Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, and others mourn dance pioneer Astad Deboo’s demise

Indian dance legend Astad Deboo, best known for marrying Kathak and Kathakali into a unique form, died at 73 on Thursday.

Scores of celebs, politicians and other eminent personalities paid tribute to the dance pioneer on Twitter.

Anupam Kher wrote, "World of modern dance has lost a pioneer and India has lost a cultural treasure. Dearest #AstadDeboo it was a privilege to know you. Will miss your art, warm persona and your infectious smile! Rest in peace my friend!! #OmShanti"

"This is too shocking!! What a dancer !!what a human!! May you rest in peace ASTAD DEBOO!!," wrote Manoj Bajpayee.

Here are some more tweets on the microblogging site.

Astad’s Instagram account featured a message by his family which read:

“He left us in the early hours of December 10, at his home in Mumbai, after a brief illness, bravely borne. He leaves behind a formidable legacy of unforgettable performances combined with an unswerving dedication to his art, matched only by his huge, loving heart that gained him thousands of friends and a vast, number of admirers. The loss to the family, friends, fraternity of dancers, both classical and modern, Indian and international, is inestimable. May he rest in peace. We will miss him.”

Deboo is noted for creating a modern dance vocabulary that was uniquely Indian.

With a dance career spanning half a century, he had performed in over 70 countries, including solo, group and collaborative choreography with artistes, at home and abroad.

He also forayed into other art disciplines, like films, choreographing for directors such as Mani Ratnam, Vishal Bhardwaj and legendary painter M F Hussain's "Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities".

Deboo received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award he received in 1995 for his contribution to contemporary creative dance. He was also a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2007.

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