lead dancers in his troupe.
The couple collaborated on many dance productions, and Amala became an influential dancer in her own right.

Uday Shankar’s Return to India:

Uday Shankar returned to India in the 1930s and continued to contribute to the development of modern dance in the country.
He established the Uday Shankar India Culture Centre in Almora, where he trained dancers and worked on dance productions.

Film Career:

Uday Shankar also ventured into Indian cinema, directing and producing films that showcased his innovative approach to dance and storytelling.


Uday Shankar is often credited with bringing a modern and global perspective to Indian dance.
His legacy includes not only his own performances but also the influence he had on subsequent generations of dancers.

Death of Uday Shankar:

Uday Shankar passed away on September 26, 1977, leaving behind a lasting impact on the world of dance and a legacy that continues to inspire dancers in India and beyond.