ARTIST’S PROFILE: VANESSA MARIA MIRZA
Vanessa Maria Mirza is a dancer, choreographer, visual artist and curator based in Kolkata, India. Her recent choreographic works include ‘Dream Realms’, ‘La Femme et La Mer’, ‘Her Song’. ‘Somebody’ and ‘Stronger’. Her choreography has been performed in Taiwan and India. Her work ‘Somebody’ was shortlisted for the Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards (PECDA) 2018. She collaborated with UK based theatre artist Imogen Butler-Cole for a new physical theatre production ‘Shashito Shorir/Disciplined Body’ as part of the Indo-European Residency in Kolkata supported by the British Council and CIMA Gallery. Recently she also collaborated with US music artist Zachary Ray for the choreography for his single ‘Let Go’. In May 2021 she was invited to create the solo ‘La Femme et la Mer’ for Emami Art as part of the ‘Performance in Response’ for a exhibition of paintings by K.C. Pyne and curated by Kolkata Centre for Creativity.
She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dance Bridges Festival and has represented the Festival at international forums including the British Dance Edition 2016 in Cardiff -UK, TPAM 2017-Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama-Japan, American Dance Recon 2017 in New York, Philadelphia & Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Berkshires), USA, Aerowaves Spring Forward Festival & Spotlight USA 2018 (Sofia & Plovdiv Bulgaria), Biennale de la Danse de Lyon 2018, (Lyon, France), CINARS Biennale 2018 (Montreal, Canada) and the Indo-French Malraux Seminar 2019 (New Delhi. India) organised by Institut Francais and the Embassy of France in India. She is an ATSA (Art Think South Asia) Fellow for 2018-2019 supported by the British Council, Goethe Institute, Khoj Foundation and Piramal Foundation.
As a Chin-Lin Foundation for Culture & Arts Scholarship recipient she has trained at Taipei National University of the Arts in the Master of Fine Arts (Choreography) program between 2008-2010 and 2011-2013. Her dance training includes studies in modern dance, ballet, contemporary dance, jazz, contact improvisation, tai chi, flamenco, martial arts and Balinese dance. Additionally, she has attended masterclasses at London School of Contemporary Dance (The Place, UK), Tanzfabrik Berlin (Germany), Hong Kong Dance Festival, Taipeidea Festival (Taipei, Taiwan) & CNDC (Angers, France).
Since 2004, she has taught and choreographed for a number of school and college concerts, social outreach programmes, dance companies and festivals in Kolkata and other parts of India.