About

Kathak Toronto

A Charitable Organization with Revenue Canada, M-DO/KathakToronto is a dance organization that takes its name from the Tibetan word for ‘meeting point’. Like the City of Toronto, our organization is a place where cultures come together, tradition is honoured, and new creative ideas are born. Facilitated by our informed teaching staff, we offer classes, performances, and workshops, contributing to our vibrant arts community, locally, nationally and internationally.

M-DO/KathakToronto is pleased to partner and collaborate with a variety of organizations, facilitating increased access to local, national and international artistic excellence.

In 2018 we join Deepti Gupta and Arzoo Dance Theatre, in presenting the 4th Annual ANGIKAM Seminal in Kathak and Choreography.  This event is funded in part by the Toronto Arts Council.

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Joanna de Souza

Coming from a music background, Canadian born Joanna de Souza began her life-long study of kathak under the Late Pandit Chitresh Das in 1978, and was part of the Chitresh Das Dance Company from 1981-1985. Under his guidance, in the traditional one-on-one, guru-shisha-param-para context, she received knowledge in all aspects of Kathak dance performance, theoretical understanding and teachers training.
Pt. Das, with over 40 years of dedication to establishing the kathak form in North America, maintained a reputation for continued artistic excellence as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, throughout his life.
With funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, Joanna lived in her guru’s home in Kolkata, India from 1985-87, and under the guidance of  his father, dance scholar, Nrityacharya Prohlad Das, she received her Master’s degree in Kathak- through the Prayag Sangit Samiti.  During this two-year period, she also studied sarangi, with Pt. Ramnath Misra, the late father of famed New York based sarangi master Pt Ramesh Misra.
Joanna’s return to Canada, and establishing M-DO, was fueled by the intent to establish the art form in Canada, from her unique perspective as an informed, contemporary, non South Asian, classical Indian dancer.

She established Chhandam Dance Company in 2003, and with company members, creates new work for kathak, that deeply respects tradition and has a present-day sensibility.