Mandala Arts & Culture Society
Mandala Arts and Culture is a Vancouver-based company dedicated to producing, developing and presenting the classical Indian dance form bharata natyam. It also supports the artistic vision of Jai Govinda. Mandala presents the annual Gait to the Spirit Festival of classical dance of India, and equally exists to create a legacy of excellence for bharata natyam by training students through the Jai Govinda Academy, and giving them opportunities to perform, share and train other students.
Monica Shah is an independent dance artist who performs in both neoclassical and contemporary Indian styles. She has trained in classical Indian dance for over 25 years and worked with renowned choreographers across the UK, India, and Canada. Her training in Bharatanatyam is complemented by work in Yoga and Contemporary Dance, as well as Butoh, Kathak, Contact Improvisation, and Indian Martial Arts. While committed to maintaining and advancing her Bharatanatyam training, Monica also explores a contemporary aesthetic that is a distinct and unique expression of her classical training.
I have been studying two forms of Indian classical dance: Bharatnatyam and Kathak, although I have been studying Kathak intensely over the last few years. My interest lies in exploring the movement of dance in relation to space, and dance as a medium of deep communication. I am also interested in experimenting with the classical movements in contemporary style and choreographing Indian classical forms with a variety of music such as flameno and jazz.
Anusha Fernando is a performer and teacher of Bharata Natyam and the Artistic Director of Vancouver, B.C’s, Shakti Dance Society. Shakti Dance’s mandate is to promote Bharata Natyam through performance and training. The society strives to create accessible and reflective work, believing that the practice of Bharata Natyam is evolving and has contemporary relevance. Anusha’s creative work has focused on highlighting the depth of Bharata Natyam’s traditional repertoire (solo and duet) as well as its interdisciplinary potential.
Sujit Vaidya is a freelance solo Bharatanatyam performer, based in Vancouver, Canada. After his initial training with Mandala Arts in Vancouver, he now receives advanced training under Guru A. Lakshmanaswamy in Chennai. Sujit has performed extensively, in India, Canada, US and Europe. He has also been part of several duet and group productions with various companies, including Mandala Arts Vancouver, Shakti Dance Vancouver, Co. ERASGA Vancouver, Dakshina Dance Washington DC and Nrithyalakshana, Chennai to name a few. He is the first South Asian dancer to have received the Mayors award.