Vancouver draws Indian classical dancers

Published: October 17, 2013
Vancouver

Richmond’€™s Rena Boggaram knew she wanted to be an Indian classical dancer at age nine. Submitted Photo

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Richmond’s Rena Boggaram can fondly remember childhood outings with her mom to watch classical Indian dance performances whenever the dancers came to B.C.

But it wasn’t until she was nine-years-old that she saw Jai Govinda, now artistic director of Vancouver’s Mandala Arts and Culture, perform that she was inspired to become a dancer.

“He was pure classical (Indian dance) and I fell in love with the art form,” Boggaram said. “I saw him perform and I told my mom, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”

Fortunately, Govinda moved from Montreal to Vancouver in 1994 and opened his own dance academy. Boggaram, who was one of his first students, today teaches alongside him.

Boggaram will be performing kathak, the northern Indian classical dance form, at Mandala Arts and Culture’s fourth annual Gait to the Spirit Festival, a celebration of Indian classical dance, which runs Oct. 18 to 20 at Davie Street’s Scotiabank Dance Centre.

The festival will see acclaimed performers from across Canada, the U.S., and India, who Boggaram is eager to perform alongside. She’s even more excited for her students to see the live shows.

“In the past 15 years we’ve been having less and less good quality Indian, especially classical, dance performers coming [to Vancouver],” she said. “So the Gait to the Spirit festival is a rare opportunity for you to see some of the world’s top dancers from India and around the world.

“If you’re not surrounded by the dance form or you don’t get to see it on a frequent basis it almost loses its meaning sometimes . . . the more you can experience, watch it and learn from other artists, the more you can learn as an artist.”

And it’s for this reason Govinda started the festival four years ago.

“For a young ballet dancer here, they go see Ballet B.C— but such opportunities for Indian dance are very rare,” he said. “Although we have a lot of local performers perform throughout the year, there are very, very few top professional dancers of the classical dance style who come to Vancouver.”

So this year’s Gait to the Spirit festival boasts performances by such première dancers as Sujata Mohapatra, daughter-in-law of Padma Vibushan guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, both “legendary” masters of the odissi classical dance style. Southern Indian classical dancers Navia Natarajan from the U.S. and Canadian Bhavajan Kumar, who is now based in India, will also be performing.

“We’re lucky to bring such talent to Vancouver,” Govinda said.

The festival also has a lot to offer to those unfamiliar with the art form.

“The language of the hand gestures, the footwork, the bells around the feet of the dancers, the intricate rhythm, the haunting Indian music,” Govinda said.

“It is so refined, so highly structured, very graceful.”

Tickets for the festival are available from Banyan Books at 3608 W. 4th Ave. For more information visit mandalarts.ca.

Gait to the Spirit Festival schedule:
Oct. 18: Navia Natarajan, Bhavajan Kumar perform bharata natyam, 8 p.m., $22 students/seniors, $25 adult.
Oct. 19: Sujata Mohapatra performs odissi, 8 p.m., $22 students/seniors, $25 adult.
Oct. 19: Encounter with the artists with Navia Natarajan and Bhavajan Kumar, 1 p.m., free.
Oct. 20: Parul Gupta (Toronto), Nritya Manjaree Dancers (including Boggaram) perform kathak, 1:30 p.m., pay what you can.
Oct. 20: Dance class with Sujata Mohapatra, 6:30 to 9:30p.m., $30.


Tags: , , , , ,





Featured

GANGS-BC-SURREY-AUSTRALIA

Australian co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak sentenced to 3 years in prison

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak was on Friday sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a…
Continue Reading »

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

desi fun food collectibles

Surrey Night Market will be ‘bigger and better’ in 2015, say organizers

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Night Market is set to return for its second season next spring “bigger and better” than its inaugural year,…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

GANGS-BC-SURREY-AUSTRALIA

Australian co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak sentenced to 3 years in prison

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak was on Friday sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a…
Continue Reading »

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

desi fun food collectibles

Surrey Night Market will be ‘bigger and better’ in 2015, say organizers

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Night Market is set to return for its second season next spring “bigger and better” than its inaugural year,…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Avoiding relapse, inviting happiness over the Holiday Season

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The holiday season can be an especially challenging time for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours. Holiday parties and celebrations with…
Continue Reading »

Vagina Monologues

Sex workers from India’s largest red light area seek American feminist Eve Ensler’s help

IANS Kolkata – American activist and playwright Eve Ensler Friday met sex workers in Kolkata’s Sonagachi, one of Asia’s largest red light areas, who sought…
Continue Reading »

Miss World

Bikini round removed from Miss World pageant

IANS London – The Miss World contest, which has been an annual feature since 1951, will no longer feature a swimsuit round in their competition,…
Continue Reading »

sexi desi babes

Gallery: Wait for India’s Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over

VANCOUVER DESI The Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over. An Indian lifestyle channel will air the grand finale of the reality…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistani student who skipped school on the day of Taliban rampage ‘isn’t talking to anyone’

VANCOUVER DESI A 15-year-old student of Pakistan’s Army Public School  – which was bombed by the Taliban this week, killing 141 people, of which 132…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: Stars come together for another big fat Bollywood wedding

VANCOUVER DESI After Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding with businessman Aayush Sharma last month, Bollywood stars gathered for another high-profile Bollywood wedding that turned…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Film Review: Aamir Khan’s PK unconventionally outstanding

TROY REBEIRO IANS Film: “PK”; Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Parikshat Shahni; Director: Rajkumar Hirani; Rating: *** 1/2…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood jodis-ex lovers

Bollywood’s ex-flames Shahid Kapoor, Kareena to work together in ‘Udta Punjab’?

IANS Mumbai – Actor Shahid Kapoor, who once dated actress Kareena Kapoor, has said that he has never refused to work with the latter and…
Continue Reading »