Archive for August, 2015

Bharathamohanam – A Milestone

‘Rangapravesam’ a Sanskrit word, literally means ‘entering the stage’, a milestone in the life of a stage performing artist. On August 15, 2015 the audience at the Meadowvale Theatre witnessed one such milestone- classy and enthralling – by Joshini Joseph under the training and guidance of her Guru Smt. Mala Pisharody, the Associate Director, Adishankara Academy of Performing Arts – ASAPA, Mississauga, Ontario.Aptly titled ‘Bharathamohanam’, Joshini’s Rangapravesam was both in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam. An Honours student, Joshini Joseph started her intensive training in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam under Smt. Mala Pisharody when she was eleven years old.

The evening started with Joshini offering her Obeisance to the Almighty, her Guru, her parents, Orchestra and Audience. The welcome note was given by Shri Rajesh Pisharody who is the Founding Director of Adishankara Academy of Performing Arts. The opening Invocation was a Ganapathy Stuthi in praise of Lord Ganapathy followed by the Alarippu a piece that is based on intrinsic dance foot patterns and hand gestures. Joshini continued her performance with an interesting Mary Sthuthi in praise of Mother Mary, highlighting the birth of baby Jesus.Joshini then performed the traditional Jathiswaram. This was followed by a traditional Shabdam. Joshini’s expressions, intricate leg work and captivating eye movement kept us glued to our seats.

The orchestral ensemble comprised of renowned and seasoned artists, Shri Babu Parameswarn, the vocalist from California, Jayadevan Nair on the violin, Mala Pisharody – Nattuvangam, Sriram Suryanarayanan on the percussion instrument, the Mridangam and Mohan Ariyath on the Edaykkya a unique percussion instrument of Kerala in India.

The Varnam, a piece de resistance of a Bharatanatyamrepertoire show cased Joshini’s superlative grace, vigor and expressive brilliance in Nritha and Abhinayam. It was a dedication to Lord Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer for whom the whole universe is a stage. Here the dancer highlighted the well-known episodes of the life of two staunch disciples of Lord Shiva, Markandaya and Nandanar. Shiva is depicted here as the vanquisher of evil and one who always blesses all his devotees.

The performance post interval brought in a different experience, taking us to the shores of Kerala, the land of Parashurama. Mohiniyattamis a very unique art form of Kerala well known for its sway and very curvilinear movements. The pieces that followed were rendered in equal brilliance, with the opening piece, a Cholkkettu which was a combined effort of Smt. A.P.Saraswathy (Mala Pisharody’s mother), a Sanskrit Scholar, Mala Pisharody and Shri Babu Parameswaran. The Padam that followed was a well-known composition of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal the King of Travencore, in which the heroine pines to be reunited with her Beloved Lord Padmanabha. This was rendered by Joshini with precision and flawless expression.

The Dashavatharam or the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu were portrayed through the very famous slokam from the Geetha Govindam of Mahakavi Jayadeva. Joshini’s depiction of each Avatar, be it the ferocity of Narashima, the strength of Vamana or playfulness of Krishna were portrayed in the choreography to touch the heart of even the youngest in the audience. It took many to another time and space.The choice of the composition,Vande Matharam was a special way to celebrate August 15th, India’s Independence Day, it shone light on Mala’s astounding creativity of entwining the traditional with the current. The Thillana is usually the finale in an Indian Classical dance repertoire of both art forms of Bharathnatyam and Mohinyattam and the Mala’s choreography of this piece brought out Joshini’s mastery of abhinaya and nritha. The evening’s recital ended with the Mangalam seeking the blessings of the divine.

