Meghna grew up among dancers and musicians at the Nrityalaya Academy for Music and Dance at Singapore, where she took stage for the first time as baby Siddhartha at the age of 3. With this began a lifelong passion for classical dance.

Meghna started formal training in Odissi at the age of 5 in Singapore, under her mother Sahana Das, a highly experienced Odissi dancer & choreographer. After moving to India (Bangalore), Meghna joined the Nrityagram city classes, and trained under their able and generous guidance, absorbing the form and polish of the Nrityagram school of Odissi.

After nearly 16 years of rigorous training in Odissi, Meghna joined the Nrityantar Academy of Performing Arts and their Odissi Dance Ensemble, under Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra. As a part of Nrityantar, Meghna has performed in several highly acclaimed recitals in and out of Bangalore, including the Mukhteshwar Festival 2016. Meghna's professional debut performance was done in 2012 in Bangalore, to great acclaim. Since then, she has performed all over India, and abroad in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the US, Colombia and Italy and has attracted enthusiastic appreciation from audiences.

Currently pursuing a PhD in Performing Arts under Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, and TDU, Bangalore, Meghna is also the recipient of the national Chinta-O-Chetana Baishaki Award for her accomplishments as a young dancer and a graded Doordarshan artist, Meghna has been critically acclaimed for her technical finesse and grace. Her fluidity, grace and adherence to the purity of the Odissi dance style has made her stand out as a significant Odissi dancer today.

Meghna Das
Bangalore, India
meghnadas89@gmail.com

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  • Meghna has been fortunate in her teachers over the years. She began formal training in Odissi at the age of 4, under her mother and Guru, Smt. Sahana Das, at the Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society in Singapore. On moving back to India, Meghna spent 4 formative years enrolled in the Nrityagram city classes. She is currently a senior dancer and soloist in the Nrityantar Academy of Performing Arts, under the direction of Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra. She has also learnt theory and attended workshops from stalwarts of Indian classical dance including Smt. Minal Prabhu and Smt. Aruna Mohanty.

  • Smt. Sahana Das

    Smt. Sahana Das is a highly experienced dancer and choreographer, who began her classical training under the renowned Guru, Padmashree Mayadhar Raut at the age of 5. After nearly 20 years under his direct guidance and performing all over the country, Sahana Das, an A grade Doordarshan artiste, taught at Nrityalaya in Singapore, where she introduced Odissi, and choreographed for several original dance dramas. Nrityala awarded Sahana with the title of Nritya Kala Nipuna for her contributions towards promoting the Odissi dance style.

    It was at Nrityala, that Meghna was born into the world of classical Odissi. Today, Sahana heads the Dept. of Communication Studies at Mount Carmel College. In addition to choreographing and directing several dance and theatre performances, she continues to be Meghna's guide and mentor.

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  • Nrityagram

    Nrityagram is a leading dance company, founded by Protima Gauri Bedi in Bangalore. Currently under the direction of Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy, the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble is famous around the world for their impeccable technique, flawless coordination and giving a contemporary relevance to the Odissi dance style. The dancer at Nrityagram live, breathe and practice Odissi in a rigorous residential program, studying dance like a holistic lifestyle. Today, they run several training programs, both residential and in the city.

    Meghna joined the Nrityagram city classes in 2004 and continued to train with them till 2008. During her time there, she had the privilege of performing at Vasanthabba in front of 4000 people. In 2014, Meghna attended a month-long dancer's workshop at Nrityagram, and continues to be greatly inspired by them and their work.

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  • Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra

    An accomplished Odissi dancer and teacher, Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra began learning Sambalpuri folk dance, and Odissi as a child. She was trained by Guru Krushna Chandra Sahoo in Bhawanipatna and later by Guru Pabitra Kumar Pradhan in Bhubaneshwar. She then joined the Orissa Dance Academy and continued under the guidance of Padmashree awardees Guru Gangadhar Pradhan and Guru Smt. Aruna Mohanty. Having received her Nrutya Acharya from the Orissa Dance Academy and Nrutya Shastri from the Sangeet Natak Academy, Madhulita now runs her own Odissi dance ensemble, Nrityantar, in Bangalore.

