Manjusri Chaki - Sircar

Born in 1934 in Berhampur, West Bengal, Shrimati Manjusri Chaki-Sircar is a leading choreo- grapher in contemporary Indian dance. Initially a student of Shri Prahlad Das of Calcutta, she trained in Manipuri Jagoi with Ojha Atomba Singh, in Bharatanatyam under Shri Maruthappa Pillai and Shrimati Lalita Sastry, in Kathakali with Shri Gopal Pillai, in Odissi under Shri Chandrashekhar Pattanayak and Shri Indra Kumar Mohanty, and in Lai Haraoba with Shrimati Rajani Maibi. Later, she trained in the dances of Nigeria and attended Merce Cunningham’s workshops in modern dance. Resident in the United States for several years, she returned to India in 1981 and set up her company — Dancers’ Guild — in Calcutta which she heads as Artistic Director. Over the past decade she has developed a distinctive stylistic framework and training methodology at Dancers’ Guild. Her work has explored themes such as environment, women in society, war and the seasons. Her major choreographic works include Tomori Matir Kanya, Chitrang- ada, Rag O Rupantar, Aranya Amrita, Tasher Desh and Charoiveti. Shrimati Chaki-Sircar has performed widely with Dancers’ Guild in India and abroad. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University and is the author of a book on Lai Haraoba, Feminism in a Tradi- tional Society. Shrimati Manjusri Chaki- Sircar receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to creative dance.