The performance was a culmination of a journey, of Joshini’s years of dedicated practice, augmented by her family’s support and her Guru, Mala’s commitment to the art. Mala Pisharody and Rajesh Pisharody, the Artistic Directors of the Adishankara Academy of Performing Arts, Mississauga, Ontario, awarded the Institution Certificate to Joshini Joseph conferring the title “Natyakusumam” to Joshni, in recognition of her commitment to Indian Classical Dance. Mary Ashok, Managing Director of Dancing Damsels Inc, seamlessly took the audience through the entire program as its MC while the well-known Stage and Lighting Director, Bradley Trenaman, brought the stage alive with his aesthetic lighting. The performance concluded with Joshini thanking everybody who was involved in the performance as well as the audience that included renowned senior dance choreographers Janak Khendry, Lata Pada and Anuradha Jagannathan and well-known Indian dance & music teachers/performers, Sujatha Suresh Sujatha Ganesh, Preetha Kandanchatha, Roshini Ambat, Harikishan Nair, and Sandhya Shrivatsan, all based in Ontario.

Mala’s stunning Choreography, the orchestra’s impeccable musical renditions and Joshini’s exquisite dance performance presented the audience with an evening of Bharathamohanam that has set the bar even higher for the patrons of the Indian Classical Art.

Reported by: Kavitha Ariyath

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5 Days Kuchipudi Workshop in Mississauga

Nupura School of Music and Dance is conducting a Kuchipudi workshop in Mississauga at the Toronto Malayali Samajam centre in Mississauga from September 21st to September 26th, 2015.
Prominent Kuchipudi artists from India Ms Vyjayanthi Kashi and Ms Prateeksha Kashi will be spearheading this workshop.
Ms Vyjayanthi Kashi is the former chairperson of Karnataka Music Dance Academy and nominated winner of Karnataka Central Music Drama Academy. She’s also a renowned artist of Doordarshan Kendra.

Smt Prateeksha Kashi is the winner of Aryabhatta International award, Kalabharathi youth artist award and Natyavedha award. She also has won the titles of “Nalanda Nrithya Nipuna” & “Nrithya Jyothi”.This is a golden opportunity for the students here to participate in a Workshop organised by artists of such high caliber, command and talent.

The organizer Ms Gayathri Vijayakumar who is the principal & artistic director of Nupura school of music and dance is encouraging all dance students to avail this opportunity and participate.

The organizers will endeavor to give an opportunity to the participants of the workshop to perform on stage what they learned in the workshop.



For registration and other information please contact Gayathri Devi Vijayakumar at 416-500-4681.

Report by: WNN

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DD Dance FEST – a multicultural dance festival for cultural integration

Toronto: The Dancing Damsels Inc. – a registered not for profit organization and a multicultural dance promotions company is proud to announce their annual DanceFEST – a fundraiser dance festival showcasing all World Dance Forms on one stage.

The event will be held on Saturday 24th October, 2015 at Hamazkayin World Class Theatre (Armenian Youth Centre of Toronto, 50 Hallcrown Place, North York, ON M2J 1P6.) at 6pm sharp.

Top Canadian cultural leaders, including ministers, MPs, MPPs will join the Dancing Damsels to celebrate this multicultural Dance festival.
All Indian dances like Bharathanatyam, Kutchupudi, Mohiniaatam, Kathak, Odissi, Bollywood and the International dances like Tap Dance, Contemporary, Flamenco, Salsa, Mexican, Brazilian, Ukranian, Hawaian/Tahitian, African, Belly Dancing, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, and Waacking etc. will be showcased in the festival.

Last year more than 200 performers from 30 dance companies showcased 34 different dance styles for the DD Dance FEST! This year they are trying to get more variety dance forms from different dance companies.

The main goal of this Dance fest is promoting cultural integration and exchange by celebrating arts from all cultures of life. By bringing in All World Dance Forms on one stage, it is also in concurrence with Dancing Damsels Motto, which being P.E.A.C.E. (PROMOTE -cultural arts and cultural exchange, EMPOWER-women to exercise equal opportunities, APPRECIATE- women success and achievements, CELEBRATE -womanhood and motherhood and ENCOURAGE -women to pursue their dreams and aspirations).
This year, this effort takes on yet another noteworthy cause to use the proceeds of this event to serve the under-privileged. Dancing Damsels is always looking for new ways to support and encourage women to bring in the change by doing their little bit to the community.