    Meghna joined the Nrityantar Academy in 2011 and is now a student of Madhulita’s and a member of the Nrityantar Odissi Dance Ensemble.

    Read Meghna's tribute interview to Madhulita here.

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  • Meghna Das was introduced to the professional stage as a performer very early, at the age of 3, at the Drama Centre in Singapore. Since then, she has performed all over India and abroad to culturally diverse audiences. Her technical finesse and dedication to tradition has appealed to connoisseur audiences. At the same time, her grace and aesthetics has delighted even audiences less familiar with Indian classical dance.

    Meghna is motivated not only to perform, but also to promote Odissi by reaching out to audiences everywhere. She says: "If the audience doesn't get it, it is probably my own limitation, not the irrelevance of my Art." This thought keeps her forever pushing the bar for herself ever higher.

  • Lecture-demonstrations, Workshops & Choreography

    A dancer, if she is great, can give to the people something that they can carry with them forever. They can never forget it, and it has changed them, though they may never know it.
    - Isadora Duncan

    Meghna has been a regular guest speaker at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore conducting lecture-demonstrations in Odissi, Natyashastra and body conditioning to promote the appreciation of the dance form.

    She has given lecture-demonstrations at institutions around the country and the world, including:
    - Centre for Learning, Bangalore
    - Mallya Aditi, Bangalore
    - Delhi Public School, Gurgaon
    - Hansraj College, Delhi
    - University of Washington, Seattle

    She has also conducted workshops for students of Odissi in:
    - Bangalore
    - Bogotà, Colombia
    - Rome, Italy

    Deeply interested in theatre, Meghna has often been invited to choreograph dance movements for professional theatre. She has been the movement director for plays like 'Gasping' directed by Ashish Sen and 'Gossips of 47' directed by Kamal Pruthi.

    In addition, Meghna has enjoyed working with dancers of other styles, both Indian and Western, and has co-choreographed duets and group performances that celebrate the joy of dancing.

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  • Solo Performances

    If I cannot dance, I shall die!
    - Anna Pavlova

    Meghna Das began her Odissi performances early, at the age of 3, while she was in Singapore. She continues to perform there, even to this day, at venues like The Drama Centre, The Esplanade and The Arts House.

    Since moving back to India, Bangalore, at the age of 7, she has performed at several prestigious venues like Chowdia Memorial Hall, ADA Ranga Mandira, Ravindra Kalakshetra, Nayana and Yavanika. She has been invited for solo performances in Bangalore at Sai Nrityotsava, World Dance Day, Dance Discourse, and more. She has also performed twice at the ICCR hosted Every Friday Cultural Programme.

    Outside Bangalore, in India, she has performed solo in New Delhi, Mangalore, Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar. In Bhubaneswar, especially, Meghna has earned recognition as a dancer to watch out for, performing at festivals like the Mukhteshwar Festival, Odissi International Festival and the Mahari Festival.

    Abroad, apart from performances in Singapore, Meghna has performed at cultural centres in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. Her performances there were specially appreciated by international audiences.

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  • Duets & Group Performances

    Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances.
    - Maya Angelou

    Performing with other dancers has its own challenges and Meghna has been fortunate to have worked with highly talented artists from all over the world. Her first major group performance, at the age of 14, was under the impeccable guidance of Surupa Sen of Nrityagram at Vasanthabba in Bangalore.

    Since 2011, Meghna has performed as part of Nrityantar Odissi Dance Ensemble, under the able directorship of Odissi Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra, where she has performed extensively in pairs and groups as a part of the ensemble.

    Meghna has also collaborated with very talented dancers across the world in the styles of Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Butoh and more.

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  • Freedom to a dancer means discipline. That is what technique is for - liberation.
    - Martha Graham

    Dance is a universal expression of joy and Meghna is riveted by the possibilities offered by collaborations with other dance and theatre styles. She uses the traditional format of Odissi as a tool to explore parallel responses in other styles, which in turn remain true to the boundaries of their individual form.

    In this spirit, Meghna has worked with experienced dancers in Kathak and Bharatanatyam in India and performed duets with them at performances hosted by ICCR. Meghna has also worked with Western dancers, from Adelphi University in the US, Ballet and contemporary dancers from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia and a Butoh dancer from Japan.

