World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific is sad to announce the demise of well-known dance critic, writer and enthusiast, Dr. Sunil Kothari, who passed away at the age of 87 on 27 December 2020.
Dr. Kothari was the WDA Vice-President for South Asia from 2001 to 2008. He also held the position of Vice-President of the India Chapter from 2008 until the time of his passing.
Dr. Kothari was the Uday Shankar Chair Professor at the Rabindra Bharati University and was also the first Dean of the School of Arts and Aesthetics of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Born in Mumbai on 20 December 1933, Dr. Kothari was a qualified chartered accountant before turning his focus to dance scholarship. His contribution as a dance writer and critic remains well documented in more than 20 books on the subject of Indian dance forms, including Sattriya Dances of Assam and New Directions in Indian Dance; on Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Chhau, Kathak, Kuchipudi; and photo biographies of Uday Shankar and Rukmini Devi Arundale.
Dr. Kothari received numerous titles and awards for his contribution to Indian dance forms, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi award (1995); the Gaurav Puraskar award conferred by the Gujarat Sangeet Natak Akademi (2000); the Padma Shri award bestowed by the Government of India (2001), and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Dance Critics Association, New York, USA (2011). He was also an elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to Indian dance as a scholar.
The World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific remembers him fondly and acknowledges his prolonged association and contribution to the world of dance.