A multi-disciplinary performer, Ulka Simone Mohanty hails from Montreal, Canada. A dancer/choreographer with roots in Indian classical and contemporary dance, and not to mention several martial arts, she is also an accomplished stage, film and voiceover actor.
What projects you are currently working on?
I am hoping to launch an exciting new dance show called In|Expiration led by imminent choreographer and performer Sheetal Gandhi. It is a new performance piece that will blend classical Indian dance forms, contemporary dance, theatre, voiceover, tap, and percussive breath-work. It will be a piece that touches on identity, the imperative of breath, the repercussions of race-fueled violence, and the creation of the Universe. So, no small undertaking!
In terms of ongoing projects, I currently voice the character of Dr. Kapur on the popular kids’ show Nina’s World, on Sprout Network. That show is a joy to work on, and I’m so glad it’s doing well. I’m proud to say it’s one of my little niece’s favourite shows.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Walker’s shortbread cookies. So delicious!
I love the saying, “Risk it for the Biscuit”. What does your end biscuit look like?
I envision a life where I am continually making art that matters, that entertains and fulfills me as well as my audiences. That, and living a life of abundance, surrounded by loved ones. Love, and art, really, and at the highest, deepest levels.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
First and foremost, my closest friends and family continually inspire me. In terms of specific icons my go-to inspirations are artists like Shohreh Aghdashloo, Priyadarshini Govind, Tracy Ullman and the late Leonard Nimoy.
How long have you been living in LA?
I’ve been in LA about 4.5 years, now, and it felt like home very quickly. What I really love most about LA is the drive and motivation of people around me, and in this city, in general. Here, big projects are imagined and many do actually come to life. I feel it is a place of immense possibility, one that can potentially overwhelm you, but one I personally find motivating and energizing. Being in the California sun, I certainly don’t miss the unending months of a Québec winter, but I have to say, I do miss a good thunderstorm.
What did you want to do when you were growing up?
I wanted to act and dance and eat delicious food. Achieved! Now, to further elevate those dreams.
Dogs or cats?
Both! I love all animals. Although, if I had to pick one way to lean, I tend slightly more to dogs than to cats.
What does hell look like to you?
Being in a perpetual state of wishing for something more, and feeling trapped or being unable to take action out of stagnation or drudgery.
What does heaven look like?
See, my answer to the “biscuit” question. 🙂
What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
I look forward to exciting artistic projects, to unleashing more art, and more of me upon the world at large. Big, big, luminous dreams.
To find out more about the very cool projects Ulka has for 2017, check out her website. http://ulkamohanty.com/