Monica Singh has been initiated to the arena of dance on the insistence of her pianist mother at the tender age of Six years. For a period of twelve years, she has received training in Bharatnatyam under the great tutelage of far famed personality Sonal Mansingh. Monica Singh has performed at various occasions by accompanying her guru Sonal Mansingh. Through the year she has exhibited with her guru, and in the due course has gained experience in the field. But eventually experiencing the elastic charm of Odissi dance her focus of interest thus has been shifted. Monica Singh has been attracted to Odissi by watching the dance ballet 'Sohamasmi' choreographed by Smt Madhavi Mudgal in the year 1988. The graceful movements, mesmerizing music and the modern appeal of this dance form attracted her the most.
After discovering her medium, Odissi, Monica Singh have decided to stay consecrated to this dance form and started receiving her training under the tutelage of Smt Madhavi Mudgal. For the last 15 years, Monica Singh has been undergoing rigorous training in Odissi. From her guru, she has earned an in depth Knowledge on Odissi as a traditional art form. She has also learnt the innovative ideas through which the avenues of Odissi from of dance can be widened. Monica Singh has also bagged the honor of attending the highly esteemed workshops conducted by the maestro of Odissi dance Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. To her credit she has travelled in an extensive manner throughout the world as a troupe member or as a soloist performing artist.
Since the young age of 11 years, Monica Singh has started exhibiting dance performances. At her young age she used to travel frequently to Turkmenistan as her maternal side was based there. During that time she has performed at Ashgabat, Mari, Cherzov, Titzen and various small collective farms of the former Soviet Union. Through these executions she realized the very fact that compromising the purity and the aesthetics of her age old dancing style is needed and also what is else is needed is to be more open to other cultures.
Afterwards she has executed in France, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Vietnam, Laos, Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, etc. some of her noted performances includes: Ranga Shankara Theatre festival, Bangalore in the year 2005; Housing the Black Divine (live performances and audiovisionery installations) august New Delhi in the year 2005; Leela -a- elahi festival Gurgaon for the years 2004, 2005; Sonora village festival Himachal Pradesh 2005; Another passage to India festival Theatre Saint Geravie, Geneva 2004; LAMDA London in the year 2004; India international centre, Delhi in the same year; India Habitat centre, Delhi 2004; International Cultural Centre, Gurgaon 2004; Tour of France, Germany, Belgium in the year 2004; At IIC, Delhi 2003; Old fort festival, Delhi 2002, 2003; Chennai, Bangalore India tourism festival 2003; Qutub festival for the year 1998 and 2003; Yuva Mahotsav closing ceremony in the year 2003; Nepal for ICCR 2002; Hanoi, Vietnam and Laos , Vientiane 2001; Lyon France Bennile dance festival in the year 2000; Asian meet Delhi 2003; Doordarshan 1991, 2000, 2003; Women's international organization Sweden 2002, 2001; performed at National television of Sweden; Uday Shankar festival of art Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur; Chamman Lal Memorial award, Delhi in the year 1997; 50th anniversary of India's Independence, Delhi, 1997; Rajkot, Modehra, Ahmedabad Gujarat 1997; Dhaka, Bangladesh 1998; Young dancers festival Moscow for the year1995 and1997.
As a recognition of Monica Singh's talent, she has been conferred the Sahitya Kala Parishad scholarship for Odissi for the year of 1997- 98. For the year of 1999-2000, she was given the Ministry of human resource development Scholarship for Odissi. Acknowledging her talent the ICCR has also chosen Monica Singh as a performer cum teacher for a posting abroad.
It is Monica Singh who felt the need to keep alive this traditional art form in its predominating style. Therefore she has started experimenting this style of dance in theatres. For that she has performed in many plays that ultimately enriched her artistic qualities. Through this experimentation, she aims at exhibiting her art in all its traditional forms and boundaries intact yet into advanced forms. To fulfill this aim she presently attempted to work with Arjun Raina in his theatrical production, "The Magic Hour". It is a play into which the nuances of Kathakali, Odissi and Shakespearean theatre are being incorporated.
Monica Singh is also serving as the member of 'The Black Bakhkhai Collective'- an 'International Company of performing artists traveling with a collection of several plays and solo performances'. As a teacher of Odissi style of dance she has worked at schools like Vasant Valley School, Green fields, Manav Sthali, Amity International School, Bal Bhavan, New Delhi etc. on Indian classical dance traditions, Monica has conducted several workshops for the Indian embassy in Moscow. In the year 2003, Monica Singh has established 'Sohamasmi (centre for performing arts)'. This centre for performing arts has two branches in Gurgaon. Monica feels that 'Odissi is a journey in itself to the highest source. More then life itself, where the beauty and depth of this art is beyond human comprehension.'
(Last Updated on : 02-08-2014)
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