Sonal Mansingh is an eminent Indian classical dancer and choreographer. Mansingh's name shines bright in the field of Odissi dance. She is also proficient in other Indian classical dancing styles like Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Chhau.
Life of Sonal Mansingh
Sonal Mansingh was born in Mumbai to Arvind and Poornima Pakvasa, noted social worker and Padma Vibhushan winner. Mansingh started learning Manipuri dance at the age of four.
Then at the age of seven she started learning Bharatnatyam from various gurus. Her real training in dance started at age 18. She went to Bangalore to learn Bharatanatyam from Prof US Krishna Rao and Chandrabhaga Devi at age 18.
She learnt abhinaya from Mylapore Gowri Ammal. In 1965 she started learning Odissi from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Mansingh was married to former Indian diplomat Lalit Mansingh. The couple later divorced.
Dance career of Sonal Mansingh
Sonal Mansingh is a celebrated Indian classical dancer. The dance techniques of Mansingh are innovative and creative. With intensive knowledge of so many dance forms like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Chhau, Mansing brings in her own creativity and vision to mythological stories and contemporary issues in her dance.
Her early life
She started her dancing career in 1960s. Starting from that Mansingh has toured the world and has been giving performances all over the world. In 1977 she founded Centre for Indian Classical Dances in New Delhi where classes are given in Bharatnatyam, Orrisi and classical dance forms.
Mansing has also choreographed dance performances, notable among them are Indradhanush, Manavatta, Mera Bharat, Draupadi, Gita Govinda, Devi Durga and Aatmayan among others.
Awards and honours of Sonal Mansingh
Sonal Mansing has been the recipient of many awards and honours. She received the Padma Bhushan in 1992. In 1987 she was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. The government of India honoured her with the Padma Vibhushan in 2003. She received Kalidas Samman of Madhya Pradesh government in 2006.
Noted Hindi film director Prakash Jha made a documentary film on her, title Sonal, to mark the completion of her 40 years in dancing in 2002. The film won the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film for the year.