Contemporary communication

World-renowned dance company comes to Kingston

Kabir Bedi performs with Taj dancers.; Lata Pada is the artistic director and founder of Sampradaya Dance Creations.
Kabir Bedi performs with Taj dancers.; Lata Pada is the artistic director and founder of Sampradaya Dance Creations.
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Photo supplied by Divine Method Photography

Dance has the power to communicate with the contemporary world.

That’s what Lata Pada, the artistic director of Sampradaya Dance Creations, believes.

Pada is a well-known part of the South Asian dance movement in Canada, with her combination of reinventing classical dance with contemporary realities.

Her company will be performing at the Grand Theatre on Oct. 23, featuring prominent Bollywood actor Kabir Bedi and famous Canadian-Indian actress Lisa Ray.

“I have always been a dancer so dance as an art form has always been an important part of my life,” Pada said.

She said she hopes her love for dance will guide people to express themselves through visual performance – especially those who have a passion for world art and a curiosity for different cultural experiences.

Pada’s latest innovation is her largest project: producing the dance show, Taj, as part of the Sampradaya Dance Creations. This performance theatre is on an ambitious seven-city tour of Canada, and it will be the company’s first time visiting Kingston.

Taj will be presented through a combination of poetry, music and multimedia projection. It will take the audience deep into the history of India during the rule of the celebrated Mughal Empire.

“It will help the audience to get a better sense of Indian culture,” Pada said. “It should appeal to them because who hasn’t heard of the legendary Taj Mahal, which is also known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.”

A commission of the 2011 Luminato Festival, Taj has already been performed in Mississauga and was received with outstanding praise and success.

Pada said she believes this partially resulted from Sampradaya Dance Creations’ hard work during the early years. It allowed the company to establish a world-renowned reputation in classical and contemporary Indian dance.

Pada, who founded the company 23 years ago, began her career in 1965 when she first immigrated to Canada.

“Since then, I have worked towards cross-cultural collaboration as opposed to traditional forms in order to open up my choreography to contemporary influences,” she said bn.

Pada said that despite the notable international reputation of Sampradya Dance Creations, the company has never produced a show that has been as grand and as spectacular as Taj.

“We have some of the most talented people from the Indian film industry in Taj,” she said. “Kabir Bedi is a prominent and established actor. Lisa Ray is an extraordinary woman, who fought cancer and is an inspiration for other women because of her remarkable strength.”

Taj will be held on Oct. 23 at the Grand Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19/$24/$29 + fees and taxes.

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