Didiji was a warm hearted and generous person, as evidenced by various instances in her life. Such a person, whose life was a perfect confluence knowledge, artistic ability and spirituality is indeed rare.

Didiji was an ardent believer in the philosophy of Nãda Brahman - that spirituality could be awakened through the practice of spiritual forms of dance and singing. When she first visited Manipur, Didiji fell in love with Manipuri dance. She saw in the medium, in which all dances are offered to the glory of God, a perfect expression of spirituality through art. Immediately resolving to understand Manipuri dance, Savitadidi developed an in-depth knowledge of Manipuri culture and its religious practices. Manipur’s Vidyaratna Shiromani Shri Atam Bapu adopted her as his spiritual daughter. Her nickname in Manipur was “Meitei Princess.”

Savitadidi was fortunate to have studied Manipuri dance and philosophy under the greatest stalwarts of that time -- Rãsadhãri Shri Amudan Sharma, Guru Shri Amubi Singh, Guru Shri Tomba to name but a few. She learned the five key dance forms from her teachers - the Achoubã Bhangi, the Vrindãvana Pareng, the Khurambã Pareng in Lãsya style, the Gosht Pareng and the Vrindãvana Pareng in Tãndava style. In addition she learned the Khubak Ishai and the Lãi Haraobã.

Guru Shri N. Lairanjao Singh taught her Mridanga Qialam and Guru Shri M. Ibohal Singh the Karatãla. Khol Khanjari and the duff were taught to her by Guru Rasbihari Sharma. She learned both female (lãsya) and the male (tãndava) dances of Manipur and attained a high degree of proficiency in both forms of dance. Shri Dada Khelchandraji taught her the martial art of swordcraft. To increase her understanding of the Manipuri culture, she studied the Manipuri language under Pandit Chandra Singhji and Pandit Yaima Sngh. This helped her to author and publish a book on ‘Dashakusha Tãla.”

Didiji pioneered solo recitals in Manipuri dance, an evolution from the normal practices of group performances. She performed in major Indian cities and in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. In recognition of her mastery of, and contribution to Manipuri dance, the Maharaja of Manipur Shri Bodhchandra Singhji conferred on her the title of “Meitei Jagoi Hãnjabi” - the highest honour in Manipuri dance. The significance of this honour can be judged from the fact that this title was conferred after a gap of two hundred years!

Further honours awaited her. The entire Brahmasabhã - the gurus of Manipur - gathered together in the Temple of Shri Shri Govindji to test her knowledge and exposition of Manipuri dance, She passed with flying colours, and was awarded the Nartan Achãrya. Didiji was now qualified to teach Manipuri dance - the first lady to be so honoured. The dowager Maharani of Manipur Dhanmanjari Devi, herself a great exponent of Manipuri dance, was so enchanted by Didiji that she called her the ‘Second Usha.” Manipuri mythology, as documented by the Sangeet Ratnakar, describes Usha as the daughter of Banasur who was the grand daughter-in-law of Lord Krishna. It was she who took the Lãsya form of Manipuri dance to the Gopis of Dwanka. In 1972 Didiji was also awarded the title of Nrityaratna and was elected a fellow of the Manipur State Kala Academy.

Dance was Didiji’s outward expression of Bhakti, of devotion and prayer. She believed that patience, love, discipline, courage and empathy were necessary qualities for each artist to achieve mastery over their chosen aft. After mastery of oneself, it is the duty of each artist to guide the audience as to what constitutes aft in its most perfect and pure form. The higher the standard of the artist’s performance, the greater the appreciation and enjoyment of the audience and the higher their expectations for the next performance. This leads to the virtuous cycle of improvement of art. On principle, Didiji never in her life danced for pure entertainment.

Didiji’s deep commitment to the spiritual forms of dance are best illustrated by two incidents. She received a special invitation to perform in Paris under the UNESCO banner in 1954. A magnificent stage was set up in the sprawling UNESCO hall. Didiji was visibly upset when she saw that the audience were seated around tables and wine was being served. She stood up on stage and announced “To us dancing is a prayer to God and devotion to Him is our divine wine. You must therefore choose between divine wine and earthly wine. I will not dance if you choose the latter.” Within ten minutes, the tables were cleared, the seating was rearranged to resemble a theatre and the audience was sitting enthralled watching the performance.

After the UNESCO performance she was invited by Les Amis de l’Orient (Friends of the Orient). Her show ran to a packed house, with people standing in the aisles to catch a glimpse of her performance. The newspapers complimented her for introducing Paris to “a true rendition of Indian dance.”