Aditi Mangaldas

The renowned kathak/contemporary choreographer Aditi Mangaldas, based in New Delhi, is now in her sixties. She shares advice from a lifetime of experience – about letting dance re-emerge and stepping into the forest of dance.

Dance Gazette | Advice Bureau | Issue 8 - October 2023

The best advice I ever received
Advice comes in many forms. Some that you immediately respond to and some that impact you throughout your life.

Years ago, during one of the most difficult periods of my life, I felt dance had abandoned me. At that point my maternal grandmother advised me to wear my ghungroos (bells that all Indian classical dancers wear around their ankles) and just ‘be’. Not dance. But go about my daily activities in the house with my ankle bells on.

She said that gradually the resonance of the bells will fill my being… the weight of the bells will ground me… the feet will remember their rhythm… imagination will take flight and dance will re-emerge from within.

How very true she was. I have kept her words close to my heart. Every time dance seems to abandon me, I re-embody my grandmother’s words.

The advice I would pass on
Does the journey itself reward you? Or is it only the goal? For great artistry to blossom it is the process in which we should be completely immersed; with honesty, humility and rigour.

It is only when the journey itself bears fruit, when the journey evokes fragrances, valleys and peaks, that the goal becomes that much more profound and meaningful. Then the dancer in you has actually lived the dance! Don’t wait for the mist to clear, step into the fog – into the forest of dance. If not sight, fragrance will surely guide you.

Aditi Mangaldas in Forbidden. Photo: Von Fox Promotions


A trailer for Aditi Mangaldas’ Forbidden


RAD Q&A post

Susan Coles

Dance Gazette

Read more

REST OF Issue 8 - October 2023

Art of the matter post

Grand reverence

As he retires from the RAD, Artistic Director Gerard Charles reflects on the lessons of his tenure – and says farewell in model ballet style!


Curtain up!

The Fonteyn, the RAD’s flagship ballet competition, returns to the live stage this year. But how does it feel to be part of this cherished event? Rosemary Waugh hears from dancers, teachers and crucial figures behind the scenes.

Big Picture post

Dancing Times archive

The Dancing Times archive has been saved – by the RAD.

Inside RAD post


The RAD is progressing its safeguarding work, for members and students.

RAD Q&A post

Susan Coles

Susan Coles was a beloved RAD teacher. Her daughter Emma Tonkin describes the RAD bursary set up in Susan’s memory.


The long goodbye

What happens when a student decides to move away from ballet? How do teachers feel when someone they have known since childhood leaves their class? Alice Robb explores how to say goodbye to ballet.


High hopes

Ballet classes shouldn’t depend on income, says Peruvian RAD teacher Marícarmen Silva. Dan Collyns visits her school in Lima to hear about resilience and turning trash into opportunity.

Why Dance Matters post

Alice Oseman

The creator of Heartstopper describes what dance has given them.



Who does the daredevil stunts for action movies – and why does a ballet background help? Veronica Horwell investigates.


Total immersion

Audiences flock to immersive theatre experiences, choosing their own path through action that happens all around them. But what are they like to perform? Writer and dancer Isaac Ouro-Gnao shares a view from the inside.

Playlist post

Sonya Lindfors

A transporting playlist from the ‘hiphop head’ and Cameroonian-Finnish choreographer.



Industrial action is rare in the ballet world – but artists from Melbourne to Paris and London are protesting over pay and conditions. Jane Albert reports on what it takes for dancers to strike.

Fonteyn bronze medallist Ed Cooley. Photo: Martin Bell

Sound of The Fonteyn

The Fonteyn – the RAD’s prestigious international ballet competition – took place in person for the first time since 2019. The final was held at His Majesty’s Theatre, the opulent London theatre that is home to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera – and Dance Gazette was there to capture the evening in sound.