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 offers an exciting artist in education program in schools throughout the GTA. HeartBeat, based in the dance and music and North India, is funded through the Ontario Arts Council – Education Office.
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.