FEATURED EVENTS & SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
Fall for Dance North presents, in partnership with Menaka Thakkar Dance Company and Nrtyakala - Academy of Indian Dance
ODISSI DANCE MASTER CLASS
WITH WORLD FAMOUS NRITYAGRAM
SURUPA SEN &
.MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH 7PM TO 9PM
90 Minute Class plus ½ hour discussion.
NRTYAKALA – Academy of Indian Dance, 11 Glen Cameron Road, Unit #1, Thornhill, Ontario
Admission: FREE -
Contact 905-763-6083, ext. 30 or email@example.com
For over two decades, Bijayini Satpathy has worked with Surupa Sen to research and expand the dance vocabulary of Odissi dance and together they have developed a style sourced from Yoga, Natyashastra, Kalaripayattu, Western fitness methods and Odissi body-conditioning exercises.
This programme is valuable for advanced learners, dancers and teachers. Limited class size.
NOTE: THE FALL FOR DANCE FESTIVAL runs September 29, 30 & October 1 at the SONY CENTRE .
All seats $10. For tickets and information go to www.ffdnorth.com
INTRODUCTION BY DR. MENAKA THAKKAR
NARTHAKI NATARAJ has been one of the most remarkable Bharatanatyam dancers to have emerged on the Indian dance Scene in recent times. Trained extensively and most rigorously in the Tanjavur style of Bharatanatyam by none other than Guru Kittappa Pillai, the last surviving descendent of the legendary ‘Tanjore Quartet’ of the 18th century, Narthaki dances over a wide range of the Tanjore repertoire. Her forte, however, is the Tanjore style Nayaki Bhava tradition and the rare compositions that were danced in the ancient Tamil temples. Today, she stands as the most accomplished performer and interpreter , particularly of Guru Kittappa’s works with their unique nuances. It is a great privilege to watch her dance on stage. She has performed at all leading festivals in India, USA, UK and Europe and has been widely honoured with awards and titles. She recently received the most prestigious Puraskar Award from the President of India and a Senior Fellowship from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, India.
HOWEVER, the significance of Narthaki’s presence on the dance scene of India goes far beyond her spell-binding artistry in dance. There is an enormous social significance that her honoured position carries with it which is indicative of a basic change in societal values and interpersonal behaviour. Narthaki is a Transgender artist, who would be traditionally despised and doomed to survive on the fringe of society. Today, by the sheer dint of her courage and determination coupled with talent and passion for art, she is universally respected and honoured. She has thus provided great inspiration to the transgender community and become their role model and leader. As a first step in her newly found social activism, She has coined a new term in Tamil , far more respectful and dignified, Thirunangai, to be used to address and identify the members of the transgender community. Several State Governments and other public institutions in South India have already accepted its usage in their official transactions. A small but very significant first step. I know, because I knew Narthaki 31 years ago ,and I was witness to her pain and struggle with social attitudes and treatment then.
I first met her in 1984 when I was making Visa arrangements to bring Guru Kittappaji here to provide musical accompaniment to me on my performing tour of Canada and USA. The first encounter was stunning. I was indeed deeply impressed by her passion for dance, but more moved and pained to hear about her torment , ridicule, rejections, hiding -even from her own people. The only solace and support came from her life- long friend Sakthi who was in an identical position herself. Slowly they gathered inner courage, left home, briefly engaged in a career of street dancing (about which she will talk and even demonstrate on the 18th), and went into a frustrating search for a true guru who would teach them classical dance. But they never gave up; instead they became all the more determined and stoic in the face of total insecurity and rootlessness.
Dr. Menaka Thakkar and Sudha Khandwani
are honoured to present
world renowned Bharatanatyam dancer
Winner of the Sangeet Academi Puraskar Award presented by the President of India and a Senior Fellowship Award from Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India (2014-2017) and disciple of Guru Kittappa Pillai of Tanjavur
Talk, Demonstration and Performance
(The Legacy of Guru Kittappa Pillai and the
Tanjavur Style of Bharatanatyam)
Q & A follows afterwards
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 18th, 2015
8pm to 10pm – Eastern Standard Time, Toronto Canada *
Doors open at 7:30 pm *
MENAKA THAKKAR DANCE STUDIO
11 Glen Cameron Road, Unit 1,
905-830-0453 ext. 30
* NOTE: Please note equivalent time for your location
In-Studio Event: PAY WHAT YOU CAN.
