“Why did you pick me?” asked Sonal Mansingh. “To probe the life of a celebrated Dancer, to see up close the woman behind the mysterious persona,” replied her biographer, Sujata Prasad.
Thus was the traditional interview cheekily inverted, in the flowing ‘The Dancer and the Dance’ session on Sunday at JLF. “I don’t think I’ve done anything great, though much has been made of it!” joked the feted Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancer, as candid as she’s always been.
“Sujatha has unraveled a few of my life’s mysteries – but all is not what you see!”
“I only want to dance,” the young Sonal told her mother, when, in exasperation, she had asked her feisty daughter what she wanted to make of her life. The girl abandoned a youth of gilded privilege for a life as a dancer, collecting her scholarship money and taking the train to Bangalore (via Pune), to be with her guru. “It was a good age for running away!”
From the beginning, Mansingh possessed a fiercely independent streak, but she takes exception to being labelled a Feminist.
“It upsets me somewhat because I think I’m a humanist. I’m an artist and a humanist. And if I’m a feminist, so be it.”
But her fiery excoriation of Yudhishthra, and every man of a weak mind, was all feminist. “The title given to him, Dharmaraj, is tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic. For this idiot, this nincompoop, stakes Draupadi, his wife – how could he?
“And the questions Draupadi asked of the Pandavas, after being disrobed, these questions have never been answered.”
To create great art, said Mansingh, you have to break the rules, something she’s never shied away from doing. “I would like to be a woman in my next seven births. But I wouldn’t want to be a dancer, though I would make people dance.”
And one wish remains. “I’m still looking for a wonderful man, someone with wit and humour – please wish me luck!”
Source : timesofindia