    Through works in the past and several projects coming up in the future, Meghna hopes to push the boundaries of her art form as well as her own as a performer.

  • Neelachal

    Neelachal is a celebration of Odissi dance and music in it's purest, most traditional form. Through the archival collections of Smt. Sahana Das, this production revisits the work of Padmashree awardee Guru Mayadhar Raut.

    Under Meghna's direction, three dancers from the Nrityantar Odissi Dance Ensemble worked on recreating some old pieces from a traditional Odissi repertoire, many of which hadn't been performed in decades. The performance took place in Bangalore in July 2017, with the accompaniment of 4 eminent musicians from Orissa, adding the irreplaceable flavour of live music to this lively performance.

    Met with love, appreciation and applause, Meghna hopes to make Neelachal an annual event in Bangalore in the years to come.

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  • Samam

    Through a collaboration with Bhartnatyam dancers Shruti Gopal and Preethi Bharadwaj, Samam explores the overlaps and contrasts of Odissi and Bharatnatyam in terms of music, movement and storytelling.
     
    Through pure dance, the performers explore Nritta in the two distinct styles, through abhinaya, two stories are told in different styles and through the themes like the Ardhanarishwar and ashtapadis, parallels are drawn between two distinct and yet complementary art forms.
     
    A combination of solos and duets, this production was first conceptualised in 2016. It did its first tour of Italy in October 2016, which involved performances, workshops and lecture-demonstrations in Rome and Florence, to great acclaim and appreciation. In 2017, Samam will premier in Bangalore and continue to re-vist Italy towards the end of the year.

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  • Anamika

    Meghna's first directorial venture, Anamika was written and conceptualised over a period of 2 years of research. Exploring themes of love, Bhakti and a search for purpose, Anamika is a collaborative production, including styles of Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kathak and Theatre. The cast includes high talented, passionate and accomplished young artists - Preethi Bharadwaj, Pooja Pant, Lekha Naidu and Meghna herself.

    Anamika is an amalgamation of classical Indian dances and theatre in English. It is set in the context of a modern urban woman in India today. It features three mythological Indian women whose lives revolve around Lord Krishna. In the course of the performance, these three women express their stories through classical dance forms of Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak. Making these experiences relevant in a contemporary context is Anamika – the modern, urban Indian woman.

    PRESS COVERAGE:
    Read about Anamika in Indulge, New Indian Express, My Theatre Cafe and The Deccan Chronicle

    The show has so far run to full houses in Bangalore for 5 shows, getting standing ovations, rave reviews and lots of love from artists, critics, and non-artists alike. The team is now gearing up for two shows in Mumbai on the 2nd of March, 2016 at NCPA.

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  • Manifest - Singapore, 2014

    Conceptualised, directed and produced by Jayanthi Siva-Lecolley, Manifest was an artistic production created in tribute to the late contemporary dancer and choreographer, Christina Sergeant. A collaboration of music, dance, theatre, poetry and movement arts, this production brought artists together from around the world to explore expression through different media.

    Meghna was invited to be a part of Manifest in January 2014, staged at the Arts House in Singapore. Through this production, she explored and developed her skills in improvisation, choreography and fusion work.

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  • Footsteps - Bangalore, 2013

    A collaboration with a team of dancers from Adelphi University, Long Island, USA culminated in a performance Footsteps, in the year 2013. This performance was designed to celebrate traditional Odissi in conjunction with Western Contemporary dance. The choreographies were done by Catherine Denisot-Lawrence and Meghna Das and performed by a team of 15 Ballet dancers from Adelphi and 3 Odissi dancers from Nrityantar Bangalore - Meghna Das, Anjali Raj Urs and Sonalika Padhi-Purohit.

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PHOTO CREDITS: Abhijith Madhukar, Anne Ciolfi Valluy, Ashuthosh Sheelavanth, Avinash Parsricha, Carlton Braganza, Giri Sekar, Hemanth Shriyan,
Kaushik Das, Lekha Naidu, Ravi Shankar, Tejas Tamobhid Patnaik, Tushar Das.

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A space for the thoughts, reviews, musings, questions and debates of a young, practicing dancer. Thanks for reading!