Uday Shankar was a world renowned classical dancer and choreographer from India. Born in Udaipur, Rajasthan, he was trained in the art in Bombay. He later studied at the Royal College of Art in London and danced along with ballerina Anna Pavlova. He created ballets based on Hindu themes like Radha-Krishna, Hindu weddings and other oriental themes for Anna. During the 1930s, Uday toured through the western world along with his own troupe. His adaptation of western theatrical techniques to Indian dance made his art hugely popular both in India and the West, while his brother Ravi Shankar helped popularize Indian classical music in the West.
He had married Amala Shankar and they had a son Ananda Shankar and a daughter Mamata Shankar. While Ananda Shankar was a musician and music composer like his uncle, Ravi Shankar, Mamata Shankar is a dancer like her parents and is also a noted actress, working in films by Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. Uday Shankar also made a film on dance entitled 'Kalpana'. He established a dance center at Almora, on the foothills of the Himalayas, and invited Shankaran Nambudirei for Kathakali, Kandappa Pillai for Bharatanatyam, Amobi Singh for Manipuri and Ustad Allauddin Khan for music.
Uday was awarded Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India and the Desikottama by the Visva-Bharati University.