Sonal Mansingh

Sonal Mansingh

In the galaxy of divinities worshiped by Indians, the name of Shri Krishna rings many bells. His name alone sends tingling vibrations of delight and joy. The enigma of this divine human has not yet been unraveled except in allegorical and metaphysical terms. Saints and poets have written and sung extolling his form and beauty, his life and deeds. Seers and sages have been given the benefit of his Darshan in their deepest meditation. Men and women, old and young, rich and poor, people in every corner of India and the world have opened their collective hearts and offered him their prayers, aspirations and complaints.

He is also synonymous with the principle of Cosmic Law Vishnu maintaining the balance between diverse and mutually antagonistic forces. He is known by many names; all pointing to the centrality of his function; as the many-tiered Reality, the upholder of Creation.

Lest all this remove him far away from our daily mundane reality, he is to be seen and understood in the many human dimensions. On offer this evening are some of the most known and loved episodes from Krshna’s life.

The Katha:

Sonal Mansingh is trained in Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Orissaan Martial art Chhau also in classical music systems of Hindustani, Carnatic and Odiya. She offers a stunning flow of incidents from the life and deeds of Shri Krishna embellished with her own singing, acting and dancing.

Story –telling is an ancient art in every part of the world but in India it acquires extra dimension when Sonal Mansingh interlinks narrative stories, parables and legends with music, philosophy, symbolism and dance movements. Touching upon a wide range of issues pertaining to environment, ecology and social mores she is able to convey the inner messages and communicate a sense of harmonious beauty.

The iconic cultural personality of India, Dr. SONAL MANSINGH is acknowledged as master of cultural interpretations and an exemplary teacher who explains inter-linkages with philosophy, literature, sculpture and mythological parables through lectures and dance. She is a great scholar and seasoned art administrator who has performed, given lectures and conducted workshops in 90 countries of the world.

Sonal has been unique among dancers who has mastered multiple Indian classical dance forms from different parts of India like Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Chhau. Her concern for nagging issues of ecological imbalance, environmental protection, empowerment of women and social justice specially for weaker sections of society have led to creation of numerous path-breaking choreographies.

As a Founder-President of Centre for Indian Classical Dances (1977) she has trained several talented performers who are carrying the message of Indian culture all over the world.

As a Trustee of Ritambhara Gramin Vikas Trust she quite often visits Saputara and educates tribal girls of Dang who study at RITAMBHARA Vishwa Vidya Peeth.

Sonal’s ever vibrant creativity has given new dimensions to known repertories practiced in India, latest being the Naatya-Katha. This is the ancient form of story-telling which Sonal has embellished with her own singing, narrative skills and abhinaya i.e. the art of expressive communication through hand-gestures, words and a face that reflects myriad emotions.

Her book ‘Incredible India – Classical Dances’ published by Wisdom Tree and book on her ‘Devpriya’ in Hindi written by Yatindra Mishra have gained wide readership, besides articles on dance and Indian culture in prestigious magazines and newspapers.

Her significant contribution to Indian culture has been recognized with numerous awards and honours notably Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award, Nritya Choodamani, Kalidas Samman, Hanumant Samman, Kameshwari (from Adi Shaktipeeth of Kamakhya in Assam), Three honorary doctorates – Doctor of Sciences (HonorisCausa) from G.B. Pant University, Uttarakhand, D.Litt HonorisCausa from Sambalpur University, Orissa and Honorary Doctorate from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar and appointment as the Honorary Professor of the University of Delhi.

She is also nominated as one of the NAVARATNAs for Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

She is the recipient of the high civilian honours of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan from the President of India.