Sarabhai, a multifaceted personality, is a noted Kuchipudi and
Bharatnatyam dancer. She has immensely contributed to the fields of
acting, writing and publishing. She is a social activist and has
participated in many socio-developmental projects initiated by the
United Nations. Mallika Sarabhai has also received the "French
Palme D'or'', the highest civilian award of France.
Born to famous dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and reputed space scientist
Vikram Sarabhai, Mallika is a woman of many dimensions and talents. She
is a noted dancer, film maker, TV anchor and social activist. Mallika
Sarabhai, an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, was trained by R. Acharyelu in
Kuchipudi. As a young dancer, Mallika won many international awards for
her classical dance including the "French Palme D'or'', the highest
civilian award of France. In 1977, she took over the reigns of Darpana,
the arts academy founded by her parents.
Theater and Dances
Mallika Sarabhai's theatre works reflect the challenges of the society
and sends a strong message. Her natural charm with conviction creates a
unique style of presentation. Following are some of the works performed
"Unheard Voices" is a physical, musical theatre piece. It is
based on Harsh Mander's book "Unheard Voices". The story is
about the lives of marginalized faces - the beggars, children at the
Traffic Signal and "chhotu", the little child at roadside
restaurant. These are stores of struggle and courage.
Then, Now, Forever: This revolves around the multiple lifestyle of the
people of India. It attempts to show the resemblance between the life of
the tribal of Mizoram and their lifestyles with the bollywood. The show
takes the audience from the temples of southern India to the forests of
the Dangs and the minds of today's creators.
Mallika Sarabhai started her acting career at the age of fifteen and
has worked in more than 30 films. In 1984, she played the character of
Draupadi in "The Mahabharata", directed by renowned director
Peter Brook. The movie was launched in French and English. Some of her
critically acclaimed films include "Lovesongs: Yesterday, Today,
Tomorrow", Peter Brook's "The Mahabharata", "Kahkasha",
"A Thousand Flowers" and "Katha".
In 1982, she founded the "Darpana for Development"
concentrating on the development of performance as a language
for change. She also formed "JANAVAK", the voice of the
people, to archive and preserve the folk and tribal culture of India.
Deeply excited by the possibility of continuing the work as an activist
on TV, in 2001 she launched Darpana Communications. She has also
produced over 2500 hours of broadcast programming in Gujarati dealing,
with social issues like gender bias, communal hatred, the environment,
corruption, violence etc.
Mallika Sarabhai never tried to confine herself into a single
character. After being recognized as a reputed dancer and film actor,
she has also made herself count in the world of publications. In 1979,
Mallika Sarabhai published India's first design magazine, called Inside
Outside. Following are some of the acclaimed books published by Mallika
Sarabahi and Mapin Publishing Private Limited.