- Principal Instructor/ Academy Director
Lata has a distinguished background in performance, choreography, teaching and leadership of this Professional Dance Training organization for over twenty years. Lata has trained for over 37 years in the Tanjavur style of bharatanatyam with India’s reputed teachers – Kalaimamani K. Kalyanasundaram and Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan. Lata Pada’s outstanding contribution to the South Asian performing arts in Canada has been recognized by her appointment to the Order of Canada in 2009 making her the first South Asian artist in Canada to be recognized by this national honour. In 2011, India recognized Lata Pada with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman- a prestigious honour awarded by the President of India. In June 2012, Lata was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal and honoured with the Legend’s Row Award in 2013. She has also been named Mississauga’s Most Influential.
Lata holds an MFA in Dance from York University (1996) and currently serves as Adjunct Professor in the Master’s Program of York University. Lata has received several training grants including the Canada Council Professional training Grant, the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Senior Fellowship and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations scholarship. She has also taken workshops in several dance movement disciplines such as kallari, chau, Balinese dance, butoh and contact improvisation. She is also recognized for her active participation in arts advocacy and for her serving on boards and committees of several arts organizations such as a founding member of the South Asian Advisory committee at the Royal Ontario Museum as the Living Arts Centre, Canadian Dance Assembly, York University’s Fine Arts, Centennial College’s Cultural Heritage Institute and CPAMO – Cultural Pluralism in the Performing Arts Movement Ontario. She is the founding advisory committee member of the South Asian Dance Alliance of Canada (SADAC).
Instructors (listed in alphabetical order)
Aarti Joseph – Assistant Artistic Director, Instructor
Aarti Joseph began training in Bharatnatyam under Lata Pada in 1998 and has since begun performing with Sampradaya Dance Creations. Her recent credits with the company include SARUPYAM – Visions of the Divine, Kavya Natyam, Shunya, Vivarta: Manifestations of Vishnu & HOWZAAT!(England and India Tour), Kaatrinile Varum Geetham, and Kshetram – Dancing the Divine. She has had the privilege of working with renowned artists including Mavin Khoo, Natasha Bakht, and Guru Harikrishna Kalyanasundaram. In 2010, she had the opportunity to perform in a site specific piece created by Natasha Bakht – Dafeena (nominated for a Dora award for Oustanding New Choreography). Aarti was also invited to perform as a guest artist in Lokashemam, a dance production choreographed by Guru Harikrishna Kalyanasundaram, in Mumbai, India (2008). Aarti, also an assistant teacher at the SAMPRADAYA Dance Academy, holds an Honours B.Sc. in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Toronto.
Bharatanatyam has been a passion for Atri Nundy since the age of five. For fourteen years, Ms. Nundy trained under Lata Pada. Upon completion of her arangetram in September 2005, she has performed in a diverse range of performances for SAMPRADAYA Dance Academy and SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations including Tyagaraja Vaibhavam, Hyphenated,Howzaat! and the South-Asian Festival at the ROM. Ms. Nundy took part in DanceIntense, a two-week summer workshop held in Birmingham, England in the summer of 2007 and was a guest artist in lokashemam, a dance production choreographed by Guru Harikrishna Kalyanasundaram, in Mumbai, India.
Abirami S. Rajah
Abirami Rajah has been training in Bharathanatyam for 20 years, 6 of which have been with Sampradaya Dance Creations. She has completed her Arangetram in 2006 in Vellore, India under the guidance of Lata Pada. She has also performed in various company shows such asKshetram, Kaatrinile Varum Geetham, The Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance in New York City, Kaavya Natyam and Sarupyam. She is currently pursuing her Certified General Accountant Designation and is employed as a Financial Analyst.
Luxmy S. Rajah
Luxmy Rajah began her Bharatanatyam training at Sampradaya Dance Academy under the guidance of Lata Pada in 1999 and completed her Arangetram in the summer of 2011. Luxmy has been performing with both the Academy and the Company for some years. Her most recent performances include: Dance Ontario’s Dance Weekend 2014, the Company’s own production Pravaham (2013) and a collaboration with the Oakville Ballet called Parallels (2013). Currently, Luxmy working on completing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto.
Vidya Nataraj – Music Instructor
Born into a family of renowned musicians and musicologists, Vidya Nataraj has been trained under the guidance of her father and guru, the renowned veena maestro, vocalist and composer Prof. R. Visweswaran of Mysore. Vidya has a Bachelor’s degree in Carnatic classical vocal music, bharatanatyam and aesthetics and a Master’s degree in music from the University of Mysore, India. Her performance career spans over 30 years. She has been awarded six gold medals in her BA and MA degrees. Vidya was a regular contract vocalist on All India Radio for 25 years, and has also trained in Western music. She taught for several years in the Middle East and has recently moved to Canada where she established the DHYANA Music School. Vidya teaches music at the Sampradaya Dance Academy.
Hemantika Mahesh Kumar