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2020 Starts off with community, dance, music and shared knowledge


Some times give rise to a point of reflection. It may be a birthday, an anniversary, or in this case moving into the collective third decade of  the 21st century.

January 4-11, 2020 set a tone where deeply connected community, honoured the past with our collective histories, and joyfully danced into the future with each sunrise.  This fantastic event was a joint collaboration with Chhandam Nriyta Bharati (Mumbai), Chhandika (Boston) and M-DO/KathakToronto (Toronto), with a special thanks to Dishita in the Mumbai office for all her work coordinating things for us, on the ground.

January 4 marked the 5th death anniversary of our Guruji, and we personally marked this with a sunrise havan, singing his favourite slokas, a few of his compositions, and dancing tatkar in the early morning grass.

Thirty of us gathered for 8 days at the glorious Art Village, in Karjat, Maharastra, for time filled with dance, music, learning, collaborating, laughing and of course eating. The kitchen chefs at Art Village often picked vegees right out of the garden and created masterpieces for our table!
Together in dance, Madhuri(di) Devi Singh, Guru-sister of our Guruji, Pt. Chitresh Das, Gretchen Hayden-Ruckert, along with some of her students from Boston, Joanna de Souza, and students from Toronto, Seema Mehta, and students from Mumbai, represented a span of 7 decades on the kathak dance floor, and all madly danced for the week, accompanied by the amazing live music of Santosh Naidu (tabla) and Ian de Souza (bass).
Madhuri-di shared songs from her extensive thumri repertoire, (complete with literally hundreds of possible dramatic interpretations) and both Gretchen and Joanna shared compositions they received over many decades of serious study.
We also experienced some of the unique expertise within our community through a number of special workshops:
Western Rhythms for kathak dancers with Ian and Santosh, a Revolution in Motion introduction workshop with Raina Gagrat, and a Yoga Alignment session with Crystal D’Silva. Crystal, also a serious Salsera (Salsa dancer) graced us all with a Salsa presentation!
Personal investment, through regular practise, is the foundation of our lineage.  This ultimately leads to each dancer creating from their unique voice.  Over the course of the week, we all experienced some of Guruji’s past Gold Rush choreography- with the Gun Fighter scene (so much fun).  This full production is presently being brought to new life by Gretchen and the Boston crew.  Kiran Phull (Toronto) performed Tap Root, a past choreography of Joanna’s with music from the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, and collectively we worked on a section of this – equally fun!

With a commitment to this experience of concentrated retreat-like learning, and the personal transformation it allows, M-DO/KathakToronto, and our sister organizations help facillitate annual learning situations in Canada, the US and special India retreat experiences, every other year.

PHOTO-2020-01-11-08-43-49Photo Credits:
Nina, Aruna, Anjali, Ian

One Comment so far

  1. Prachi Nagesh Wagh says:

    Such a perfect way to encapsulate the week that was glorious, liberating and enriching on ans off tur dance floor. “Personal investment, through regular practise, is the foundation of our lineage. This ultimately leads to each dancer creating from their unique voice.”, This part is was so visible as we watched all the teachers. Thank you for this memorable experience.

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Rhyme and Reason it’s a Wrap!

Rhyme and Reason, our annual student recital, held December 14 at the Palmerston Library Theatre, was a smashing success.  Over 50 dancers joined forces to share their tremendous passions for all things kathak! Original music by stellar musicians Ian de Souza, Santosh Naidu, Irfaan Khan, and Joanna de Souza supported uniquely personal solo and duet works by: Sucheta Heble,  Mamta Pranjivan, T.P. Chai and Keiko Ninomiya, Jane Morris, Natasha Manji, Aarti Anand, Moona Syed and Chad Walasek. Group choreographies revealed the wide range this incredible artform.
The intimate Palmerston Library Theatre was the perfect venue such evocative work, and we sold out BOTH shows.

A fantastic success and thanks to eveyone.



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Rhyme and Reason: Student Recital December 14th – 2 Shows!

On Saturday December 14, M-DO/KathakToronto proudly presents Rhyme and Reason.


The theme for our 2019 Annual Student recital is connecting  the Nava Rasa, or Nine Sentiments
(emotional states)  that are inherent in Kathak dance, through poetry and spoken word.
Exceptional original music and ensemble dance choreographies join self-directed solo and duet works by senior dancers in our school.
Rhyme and Reason will take you on a journey from mindfulness, to wonder, to joy, to compassion, to heroic, to the sublimely peaceful, and to some of the most important dark places that we must visit at this time.  The intimate Palmerston LIbrary Theatre, will give you the experience of this incredible theatre dance form at its best!

Saturday December 14 – Matinee 2 pm  and Evening 7 pm
Palmerston Library Theatre
560 Palmerston Ave.
Toronto, ON     M6G 2P7
(near Bloor and Bathurst )

$20 General  $10 Seniors/Children under 10 years
INFO: 416-504-7082 #1
Tickets: FOR PICK UP AT THE DOOR -  may be purchased on line ( e transfer)  through

recital v2

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Amalgam & BARDO video excerpts up- Check our Gallery!

Excerpts of our two newest works are posted in our GALLERY!  Check them!
1- AMALAGAM -the newest work by flamenco dancer Esmeralda Enrique and kathak dancer Joanna de Souza -with stellar musicians Ian de Souza, Maryem Hassan-Tollar, Caroline Plante and Santosh Naidu
Many thanks to the Toronto Arts Council and Danceworks
2-BARDO,  our largest collaboration to date, which toured India in  January/February 2018!
Many thanks to Canada Council for the Arts

Simply click on our Gallery button and enjoy!

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Spring Kathak Classes Start Beginning of March

With the worst of winter behind us, it is very exciting to start fresh with spring kathak classes.

More light in the evening sky, eventually some budding of the trees and plants waking up to a new season of growth.  It is really the same for we humans.  Feeling more inspired by potentials, all of us at M-DO/KathakToronto are excited for our new spring term.  In Scarborough it begins Saturday March 4th, downtown Toronto begins Monday March 6th, and Brampton continues with its Winter term through March 25th, bringing a new spring term starting April 1st ( and we are NOT fooling!)

..the path of kathak is ever expanding...



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