Vanessa Maria Mirza is a choreographer, visual artist and curator based in Kolkata, India.
Her recent choreographic works include ‘Dream Realms’, ‘Under Face’, ‘I Do Care About You’, ‘Her Song’. ‘Somebody’, ‘Stronger’ and ‘Why Not’. 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. She has also recently collaborated with US music artist Zachary Ray for the choreography for the music video for his single ‘Let Go’.
She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dance Bridges Festival a biennial international dance festival – with its next edition taking place in August 2021 – showcasing cutting-edge contemporary choreography. She 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).
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. She has worked closely with international choreographers: Ming Lung Yang (USA/Taiwan), Hsiao Mei Ho (Taiwan), Graeme Collins (Australia) and performed in works by Sheenru Yong (Taiwan/USA), Leng Poh Gee (Malaysia), I-Fen Tung (Taiwan) & Rebekah Lind (USA). She was invited to present her dance research at the University of Madison in Wisconsin, USA and at the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Angers, France. Additionally she has attended masterclasses at London School of Contemporary Dance (The Place, UK), Hong Kong Dance Festival, Taipeidea Festival (Taipei, Taiwan) & CNDC (Angers, France).
Since 2004, she has taught and choreographed for a number of concerts and dance events for Buoyant Performing Arts, Connecting Arts Project, Unicorn Street Arts Festival, Rhythmosaic Dance Institute, La Martinere for Girl’s School, Modern High School for Girls’, Don Bosco School (Park Circus), Assembly of God Church, Charisma House, Pailan World School, Park English School & Calcutta Girl’s School. She has taught workshops at The Doodle Room, Calcutta School of Music, St. Xavier’s College, Loretto College, The Creative Arts (TCA), Project Rescue and Stars Welfare Society.
She has worked with Rhythmosaic Dance Company as Faculty for Choreography Studies for their one year certificate course program from 2013-2017. She teaches regular classes at The Doodle Room and collaborates in dance/arts projects with locally based practitioners and international artists. Vanessa also holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.
As a visual artist she has had solo/group exhibitions at Taj Bengal Hotel, The Country House Cafe & Mirage Art Gallery and has worked as Visual Arts Director with Chaitown Creatives between 2015-2016.