Limited seating in studio. Order Early!
Online Live Streaming to your personal device
Free or PAY WHAT YOU CAN.
ENCORE STREAMED ON THE INTERNET TO COMPUTERS AND DEVICES (available after 11 pm EST)
MAKE A DONATION TO OUR SCHOOL NRTYAKALA OR MENAKA THAKKAR DANCE COMPANY AND RECEIVE
A CHARITABLE TAX RECEIPT
continued....Introduction by Dr. Menaka Thakkar
Finally, by the time I met Narthaki in India, they had found Guruji. The greatness had met greatness –on both sides. On one side there was greatness achieved after going through an ordeal by fire, inner growth through a string of trial and test; on the other side there was already Guruji’s greatness resting in a state of grace—stable and effortless. He probably saw in them , the fire of true passion for dance; a readiness to go through any sacrifice that would be demanded of them to achieve their goal. Guruji accepted them as his disciples, gave them shelter in his own home, and a family to rest in love and a sense of belonging. The rest is a story of fulfilment, accomplishment and recognition.
This is where our event of the 18th evening comes into the story.
CLICK HERE AND WATCH AN EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH NARTHAKI NATARAJ
CULTURE DAYS EVENT
September 25th, 2015
Join Menaka Thakkar Artistic Director of Menaka Thakkar Dance Company for a FREE Workshop in Classical Indian Dance. No registration required. Teenagers and up.
Canada's Premiere Indian Dance Company Presents Live-Streaming of
"IN THE FURTHER SOIL"
Available to Presenters
"In the Further Soil” illustrates the journey that MENAKA THAKKAR has forged in founding the first professional school of Indian dance in Canada as well as forming the first professional Indian dance performance company which became the first culturally diverse dance organization to receive funding from Canada Council for the Arts. The title of this production comes from a poem by Rabindranath Tagore in which he speaks of the Banyan Tree that not only grows in its own soil but reaches its roots to the further soil which is an apt metaphor for the growth of Indian dance in Canada through the activities of Ms.Thakkar. The 2015 encore show will feature 20 company dancers and students from the school performing in classical Bharatanatyam, Odissi and contemporary works.
*Book Now to Reserve our Show for Students Grades K to 6*
April & May 2016 - Wise Monkey Foolish Crocodile - Youth Programming
"Wise Monkey Foolish Crocodile" is a timeless classic from the Panchatantra tales (an ancient Indian collection of animal fables in verse and prose) and was created in 1979 for the International Year of the Child. This dance drama is based upon creative dance movements that illustrate several classical an folk Indian dance styles. The delightful tale begins with a husband crocodile forced into a situation where he has to choose between being loyal to his wife or to the monkey. However, the wife’s loyalty is based on greed while the monkey’s is based on genuine friendship. The husband crocodile makes the wrong choice, choosing greed over friendship in the end, he loses his friend, and upsets with wife.
Contact Prologue to the Performing Arts for all WMFC bookings throughout GTA and Ontario.
June 2013 - Menaka Thakkar receives Governor General's Award
Dr. Menaka Thakkar was awarded the 2013 Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in a three day event held in Ottawa. Judges Citation: "In a career spanning some 50 years, Menaka Thakkar has made an extraordinary contribution as a dancer, choreographer, institution builder, and teacher. Acknowledged worldwide as a pioneer of Indian classical dance, this trail-blazing creator has had a profound effect on the appreciation and popularity of dance from a diversity of cultures. She is deeply committed to artistic integrity and excellence, and her vision and dedication have paved the way for countless emerging Canadian dance artists and organizations. Dr. Menaka is the first artist from a diverse community to receive this prestigious lifetime achievement award in dance.
Click here to view the Toronto Star article.
Click here to link to all Menaka Thakkar's awards and honours.
Menaka Thakkar Dance Company give thanks to our supporters:
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