Eminent Kathak danseuse Sitara Devi, who was on ventilator and serious on Monday, passed away early on Tuesday at Jaslok hospital in Mumbai, confirms her son-in-law.
"She is in no more," Rajesh Mishra, the son-in-law of the danseuse, who turned 94 on November 8, told IANS.
The funeral will take place on Thursday morning, he added.
"Her funeral will take place Thursday morning. We are waiting for her son who has gone abroad for a show," Rajesh Mishra said.
Sitara Devi died due to kidney failure. The 96-year-old danseuse has been fighting for her life for the last 5 weeks since she was admitted to the Cumballa Hill Hospital and Heart Institute in Mumbai. She was admitted with some abdominal and pancreatic complications and was operated about three weeks ago.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of the eminent danseuse.
"PM has condoled the passing away of noted Kathak dancer Sitara Devi. PM also recalled her rich contribution to Kathak," the Prime Minister's Office said in a tweet.
PM has condoled the passing away of noted Kathak dancer Sitara Devi. PM also recalled her rich contribution to Kathak.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 25, 2014
This is what Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan tweeted: SAD news ... !! Sitara Devi, legendary classical dancer, vibrant, and filled with the essence of rhythm and movement, passes away! Other celebrities and fans of Devi too took to Twitter to mourn the the legend.
My pranam's and Khuda hafiz to Sitara Devi, the greatest kathak diva ever and thanks to her for giving us her son Ranjit Barot,she lives on— Zakir Hussain (@ZakirHtabla) November 25, 2014
Gone into the light #SitaraDevi the best dancer ever and a wonderful lady RIP— Ehsaan Noorani (@EhsaanNoorani) November 25, 2014
Sitara Devi became a Kathak legend and is known as a pioneering force in bringing the genre to Bollywood. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Padma Shri and Kalidas Samman.
Sitara Devi was born Dhannolakshmi in the family of Brahmin 'kathakar' Sukhdev Maharaj in Kolkata in 1920. When she turned 11, the family moved to Mumbai, where she impressed Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore with a three-hour solo recital.
Over the next six decades, she became a Kathak legend and is known as a pioneering force in bringing the genre to Bollywood.
Sitara Devi married director K Asif of Mughal-e-Azam fame and then Pratap Barot.
(With inputs from IANS)