05 March, 2021

One Of Terpsichore’s Own

Sonal Mansingh’s metier enveloped her soul. At the forefront of a renaissance in performing arts post 1947, this is a celebration of a life danced to the full.

One Of Terpsichore’s Own

In Sujata Prasad, danseuse Sonal Mansingh has found her dream bio­grapher. There is so much empathy between author and subject that the writer moves comfortably bet­ween dance, music, choreography, spirituality, culture, heritage, Sonal’s startling artistic innovation and her turbulent private life. Sonal’s own voice comes through with clarity and in tel­ling excerpts of interviews that end many of the chapters. This is a work for anyone interested in the renaissance in the performing arts that has been nurtured and promoted in independent India. It makes one proud to be an Indian.

Sonal’s commitment to dance is the run­­ning theme of her life. A poignant moment comes when Sonal, her whole body trussed in a heavy plaster cast after a car accident that almost took her life when she was but thirty, lies abed immobile: “I felt as brittle as a glass doll. I could move only my fingers and eyes. I went through all the hasta mudras...did eye exercises like a Kathakali dancer and recreated the accident and the ensuing events with just...

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