In the honour of Kathak legend Sitara Devi, Google has dedicated its doodle to mark her birth anniversary on Wednesday. Born in Kolkata on November 8, 1920, the eve of Diwali, Devi had begun giving solo performances by the age of 10. Witnessing her dance, during one of her performances in Bombay, Rabindranath Tagore titled her as the Nritya Samragini, meaning the Empress of Dance.
The Kathak queen was honoured with numerous awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1969, Padma Shree in 1973, Kalidas Samman in 1995 and the India Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 for her contribution to the classical dance for six decades.
In 2002 the legendary dancer took offence on being awarded with the Padma Bhushan and turned down the award saying, ““I will not accept any award less than Bharat Ratna”.
Devi also performed in Bollywood movies like Mother India (1957) and her debut was in Usha Haran (1940) and taught many the dance she performed so passionately. Reaching her sixties, the legend stopped acting in movies as she feared it was affecting her dance.
At the age of 94, the Empress of Dance took her last breath in the Jaslok Hospital in 2014, Mumbai due to multiple organ failure.