|Birth name||Sonal Pakvasa|
|Born||30 April 1944|
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
|Member Of Parliament|
|Assumed office |
14 July 2018
|Preceded by||K. Parasaran|
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party|
Sonal Mansingh (born 30 April 1944) is an Indian classical dancer and Guru Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancing style. She has been nominated by the President of India to become a Member of parliament, Rajya Sabha.
Sonal Mansingh was born in Mumbai, second of three children to Arvind and Poornima Pakvasa, a noted social worker from Gujarat and Padma Bhushan winner in 2004. Her grandfather was Mangal Das Pakvasa, a freedom fighter, and one of the first five Governors of India.
She started learning Manipuri dance at age four, along with her elder sister, from a teacher in Nagpur, then at age seven she started learning Bharatnatyam from various gurus belonging to the Pandanallur school, including Kumar Jayakar in Bombay
She has "Praveen" and "Kovid" degrees in Sanskrit from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and B.A. (Hons) degree in German Literature from Elphinstone College, Bombay.
Though, her real training in dance started when at age 18, despite her family's opposition, she went to Bangalore, to learn Bharatanatyam from Prof. U. S. Krishna Rao and Chandrabhaga Devi at age 18, abhinaya from Mylapore Gowri Ammal, and later started learning Odissi from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra in 1965.
Mansingh was married to former Indian diplomat Lalit Mansingh. The couple decided to divorce later. Her father-in-law Mayadhar Mansingh introduced her to Kelucharan Mohapatra where she had her training in Odissi.
Sonal Mansingh dancing career which started in 1962, after her arangetram in Mumbai, and in 1977, she founded, Centre for Indian Classical Dances (CICD) in New Delhi.
Over the years, dance has taken her all over the world and brought her many awards, including the Padma Bhushan (1992), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987 , and the Padma Vibhushan, India's the second highest civilian award, in 2003; making her the second woman dancer in India to receive such an honour after Balasaraswati. This was followed by Kalidas Samman of Madhya Pradesh government, in 2006 and on 21 April 2007, she was conferred with Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by G.B. Pant University, Uttarakhand at Pantnagar and Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) by Sambalpur University.
To mark the completion of her 40 years in dancing in 2002, noted Hindi film director, Prakash Jha made a documentary film on her, title Sonal, which also won the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film for the year.
In 2018, she was honoured with Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship also known as Akademi Ratna, for her contribution in the field of performing arts.