Sitara Devi is among the great dancers of modern India. When she was in her teens, Rabindranath Tagore, after watching a performance by her described her as Nritya Samragini, meaning, the Empress of Dance. The epithet continues, and she is still described as the Kathak queen. Born in Calcutta, she was trained in Kathak by her father Shri Sukhdev Maharaj Misra and by masters of Lucknow gharana including Achhan Maharaj, Lachhu Maharaj and Shambu Maharaj. She combined the traditions of Banaras and Lucknow in her performance of Kathak. An exhaustive treatment of the entire gamut of nritta, sometimes in different talas, interspersed with gats of lyrical beauty and compositions of dramatic intensity followed by moving renditions of thumris and bhajans constituted the format of her hours-long performances, characterized by an electrifying energy. In many ways she represented a lost era of complete Kathak performed all night with the accompaniment of masters of Tabla like Kanthe Maharaj, Samta Prasad and Kishan Maharaj. Her dancing was very energetic and well researched. She developed her own niche, her own style of dancing, drawing from the treasure trove of themes, poetry, and choreography collected by her father, as also creatively analyzing and assimilating the environment around her - each and every gait and step of a village belle or a veiled peasant woman. She had many times emphasized the tandava aspect, displaying graceful movements with vigor and vitality. Although her forte was Kathak, she was also an accomplished dancer in many other styles of dancing including Bharatanatyam and many forms of folk dances of India. She also learnt the Russian ballet, and some more dances of the western world. With advancing age, her dancing activities diminished, and she was working on compiling a book encapsulating the researches done by her father and herself in the field of dancing, especially in Kathak style of dancing. She envisioned formalizing her teaching, and planned to set up a dance academy especially oriented to impart training to aspirants desiring to learn Kathak. To many, Sitara Devi was a living legend and she had been popularly known as "Kathak Queen." Over the years, she set up her own style, and had inspired many generations of artists and audience. Sitara Devi performed extensively in India and abroad contributing to the popularization of the art. She had also been an actress and dancer in films since the silent era. In a class of her own, she continued to inspire her audience and fellow artists. She was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1969) and the Padma Shri. She passed away in Mumbai on 25th November, 2014.