Sunday, 1 April 2018

The Great Dancer Sonal Mansingh



India has given us many talented classical dancers who have proved their talent worldwide. https://thetempest.co/2016/11/17/culture-taste/culture/12-badass-indian-women-you-need-to-know-about/ can give you an insight about it. One of those great talents is Sonal Mansingh, a dancer popularly known for her skills in Odissi dance form. She is a gorgeous dancer, social reformer, teacher, and choreographer. Technically, these are only a few of her talents that we could mention here. She is much beyond what words can explain. People who aspire to become an Odissi dancer must follow such great personalities. The moves, the dress, and the makeup people wear while performing Odissi is fantastic. She is an inspiration to everyone especially the womankind. From Women groups for her social work to Bridal Makeup Artists for her traditional make-up style, she is an inspiration for all.

In early days, dancing was not considered to be a very respectable profession. Despite the resistance, great people like Sonal Mansingh stood up for their passion and defended their passion against the society. According to some of her interviews, dance is a way of communicating the words of the unheard. The expression, the body language, everything speaks for itself without the person having to utter a single word. Her career started in the year 1962 when she won everybody’s heart with her graceful Odissi dance. Over the years she went on to choreograph many stunning performances.

All together she has choreographed some group shows. Late in the 1970s, she danced to the poem Mary Magdalene, Meghdootam of Kalidasa,  Sanyasi Udagupta, and Kumara Sambhavam of Kalidasa. These are very popular poetries written by great poets. Dancing renowned pieces of art is not an easy task, but only somebody like Sonal Mansingh could take the challenge. In the year 1977, she established a society in New Delhi known as the Centre for Indian Classical Dances. The institute provided coaching in several Indian dance forms to budding artists from across the nation.

The following years until 2001, her great performances followed one after the other. She kept winning several hearts by her splendid performances. Her major choreography includes Manavata, Devi Durga Aatmayan, Indra Dhanush, Sabras, Draupadi and Mera Bharat. She has also given guest lectures in famous universities in North America. She has also received many awards during the course of her career. In the year 1987, she was awarded the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. Later in the year 1991, she was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award followed by Padma Bhushan in 1992.

She married a famous Indian Diplomat hailing from Odisha, Mr. Lalit Mansingh; they met at an art festival. In the year 2002, a documentary named Sonal was directed by Prakash Jha.  Her love for dancing was more than anything else to her. She has dedicated her entire life to her passion. Very few people are able to follow their heart, which gives them the opportunity to become one in a million, despite the resistance from the society. She is a very inspiring personality not only for people who want to pursue dancing but for each one of us!

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