2014 Performers

Prashant Shah

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Performing at KMC on August 15th.

Prashant, a senior disciple of Padma Bhushan Smt. Kumudini Lakhia, is one of the very few critically acclaimed male performers/choreographers living in both New York and Ahmedabad. Prashant’s virtuosity in Kathak technique enables him to perform a vast repertoire with masculine grace without any flowery affectations, making him one of the most outstanding male dancers of his genre today. He is also the first recipient of SANGEET NATAK AKADEMI YUVA PURASKAR [National award] established by the President of India in the name of ‘Ustaad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ for Kathak dance. Prashant is also regularly commissioned by international choreographers involving other dance styles like Hip Hop, Belly Dancing, Flamenco, Bharat Natyam, Modern and Contemporary as a dancer & choreographer all over Europe, North America & Asia. He has received rave reviews for his works and performances from The New York Times, The Guardian, The Independent, San Francisco Chronicle, Dancing Times, The Star Ledger, Voice of Dance and more from different parts of the world. Prashant Shah heads the ARYA DANCE ACDEMY in the Kathak department alongside Rupal Patel, who is the director of ARYA.

Sudeshna Maulik


Performing at KMC on August 16th.

Sudeshna, a Kathak practitioner, is a most promising Indian Classical dancer. Based in Canada, she maintains an active performing career that spans throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

Sudeshna’s dance mastery in Kathak technique stems from years of training under Pt Chitresh Das, as well as at  Bharatiya Kala Kendra, New Delhi and later at Kathak Kendra, New Delhi under the guidance of Kathak legend Padmabhibhushan Birju Maharaj. Over the past few years she has been a part of Kadamb’s performing unit (Padmashri Kumidini Lakhia’s Dance Company).

Having imbibed from her teachers the best of different traditions, Sudeshna developed a style distinctly her own and has taken part in numerous productions throughout India and abroad, sponsored by the I.C.C.R., I.T.D.C, and International Dance Companies. Sudeshna is a graded artist in Delhi Doordarshan (National Telivision of India) and has performed at the Central Production Centre (C.P.C) in ballets choreographed by Guru Pt. Birju Maharaj Ji, Kumudini lakhia and Aditi Mangal Das.

Sudeshna integrates her passion and dedication for Kathak by developing specific projects by which she can incorporate her strong creative urge of self – exploration through her dance vocabulary.

Chandam Dance Company

4- Chhandam Dance Company 2011

Performers: Joanna deSouza, Chad Walasek, Kiran Phull, Ira Raina
Performing at KMC on August 15th.

Under the artistic direction Joanna de Souza, Chandam Dance Company brings the exciting and exacting elements of kathak to a contemporary ensemble setting. The dance style has an innate ability to absorb the influences of its environment without compromising the form itself. Moving easily between tradition and innovation, it reveals themes that are both common and mythic. Collaboration with diverse musical styles, dance forms, and contemporary themes are the inspiration for Chandam’s choreographic aesthetic.

Company members Kiran Phull, Chad Walasek, and Ira Raina are some of Toronto’s most accomplished kathak artists. They bring Chandam works to life with the dynamic use of technique, musicality, costuming and staging – setting this South Asian dance company apart from all others.

M-DO Kathak Dance

M-DO_KathakToronto Peshkar

Performers: Tippi Chai, Sucheta Heble, Crystal D’Silva, Mihaela Dirlea, Tanvi Shetty, Naaila Sangrar
Performing on August 14th.

Bios to come.

Parul Gupta


Parul Gupta’s training includes Kathak, Bharatha Natyam, Urban Dance, Modern Dance and Hatha Yoga. Over the past six years she has been particularly focused on her study of Kathak, in both Canada and India, under the esteemed guidance of Sandhya Desai, Sudeshna Maulik, Pandit Jai Kishan Maharaj & Ruby Mishra and the renowned Kumudini Lakhia. Parul is the founder and artistic director of Infusion Dance Studios, based in Toronto and Montreal. Her choreographies are part of the Cirque du Soleil productions “Love”, “Kooza” & “Totem”. Parul’s scholastic degrees include a M.B.A. from the Richard Ivey School of Business (Western University) and a B.Sc. in Molecular Biology from Concordia University. Recent performance credits include full length Kathak solos in the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre (Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts) in January 2014, Vancouver’s annual India Classical Dance Festival “ Gait to the Spirit” and at the Sampradaya Theatre in Mississauga for the “Horizon Series” in 2013. Parul believes that dance should be performed with instinctive expression and strong technique and that dance is within everyone.

Shanta Chikarmane


Performing at KMC on August 16th.

Shanta Chikarmane started her Kathak training in India under the renowned Jaya Kumari of Jaipur Gharana.  She is one of the senior dancers of Rina Singha Kathak Dance Organization and has performed in several of Rina Singha Dance Organization’s productions including Yeshu Katha, Prithvi-an Earth Narrative, Christmas Windows,  Beauty of Kathak, Manzilien, Kathak Mahotsav Canada 2008 and 2011.  She has worked with seniors in Retirement and Nursing Homes as a Recreation Director.  She has created tableaus, dances and dance theatre work for the Konkani Community in Toronto, and continues her Kathak training under Rina Singha. Shanta will be performing at KMC on August 16th.

Tanveer Alam


Tanveer will be performing at KMC on August 15th. Bio to come.

Panwar Music and Dance Productions


Sharda Samaroo
Performing at KMC on August 14th.

Sharda Devi Samaroo is a passionate Kathak dancer and an active company member of Panwar Music and Dance. She has been learning Indian classical dance since the tender age of 5, and has accomplished a lot in such a short span due to her strong foundation in another classical discipline -Bharatnatyam. She has completed the intensive training Kathak program under the tutelage of Shri Hemant and Vaishali Panwar. As a company dancer she has also conducted Kathak workshops in Toronto and Richmond Hill along with teaching junior classes at the Panwar Music and Dance Academy. Sharda has also had the privilege of collaborating and working with artist of different classical dance styles, and in doing so she has had the opportunity to perform in various productions all over Canada including Thunderbay, Saskatoon, Regina, Hamilton, and innumerous programs in and around the GTA.

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Divya Gossai
Performing at KMC 2014 on August 14th.

Divya Gossai has been a company dancer of Panwar Music and Dance since its inception in 2009, under the direction of Guru Hemant and Vaishali Panwar. She started learning kathak from the age of 5 and is also trained in Bharatnatyam. She is a very active member of Panwar Music and Dance, from hosting workshops to assisting in teaching classes. She has performed in various places such as Calgary, Saskatchewan, Thunder Bay, Guyana and within the GTA.  She has also accompanied her teachers in many Kathak recitals as Sitar player and vocalist.

Tarana Dance Company

Brittany Singh IMG_7492 

Performers (from left): Brittany Singh, Preya Balgobin, Nadine Sandhu
Performing on August 14th.

Bios to come.

Usha Kala Niketan


Performers: Marla Palakkamanil, Riya Alika Mittal
Performing on August 14th.

Bios to come.

Namita and Anjuli Deodhare


Namita Deodhare
Performing at KMC on August 16th.

Namita Deodhare is a Canadian born accomplished senior Kathak Dancer, who has been performing since the age of 4. She has been practicing Kathak for the past 15 years, and has trained at Gopikrishana Dance school Mumbai and at DishaArts Dance Academy. Currently she is learning with Shilpa Save at Taal Academy.

Namita has had the opportunity to learn from many renounced Gurus including Pandit Biraju Maharaj, Shri Maulik Shah, Smt. Asha Joglekar, and Ms. Aditi Bhagwat.  She has been performing Solos on stage since the age of 5.  Her achievements include Dance Istyle Toronto trophy; Boogie/Woodie-Sony TV, Canada Championship, and Boogie/Woogie-Sony US; International Trophy for Kathak.