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Nachiketa Sharma
Hindustani Classical Vocal Music
    Uma Ettigi
    Lata Pada
SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations
    Menaka Thakkar
Dance group
Nachiketa Sharma
Hindustani Classical Vocalist
Hailing from Dharwad, Karnataka, Nachiketa Sharma was initiated into Hindustani classical vocal music by his parents. His formal study began in Madras under Shri B. N. Simha and later under Shri B. Hanumantachar. His rigorous and extended pedagogy came under the virtuoso late Padmabhushan Pandit Basavraj Rajguru. Nachiketa has performed in several cities across India and the United States. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and runs the Rajguru Sangeet Vidyaniketan school of music.
For further information about Nachiketa Sharma recordings, videos and concerts visit website
Uma pursued Music and Dance since her young age, hand in hand with her other academic pursuits. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Bangalore University.
She has been trained in Bharatanatyam from different Gurus including Dhananjayans and Narmada. She has been a student of M.V.N. Murthy and Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam in the Kuchipudi Dance style of South India. She has given several performances at national and international level. She has also trained her daughters in Bharatanatyam and they perform together as a MOTHER AND DAUGHTERS TEAM.
In Veena she has been trained by Gurus: R.K. Srinivasa Murthy, Doraiswamy Iyengar. She gives recitals at national and international level. She has released an audio cassette titled “THE JOY OF VEENA”.
She has been trained in Vocal by Gana Kokile Chennamma from Karnataka and by Hameed Hussain in USA. She competed in the national competition at the University of Baltimore, Maryland and won the first prize in 1987 and 1988 in the GHAZAL COMPETITION.
It is a struggle to maintain Indian Culture and its HEritage in a foreign land. She tried to pass on the morals and the ethics to the community children in the form of DRAMAS. She writes the plays, directs them with the children for various Indian festivals. She has been teaching Indian Dance, Music and Culture at the local Public High School Students. Her plays are published in two volumes entitled “AT THE DAWM”.
Uma is the director of the ETTIGI FINE ARTS ACADEMY established in 1989 in Richmond, Virginia, USA. She conducts Music and Dance classes. For more information visit website
SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations
SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations is at the forefront of South Asian dance in Canada.
At the core of the Company's artistic vision is the belief that dance is a powerful vehicle to communicate the magic, beauty and mystery of life. The dynamic work of the Company is inspired by the ability of dance to excite the imagination of its audiences, become an agent for change in society, reflect the hybridism of our lives and transcend the borders of culture, religion and ethnicity.
Creatively, SAMPRADAYA Dance Creation's work is based in classical form of bharatanatyam. Yet its versatility and strength lie in its diverse innovative inter-cultural works.
Inspired by the rich traditions of South Asian performing arts, the works of SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations attempt to bridge the vibrant continuum of traditional and contemporary, invigorating the classicism with fresh meaning, both in its movement syntax and experimental themes.
Founded in 1990 by Artistic Director Lata Pada, SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations is an internationally recognized Canadian dance company committed to showcasing bharatanatyam as a universal art form as it explores diverse movement styles, contemporary themes and innovative dance creations.
Under Ms. Pada's artistic stewardship and supported by the Board's strategic visioning, SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations serves a diverse populace. It has grown over the years into an active and vibrant organization leading the development of South Asian dance in Canada.
Menaka Thakkar Dance Group
Menaka Thakkar Dance group would be presenting:

SHAPES AND RHYTHMS (1993) - This delightful 32-minute modern fusion choreography combines Bharatnatyam, Odissi and Ballet. Shapes and Rhythms is the result of a week-long residency for Ms. Thakkar organized by the National Ballet of Canada working with the composer Ron Allen.
Menaka Thakkar is a master dancer in three classical Indian styles – Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi. Ms. Thakkar settled in Canada over 35 years ago at the peak of her career as an international soloist. She is credited (along with Kathak dancer, Rina Singha) as having been the first artist to introduce Indian culture to Canadian audiences.
In the early years Ms. Thakkar performed across Canada and soon began to train youngsters in classical bharatanatyam. Eventually she began creating original choreographies that were performed in major venues across Canada. She opened the first school of Indian dance in Canada, Nrytakala, which continues to train new generations of dancers and formed the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company comprised of graduates of her school.
The Menaka Thakkar Dance Company became the first South Asian arts organization to be recognized by the Canada Council for the Arts thereby opening the door to other multicultural artists to receive funding. Today the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company, known as MTDC is Canada’s premiere Indian dance company. It includes up to 20 professional dancers who have each studied with Ms. Thakkar from 16 to 26 years.
Ms. Thakkar has won many awards and honours in her long career including an honourary doctorate from York University, 2006 City of Toronto Face the Arts Cultural Maverick Award for Dance, Toronto Arts Award for Performing Arts, President’s Award from Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and Tri-National Creative Residency Award from the Canada-Mexico joint program administered by the National Endowment for the Arts, USA.
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