Mumbai: Contemporary Indian dancer and Padma Shri awardee Astad Deboo, who is renowned for creating a fusion dance form from Kathak and Kathakali, has passed away on Thursday, according to his family. He was 73.
“He left us in the early hours of December 10, at his home in Mumbai, after a brief illness, bravely borne,” the family announced on social media.
“He leaves behind a formidable legacy of unforgettable performances combined with an unswerving dedication to his art, matched only by his huge, loving heart that gained him thousands of friends and a vast, number of admirers,” it said.
The announcement said, “The loss to the family, friends, fraternity of dancers, both classical and modern, Indian and international, is inestimable. May he rest in peace. We will miss him.”
Deboo was noted for creating a modern dance vocabulary that was uniquely Indian.
He once said there was a time when most Indians saw his style as “too western” while westerners found that it was “not Indian enough”.
His innovative style of Indian dance may have raised some eyebrows in the 1970s and 80s, but the 1990s saw people embrace this new idiom.