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Monica Singh is a Visharad in Odissi dance from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi and is a senior disciple of Smt. Madhavi Mudgal.
Like many young dancers she started dancing at the age of six primarily due to the insistence of her pianist mother. Monica trained in Bharatnatyam under Smt Sonal Mansingh for a period of twelve years and with her teacher performed and gained experience by accompanying her as a disciple to various parts of India.
Any artistic realization can only happen when the chosen medium of expression arises from the individuals own need to be in it. Bharatnatyam was a form chosen by Monica’s mother for her daughter, but after seeing a choreographic composition in Odissi ‘Sohamasmi “ by Smt Madhavi Mudgal in 1988 Monica realized that she had finally found her medium, Odissi, with its haunting, beautiful music and graceful, fluid movements that bordered the lyrical. An ancient dance form and yet so young and modern in its appeal.
The most contradictory fact of Indian classical dance is that all styles are so different in their inherent structure and form that to have two styles in one body ends up leaving the dancer dangerously bordering on the superficiality of form. It is to avoid this pitfall that Monica decided to learn and stay committed to Odissi alone after she started training with Smt Madhavi Mudgal.
Monica trained extensively with her for 15 years and gained immense experience and in depth knowledge about Odissi not just through its traditional form but also by being a part of the choreographic works based on exploring Odissi.
Monica Singh She has traveled widely as a troupe member and as a soloist performing in her own right.
Monica was awarded the Sahitya Kala Parishad scholarship for Odissi 1997- 98 and the Ministry of human resource development Scholarship for Odissi 1999-2000.
She attended several workshops by the doyen of Odissi dance the Late Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She has also been selected by the ICCR as a performer cum teacher for a posting abroad. An artists cultural heritage and family background sometimes places the artist in a unique position to experience the subtle changes brought in the arts due to political conditions and changing times. Monica started performing from the young age of 11 years. As her maternal side is Turkmen she has experienced traveling extensively in Turkmenistan during the time of Gorbechev’ s Perestroika, performing in Ashgabat, Mari, Cherzov, Titzen and several small collective farms of the former Soviet Union. Through these interactions she gained valuable experience and understanding of the need to make her art more accessible and open to people of all cultures without disrespecting her dance form and its aesthetics. Since then Monica has traveled to and performed in France, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Vietnam, Laos, Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, etc.
Indian classical dance as a form is now standing at a very interesting cultural junction where it has to survive and grow with the modern world and not become obsolete and ancient in a negative way. Monica has felt the need to express her art keeping its form and boundaries intact and yet, to move into new spaces of free expression. To keep the artistic spirit alive within her Monica started experimenting in theatre and worked in several plays enriching her artistic abilities. At present she is working with Arjun Raina in his theatrical production namely “The Magic Hour“ which is a play combining Kathakali, Odissi and Shakespearean theatre. She is a member of THE BLACK BAKHKHAI COLLECTIVE, which is an International Company of performing artists traveling with a collection of several plays and solo performances. Monica has worked in many schools of Delhi like the Vasant Valley School, Green fields, Manav Sthali, Amity International School, etc. Teaching Odissi as a specialty subject. She has also taught at Bal Bhavan, New Delhi and conducted workshops for the Indian embassy in Moscow on Indian classical dance traditions. Since 2003 Monica has started SOHAMASMI (centre for performing arts) with two branches in Gurgaon where she concentrates exclusively on training students in Odissi dance.
Monica feels that "Odissi is a journey in itself to the highest source. more then life
itself" and that "the beauty and depth of this art is beyond human comprehension."
For more about Monica Sing please visit her website
Monica Singh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org