One of the leading classical dancers of India, Madhavi Mudgal is a highly renowned exponent of the Odissi style. A prime disciple of the legendary Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, she is credited with bringing a greatly refined sensibility to her art form. She has received repeated acclaim in the major cities and dance festivals that have featured her throughout the world: among these have been the Edinburgh International Festival, U.K.; the Festival of India in USA; the Cervantino Festival, Mexico; Festival de la Mer, Mauritius; Vienna Dance Festival, Austria; Festival of Indian Dance, South Africa; Festival of Indian Culture, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Days of Indian Culture, Hungary; Festival of Indian Arts, London; the Avignon and Montpellier Festivals, France; Pina Bausch’s Festival, Wuppertal and Berlin Festpiele, Germany; Theatre de la Ville, Paris; Lyon Biennale, France; Festival Solo Donna at the Venice Biennale, Italy; and festivals of dance in Spain, Morocco, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan and the Indian subcontinent.
Of her dance, Alastair Macaulay writes after the Edinburgh Festival (Times Literary Supplement, London) :“A dancer to be compared with Margot Fonteyn. . .The proportions and coordination of her dancing were transporting. Its movement emanated from an inner calm, passing through a beautifully lively torso to reveal each dance with decisive architecture in time and space, before returning, often, to a still centre. . .”
Madhavi has been associated with the making of several films and audio- visuals on Odissi as well as with the organisation of some of the most widely appreciated specialised dance festivals in India.
Apart from establishing a niche in the international dance scene as a soloist, she has received critical acclaim for her choreographic works : her extensive training under renowned gurus from childhood, and her family’s musical background having provided her with a rare insight into the art of choreography. Her commitment to the continuation and augmentation of her chosen art form has seen her as one of the foremost teachers in her generation, initiating beginners as well as senior students into the finer nuances of Odissi at Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, one of the premier institutes in the country.
Numerous awards and honours have come her way, including the President of India’s award of Padma Shri, Grande Medaille de la Ville by the city of Paris, the Sanskriti Award, the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Delhi Government’s Parishad Samman, and the Nritya Choodamani, Chennai.
She has also been awarded the Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres by the Government of France.