Mangaluru: Dance Guru Master Vithal Passes away at 89

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Mangaluru: Veteran dance guru ‘Master’ Vithal Shetty, recipient of a host of awards including Kannada Rajyotsava and Karnataka Kalashri, passed away at his brother’s residence in Parashuram Nagar in Kavoor in the city on Aug 7.


He had the privilege of being a favourite disciple of celebrated dance teacher Rajan Iyer. In 1964, he set up his own dance training centre, ‘Kala Kaustubha’ here. By then, he had also received training in music from M A Devadiga.

Those who trained under number about 5,000 who include Patala Venkatramana Bhat, Sandalwood actor the late ‘Minugu Taare’ Kalpana, Ullal Mohan Kumar, Dr Mijarguttu Mohan Alva of Moodbidri and many others. In 1981, he was invited to Sweden by an institution there to train candidates there as well as to present stage shows.

When Kalpana was learning dance under his tutelage, her financial position was not very good. Therefore, he used to pay her a stipend of Rs 10. She left the training half way through and joined films, never to look back thereafter, recalls a close associate of Master Vithal.

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8 years ago

He used to live close to Besant school. I remember seeing him almost every day while attending primary school in the sixties. If I remember right he also had trained UK Arun Kumar who was the son of UK Krishna Rao. U K Arun Kumar was a talented actor who tried his hand in Kannada movies but did not succeed there. It is sad to hear about the passing of Master Vittal who has trained so many. The old generation of Mangalore is slowly fading. May his soul rest in eternal peace.