Kolkata: Eminent dancer and choreographer Amala Shankar died here Friday morning at the age of 101, her family said. The news of her demise was declared by her granddaughter Sreenanda Shankar who lives in Mumbai. Amala Shankar, who had been suffering from old-age ailments, died of cardiac arrest in her sleep, according to her family said. Amala Shankar was the wife of the legendary dancer Uday Shankar.
“Today my ‘Thamma’ left us at the age of 101. We just celebrated her birthday last month. Feeling so restless that there is no flight from Mumbai to Kolkata. Heartbroken, May her soul Rest in peace,” Sreenanda Shankar wrote on Facebook. Incidentally Sreenananda is also a dancer. “This is an end of an era. Love you ‘Thamma’. Thank you everything. #AmalaShankar,” she added.
Amala Shankar had been active even in her early 90s. She was awarded the ‘Banga Bibhusan’ award by the West Bengal government in 2011 for her contribution in the field of arts.
In a condolence message, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her death caused irreparable void in the world of dance.
Amala Shankar was born in 1919 in Jessore city of Bangladesh. From a very early age she showed her prowess in dancing. In 1931 she met her future ‘guru’ and husband Uday Shankar in Paris during an exhibition.
Later on after return to India, Aamal Shankar started training under Uday Shankar. Then in 1942 the two got married.