Dancing Damsels Inc. is indeed proud to have Anu Srivastava, Jayadevan Nair, Mokshi Virk, Mercy Elengikal, Jobson Easow, Joey Verghese, Sudharshan Meenakshisundaram, Balu Naleil, Ramesh Bangalore, Sabita Panigrahi, Pushpa Johnson, Nirmala Thomas, Jayasanakar Pillai, Lata Menon, K Varadharajan and Sandhya Srivatsan on the advisory board.


DanceFEST Kick Off by Anu Vittal (Executive Director, Mississauga Arts Council)

Earlier, the kick off of the DanceFEST was headed by the chief guest Ms. Anu Vittal, Executive Director of Mississauga Arts Council and CEO of AVC, with lighting of the lamp on Mother’s day event on May 10, 2015 at The Payal Banquet Hall, Mississauga.
Grand Sponsor of DD DanceFest 2015 –Manoj Karatha of Remax Realty Inc; inaugurated the sponsorship campaign by handing over the sponsorship cheques.

Sponsorship & Ticket Sales Kick Off by Manoj Karatha (RE/MAX Performance Realty Inc.)

Under the leadership of Mary Ashok (Managing Director), Fawzia Khan (Chief Executive Director), Shobha Sekhar (Program Director), Bhavna Bhatnagar (Artistic Director), Asha Vishwanath (Marketing & Media) Kushalini Kumar (Sponsorships), Manjula Das (Ticket Sales) and Suganya
Sivaraja (Volunteering), a big team of volunteers are working hard behind the scene for the success of this event.

The Early bird ticket pricing for this dazzling event is $20 for regular seating and $50 for priority seating which is available till the 31st August. Tickets can be purchased online at and also by contacting anyone of the Team DD.

For more info, tickets and sponsorship enquiries, you can contact: Mary Ashok (Managing Director) : 416 788 6412, Fawzia Khan (Chief Executive Director) : 647 793 4959, Kushalini Kumar(Sponsorships): 647 633 6146. Or visit their website:

Report by: Asha Vishwanath

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Rev.Dr. Jose Kalluvelil, the first Apostolic Exarch of the Syro-Malabar Catholics in Canada


Toronto: Today (6th August 2015), HH Pope Francis erected an Apostolic Exarchate for the Syro-Malabar Catholics in Canada with its See in Mississauga (in Greater Toronto Area) and Fr. Dr Jose Kalluvelil as its first Exarch, assigning him the titular see of “Tabalta”.

Fr. Jose Kalluvelil was born on 15 November 1955 at Thottuva near Kuravilangad in the Eparchy of Palai. Now his family is settled in St. Peter’s Parish, Jellipara, in the Eparchy of Palghat. Having completed his minor seminary formation in St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Trichur and Major Seminary formation in St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, Kottayam, he was ordained priest on 18 December 1984 for the Eparchy of Palghat. After his ordination he served at Agali, Kuruvampadi, Puliyara, Panthalampadam, Olavakode, Doni, Ottapalam, Kottayi, Kallekad, Cathedral Church, Palakad, Kodunthirapully, Kanjirapuzha, and Mezhukumupara parishes and Boys Homes at Agali and Thavalam. He was also Director of the Eparchial Pastoral Centre, Catechetical Centre and Director of KCSL, besides being one of the Eparchial Consultors. He obtained his Doctorate in Catechesis from the Salesian University, Rome. For the past two years, he was doing pastoral ministry to the Syro-Malabar faithful in Toronto. According to official statistics, there are 35000 Syro-Malabar Christians in Canada. Many priests from various dioceses and religious congregations offer pastoral ministry in the different parishes and mission centres in Canada.

An Exarchy is an ecclesiastical administrative set up which is not yet erected as an eparchy, but very similar to it. It can be raised to the status of an eparchy when the number of faithful, parishes and other structures are sufficiently adequate for such a status. Many Syro-Malabar eparchies outside Kerala in India were in the beginning erected as exarchies. The Exarchy of Mississauga in Canada is the first exarchy for the Syro-Malabar faithful outside India. Information regarding the inauguration of the new Exarchy and the Episcopal ordination of the newly appointed Bishop-Exarch will be given later.

Report by: WNN

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