Ritha Devi, a pioneer of Indian classical dance, has died, according to the New York Times. Devi was instrumental in reviving the classical Indian technique known as Odissi, which had fallen out of favor in India in the 1940s and 1950s. By the 1960s, Devi helped introduce the form on a wider scale in her native India, and later in the United States.
Devi performed around the world and during tours in the U.S. in the 1970s. On one of those tours, Devi was approached by a professor at New York University, where she taught from 1972 to 1982.
Devi made her U.S. debut at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in 1968, dancing multiple roles in telling the legend of Ahalya, "a story of passion, revenge and redemption revolving around the chaste and beautiful wife of a Hindu sage," the Times wrote. Devi died on September 12.