Canadian dancers have been touring India presenting a unique production. Marrying the classical Kathak with contemporary dance, it draws inspiration from Canada’s Indigenous mythology to present the Tibetan concept of ‘bardo’ which signifies the turning point of various stages of life and death. That’s quite a task.
The performers lead by Joanna de Souza and Misty Wensel proved that they were more than up to it by captivating the Indian audience with the traditional footwork and swirls of classical dance while seamlessly switching to modern movements.
The movement based interpretation is jointly choreographed by de Souza and Wensel. de Souza is considered a pioneer amidst the arts community in Toronto. She has studied Kathak under Pandit Chitresh Das and is the artistic director of M-Do Kathak Toronto and Chhandam Dance Company. Wensel is co-founder of FadaDance, a teaching studio and performance collective that expands boudnaries and classifications of modern dance techniques in Canada.
The music for Bardo is both uplifting and soothing, enlivening the drama created by the dancers. The composers Ian de Souza (Joanna’s husband) and Santosh Naidu could well launch it as an independent album.
The troupe includes dancers TP Chai, Chad Walasek, the sisters Kiran & Amrit Phull, Ameera Nimjee, Mihaels Dirlea and Crystal D’Silva.