Singarmani Sharmila Mukharjee
Sharmila Mukerjee made her debut in 1982 as 'Prakriti' in Rabindranath Tagore's dance ballet 'Chandalika' which was staged in Kolkata during the poet's birth anniversary celebrations. However, it was the grace and lyrical beauty of Odissi that attracted Sharmila to this dance form and in 1984, she began her lessons in Odissi under the guidance of Smt. Poushali Mukherjee in Kolkata. Thereafter, she continued her rigorous and intensive training, under the tutelage of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata. Since then, she has participated in many productions, choreographed and directed by Guruji, all over India. She also took lessons in Odissi from Smt. Sharmila Biswas and attended workshops by Smt. Sanjukta Panigrahi.
Sharmila's diligence and grace soon captured the attention of critics and connoisseurs of dance, leading her to establish herself as one of the finest exponents of Odissi in India. Having won the title of Singar Mani from the Sur Singar Samsad (Mumbai), she is also a Grade A artist of Doordarshan and an Established artist of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. She taught Odissi at Calcutta School of Music and took an active part in the administration of the dance wing in the institute as Secretary of the Indian Music Section.
Sharmila Mukerjee taught dance and movement therapy at The Oral School for Deaf Children (Kolkata) and Sheila Kothwala Institute for Deaf (Bangalore) and has choreographed and directed many productions with hearing impaired children in both the cities.
After moving to Bangalore, Sharmila established her own institute - Sanjali Centre for Odissi Dance, where she continues to train many students while keeping busy with performances of herself and her group.
Sanjali Centre for Odissi Dance (Bengaluru) was established in 2004 by Sharmila Mukerjee. This dance institute provides a complete education in the Odissi dance form-the technique, the skills, the tradition, the sadhana and the fulfillment. This institute primarily provides training in the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra style of Odissi. The students of this institute are given a platform to showcase their skills in the dance form and encouraged to perform in various prestigious festivals and programs.
The performing wing of Sanjali Center for Odissi Dance specializes in thematic Odissi presentations, which display the lyrical and graceful quality of this dance form. This group is committed to promote Odissi dance all over the world by performing different choreographic productions and also by teaching and conducting lecture demonstrations and workshops on Odissi, under the guidance and leadership of Sharmila Mukerjee.