Mangala Bhatt, is a popular figure in the field of Kathak, in Hyderabad and Delhi, and across the globe wherever her students are settled or she herself has performed. As a youngster, Mangala enrolled at Kathak Kendra New Delhi, and began learning Kathak under late Shri Kundanlal Gangani of Jaipur Gharana. She later took advanced training under Kathak Maestro late Pandit Durga Lal ji from whom she absorbed his brilliant technique and mastered the dazzling cadence and subtle nuances of Kathak.
A recipient of the National Scholarship from the Government of India and Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, Mangala successfully completed the post diploma course of the Kathak Kendra and Visharada with distinction from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi. Apart from performing solos, Mangala has also participated in group recitals choreographed by Guru Pt. Durga Lal and Pt. Birju Maharaj. She is also an empanelled artist of Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Doordarshan. She taught numerous students at Sangeet Bharati and Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. Mangala also worked as a Teacher and Performer at the Indian Cultural Centre, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, under the auspices of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, Government of India, from 1996 to 1999. She has also successfully developed a syllabus with a multi-dimensional approach to Kathak with strong fundamentals.
Mangala has performed on many important occasions. Some sterling performances include at Yuva Mahotsav by Sahitya Kala Parishad, Spirit of Freedom Concert in memory of Pt. Durga Lal at Siri Fort Auditorium, Vasanth Utsav by Kalashram of Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Durga Lal Memorial Society, Jayanti Mohotsav by Kathak Kendra, and at the India International Centre, New Delhi. She has given performances all over India and in various countries like USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore, Egypt, West Indies, Malaysia, Russia, Philippines, Myanmar, Mauritius, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Mexico and many others.
The Kathak dancer has successfully innovated and experimented with multiple other art forms as collaborations, including painting, poetry, instruments, and others. Some of her popular productions include Parish, a combination of visual and performing art, simultaneously with unity as the theme. Pratyav Bhasa, a choreographic amalgamation of three dance forms, Kathak, Contemporary Western, and Kalaripayatu. Reverence, a choreography on Sufi Poetry for the occasion of Suffiyana Shyam. Confluence, a choreography of Kathak on traditional Uzbek and Russian Music, Conversing in Twilight, Chakush Path, Aventuire, Downbeat, Wanderer, Amalgam, and Maharaja Swati Thirunal’s Poetry and numerous others.
The artist established Aakruti Kathak Kendra in 1990, with a mission to impart values, devotion, and discipline. Students learn the external of Kathak while internalizing the philosophy behind the art form, learning that lasts a life time. Through various activities such as weekly dance classes, workshops, lecture demonstrations and research into the interfacing of Kathak with other art forms, the institute offers multiple ways to engage with Kathak. International students from across the world get a scholarship opportunity to train at the institute, including students from ICCR. Aakruti has been conducting Antarang, a festival dedicated to Kathak Maestro Pt. Durga Lal Ji every year since 1998. Tarang, a presentation is also a yearly feature where every student is given the platform to express their learning. The school is committed to preserving, promoting and facilitating Kathak in India and across World.
Mangala has been honoured with State awards from both Telugu speaking states. She received State Award from former united Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Shri. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Ugadi Celebrations; Also, from former Chief Minister Shri. N. Chandra Babu Naidu on Andhra Formation Day Celebrations State Award 2017; and Chief Minister Shri. K. Chandrashekar Rao, Govt. of Telangana State Award. She also received Woman Achiever award from Shri. Nara Lokesh, Minister for IT, Government of Andhra Pradesh. She was felicitated by President Shri. K.R. Narayanan on his official visit to Hyderabad. On global map, she received felicitations from Mayor of Surrey, BC, Canada for contribution to Indian culture in Canada, Uzbekistan, Singapore, Russia and Kazakhstan.