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Classical dancer, MFA student shot dead during evening walk


Cover photo courtesy: Amarnath Ghosh’s Facebook page

UPDATE: The Consulate General of India in Chicago said on Saturday that it is extending all possible help to relatives and deceased of Amarnath Ghosh.

In a post on X, the Consulate said that it has strongly taken up the case with the St Louis police.

“Consulate is extending all help to relatives of deceased Amarnath Ghosh. Taken up the case strongly with St Louis police and the University for investigation of the reprehensible gun attack,” the post read.


In a tragic incident, Amarnath Ghosh, a Bharatnatyam and Kuchupudi dancer from Kolkata, pursuing a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, was shot dead during his evening walk in his neighborhood, according to media reports.

Devoleena Bhattacharjee, a popular TV actress and friend of the deceased, has reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar for assistance in repatriating Ghosh’s body. Devoleena expressed her grief on social media, highlighting the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of her friend and appealing for support in uncovering the motive behind the murder.

“My friend #Amarnathghosh was shot and killed in the St Louis Academy neighborhood in the US on Tuesday evening. Only child in the family, mother died three years back, father passed away during his childhood. Well, the reason, the details of the accused are not revealed yet, or perhaps no one is left in his family to fight for it except his few friends. He was from Kolkata.”

She ended the note with her appeal: “Some friends in US are trying to claim the body but still no update about it. @IndianEmbassyUS kindly see to it if you could. At least we should know the reason of his murder. @DrSJaishankar @narendramodi”

Ghosh was an alumnus of Kalakshetra Foundation and Kuchipudi Art Academy, Chennai. According to a GoFundMe campaign set up in his honor, he also served as faculty at the Kuchipudi Arty Academy.

A video on Ghosh’s YouTube channel

Described as an excellent dancer, he was interested in exploring his diverse ethnic background and the unity of various cultures through the compositions of Rabindranath Tagore, according to his bio on the university website. His research aimed to showcase how dance could unite people from diverse backgrounds.

Atlanta-based Bharatnatyam dance guru Anupa Thakurta, founder and artistic director of Deeksha School of Performing Arts, who has known Ghosh since Covid times, expressed shock and anger at his tragic death.

“We met through an online performance and immediately became friends,” she told NRI Pulse. “He had high aspirations to come to the US to perform. He had asked me multiple times to arrange for performances in the US. Considering the phenomenal artist that he was, he did make it to the US to do MFA in St. Louis, Missouri. He had a creative mind filled with splendid ideas. A very talented and humble artist and above all a very good human being.”

“Ghosh came into this country with lots of dreams and aspirations but this land took his life. Life is so unpredictable. Today you are here and tomorrow you are gone. This news shook me completely,” she added.

In a heartfelt obituary in ObituaryTimes, Amarnath Ghosh was remembered as more than just a dancer.

Amarnath was more than just a dancer; he was a visionary artist whose passion and dedication breathed life into every movement,” the obituary reads. “His performances were electrifying, captivating audiences with their raw emotion, technical precision, and sheer artistry. Whether he was portraying the agony of loss or the ecstasy of triumph, Amarnath had a rare ability to evoke deep and profound emotions, leaving spectators spellbound in his wake.”

“At Battery Dance, we had the privilege of collaborating with Amarnath, and his presence on our stage was nothing short of transformative. His performances were a testament to his unparalleled talent and unwavering commitment to his craft, inspiring all who had the privilege of witnessing his artistry. We will forever cherish the memories of his electrifying performances and the joy he brought to our stage.”

The circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear.

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