York hosts international South Asian dance workshop

Dancers from around the world will soon gather at York for an intensive two-week program of workshops in South Asian classical and contemporary styles.  

Right: Sampradaya Dance Creations dancers Aarti Joseph (left) and Atri Nundy. Photo by Mansa Photography

Produced by Sampradaya Dance Creations in partnership with York University’s Department of Dance in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Britain’s Sampad, DanceIntense Canada offers dancers 18 to 30 years old a chance to work with internationally renowned master teachers and choreographers.

The young dancers will participate in two weeks of intense body conditioning, choreography and dance-related workshops from July 24 to Aug. 9 in the Department of Dance’s state-of-the-art studios at York’s Keele campus.

This is the first year DanceIntense has been offered in Canada. The program was launched by Sampad, a development agency for South Asian arts, in 2006 in Birmingham, England.

Lata Pada (MA ’96), an adjunct professor in York’s Dance Department and founding artistic director of Sampradaya Dance Creations, has recruited master teachers and choreographers from around the world to lead the workshops. These include acclaimed artists Shobana Jeyasingh from the United Kingdom, Ramli Ibrahim from Malaysia and Santosh Nair from India, as well as Allen Kaeja (MA ’09), Karen Kaeja (BFA  Spec. Hons. ’84), Brian Webb, Denise Fujiwara (BFA Spec. Hons. ’79), Carmen Romero (BA ’91)and York adjunct dance Professor Menaka Thakkar (DLitt ’93) from Canada.

Left: Lata Pada

Highlights of the two-week program will be two performances open to the public. The first will feature emerging young artists in the Participants Performance Showcase on July 25. The second is an Artists Performance Showcase on July 31, featuring established professional dance artists bharatanatyam master Ibrahim, Nair performing chau, kathak dancer Sudeshna Maulik, and contemporary dancers Allen and Karen Kaeja, Webb, Natasha Bakht and Nova Bhattacharya. 

Both shows take place in the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Theatre, Accolade East Building, at 7pm. Tickets ranging from $10 to $25 can be purchased from the York University Box Office at 416-736-5888. 

Sampradaya Dance Creations is an award-winning Canadian dance company founded by Pada in 1990 and is internationally recognized for forging new paradigms in Canada’s dance milieu.