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Stephen Slawek

(b Udaipur, Dec 8, 1900; d Calcutta, Sept 26, 1977). Indian dancer and choreographer. He was the eldest son of Pandit Shyam Shankar Choudhury and the elder brother of the sitār player and composer Ravi Shankar. He showed a strong interest in the performing and expressive arts during his childhood, performing his own interpretations of the traditional dances of Rajasthan and staging magic shows for his family and friends. In 1918 he began to study art at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Bombay. At the request of his father, who had moved to London in the services of the Maharaja of Jhalawar, Shankar enrolled in the Royal College of Art in London in 1920. Sir William Rothenstein, the Principal of that institution, took an interest in Shankar, advising him to study the Indian paintings housed in the British Museum. Shankar’s earlier attraction to dance was nurtured by his growing understanding of the movements he found represented in the artworks which he studied. Soon after graduating in ...