Sitara Devi: 3 Lessons For Students Form Her Exemplary Life
Today Google is celebrating the birth anniversary of Sitara Devi, honored with the epithet of Empress of Dance by Rabindranath Tagore. Sitara Devi is not just an inspiration for Kathak students but is an example for every student out there. Through her dedication toward her art form and consistent practice, Sitara Devi attained the status of a legend
and thus, left behind a story of grit and determination which can inspire students today to achieve great heights.
One look at her life and one can see that there are three essential lessons for students.
At the age of eight, her marriage was fixed following the customs of her time. But she resisted and demanded that she be sent to schools. At school she gained repute for her prowess in dance and was asked by her teachers to train other children for a performance. This is where her life-long journey as a Kathak dancer began. Her example shows that in order to truly embrace your life's passion, a student would need to be courageous, often to the extent to defy societal expectations.
Sitara Devi was passionate about her art form. Saswati Sen, a senior disciple of Birju Maharaj, once said that Sitara Devi would change her dress and jewelry thrice for a three hours recital. This she would do because she believed that as an artists she must present something fresh to look at for the audience. This shows her passion toward Kathak and her dedication to present the true form of the dance to people who came to watch her. The kind of passion she had for Kathak is seldom seen but if imbibed can lead to great success.
Her dedication for Kathak can be seen from the fact that she continued her strict practice regime till she was 75. She never skipped her 'riyaz'. In student life, practice is of key importance. It is through practice that students cannot just retain what they have learned but also learn finer nuances of whatever subject they are pursuing.
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