Sonal Mansingh
Sonal Mansingh performing in New Delhi.
Sonal Mansingh performing in New Delhi.
Background information
Birth nameSonal Pakvasa
Born (1944-04-30) 30 April 1944 (age 79)
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
GenresOdissi, Bharatanatyam
Years active1961–present
Sonal Mansingh
Member Of Parliament
Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
14 July 2018
Preceded byK. Parasaran
ConstituencyNominated (Arts)
Personal details
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
  • Arvind Pakvasa (father)
  • Poornima Pakvasa (mother)

Sonal Mansingh (born 30 April 1944) is an Indian classical dancer and Guru in Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancing style. She has been nominated by the President of India to become a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha.[1][2][3] She is the recipient of Padma Bhushan in 1992 and Padma Vibhushan in 2003.[4]

Early life and background

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.[5] Her grandfather was Mangal Das Pakvasa, a freedom fighter, and one of the first five Governors of India.[6]

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,[7] including Kumar Jayakar in Bombay[8]

She has "Praveen" and "Kovid" degrees in Sanskrit from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and B.A. (Hons) degree in German Literature from Elphinstone College, Bombay.[9]

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[10] 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.[11] Her father-in-law Mayadhar Mansingh introduced her to Kelucharan Mohapatra where she had her training in Odissi.[12]


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.[13][14]

Over the years, dance has taken her all over the world[15] and brought her many awards, including the Padma Bhushan (1992),[16] Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987, [17] 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.[18] 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.[19]

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,[13] which also won the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film for the year.[20]

In 2018, she was honoured with Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship also known as Akademi Ratna, for her contribution in the field of performing arts.[21]





Further reading

See also


  1. ^ "Sonal Mansingh, Ram Shakal among four nominated to RS". The Times of India. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Former MP Ram Shakal, RSS leader Rakesh Sinha among four nominated to Rajya Sabha". New Indian Express. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  3. ^ "President nominates RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha among three others to Rajya Sabha". The Economic Times. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Padma Bhushan Awards 1992" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Freedom fighter, 'Didi of Dangs', dies at 103 in Surat". The Indian Express. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  6. ^ Sonal Mansingh University of Alberta website,
  7. ^ National centre for the performing Arts. Quarterly journal. v.12-13, page 3
  8. ^ Sonal Mansingh: The dance of life The Times of India, 9 November 2003.
  9. ^ Khokar, Ashish Mohan (17 May 2018). "Sonal: The 22-carat dancer". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  10. ^ Sonal Mansingh
  11. ^ "The art of diplomacy". The Indian Express. 31 October 1999. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Sonal Mansingh". Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  13. ^ a b Biography Archived 2009-07-28 at the Wayback Machine Official website.
  14. ^ Sonal Mansingh Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Interview
  16. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  17. ^ Awards Odissi Archived 16 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine Sangeet Natak Akademi official website.
  18. ^ Sonal
  19. ^ "String of awards for Sonal Mansingh", The Hindu, 27 April 2007.
  20. ^ "Sonal". Archived from the original on 26 June 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2008.
  21. ^ "Akademi Ratna for Rajya Sabha MP Sonal Mansingh". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  22. ^ a b Art and Culture Hindustan Times, 18 March 2008.
  23. ^ "Famous Personalities of India". Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
  24. ^ Legends of India Archived 2008-04-16 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Kalam presents Padma awards".
  26. ^ "Lifetime achievement award for Sonal Mansingh - Times of India". The Times of India. 20 November 2019.
  27. ^ India, The Hans (15 September 2016). "Lifetime achievement award for Sonal Mansingh".
  28. ^ Sonal Mansingh Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine