BIOGRAPHIES OF ARTISTS

Chad Walasek

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Chad’s first exposures to South Asian classical dance came while
participating in a life-changing international exchange program
between Canada and India in 1993 and while working for a year in
Pakistan in 1998.  He subsequently began formal training in the
Hindustani classical arts under the guidance of Joanna de Souza,
disciple of Pandit Chitresh Das.  In 2008, he performed his debut
full-length traditional kathak solo.  As a kathak dancer in Joanna de
Souza’s Chhandam Dance Company, Chad performs locally and
internationally.  He also teaches at the M-DO/Kathak Toronto Centre
for World Music and Dance and heads its Mississauga Branch.  In
addition, he performs solo projects and collaborates with other
leading Toronto-based South Asian dance companies.  A former member of
the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, Chad has studied tabla with Ritesh Das.
Moreover, he has formally studied pakhawaj and the Urdu language while
spending eight months in Lucknow, India, as a part of his Master’s
Degree.  Chad is currently completing his degree through York
University, where he received several scholarships to conduct field
research on the development of kathak by prominent dancers in Lahore,
Pakistan, despite the difficult cultural climate for classical arts in
that country.

As native of rural north-eastern Ontario, with a background in the
sciences and a love of stories, Chad fell in love with kathak’s
rhythmic, mathematical and nature-mimicking aspects, as well as its
ability to directly engage with audience members through
movement-based story-telling.  Kathak is a life-long study; Chad
continues to learn under his teacher Joanna de Souza, to develop and
perform traditional and new Canadian repertoire and to work toward
increasing the understanding of Hindustani classical arts in Canada.

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