Padma Shri awardee Milena Salvini dies

Padma awardee and foreign student of one of the initial batches of the Kerala Kalamandalam Milena Salvini died in France on January 25. She was 84.

The Italian-born French art researcher was an ambassador of Kathakali and other Indian classical art forms in France. The country honoured her with Padma Shri, recognising her contributions to the field of Kathakali in 2019.

To learn Kathakali

Milena arrived at the Kerala Kalamandalam in 1965 from France with a scholarship to learn Kathakali.

A Europe trip conducted by a 17-member Kathakali team of the Kerala Kalamandalam on invitation of Milena was a milestone in development of the Kalamandalam.

She along with her partner Roger Filipuzzi started a school of Indian classical dance – Centre Mandapa - in Paris in 1975 for training classical dances, including Kathakali. The programmes organised by this dance centre in 1980 and 1999 was instrumental in popularising Koodiyattam across the world.

Milena played a crucial role in getting Unesco recognition for Koodiyattam as an ancient art form and to include it in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity Programme in 2001.

Contributions hailed

In his condolence message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled her passion towards Indian culture. “She made numerous efforts to further popularise Kathakali across France. I am anguished by her passing away. My thoughts are with her family and well-wishers. May her soul rest in peace,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

Kerala Kalamandalam Vice Chancellor T.K. Narayanan, administrative committee members, teachers and students condoled death of Milena.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 3:19:01 pm |