Much Before Sushmita, This Beauty Queen From India, Mother & Wife, Did Us Proud At Miss Universe

The 1952 Miss India winner was the first woman to represent India at the inaugural Miss Universe Pageant. That woman was Indrani Rahman.

In the year 1952, the Miss India pageant was conducted by the local press and Indrani Rehman won the pageant.

Image Source: Wikipedia. (Indrani: third from the left).

Only 22 years old, Indrani was already a renowned classical dancer, a mother and a wife, when she competed at the Miss Universe Pageant.

At the pageant, her unique style in the swimsuit round caught everyone’s attention, as she paired a lovely gajra and bindi with her suit, and looked absolutely radiant.

Trained in Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi, Indrani continued with her dance tours after the pageant.

Consequently, in 1961 she became the first dancer to become a part of the Asia Society tour.

She extensively toured across the United States, imparting her knowledge of the traditional Indian dance forms.

You can also watch some of her performances here and here.

In fact, she had been on the faculty of the Juilliard School since 1976 and taught at various American universities, including Harvard.

Her mother Ragini Devi also wrote a book titled Dance dialects of India that showcased the photographs of Indrani’s dance.

In fact, her mother, an American by birth, was also a proponent of Indian classical dance and is often credited with reviving the dance form.

Both, Indrani’s mother, Ragini Devi and her daughter, Sukanya Wicks were trained dancers as well and often performed together.

In 1969 Indrani received the Padma Shri in performing arts. She was also the recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in the performing arts and also the Taraknath Das Award.

She passed away at the age of 68, but not before leaving an indelible impact on the world of Indian classical dance across the globe!

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