Sampradaya Dance Creations' TAJ to Tour Canada, 10/19-11/9
Sampradaya Dance Creations, renowned for its innovative dance productions under the artistic direction of Lata Pada, originally created the spectacular dance-theatre production TAJ, written by the Governor General Award-winning playwright John Murrell, as a commission for Toronto's 2011 Luminato Festival.
Sampradaya Dance Creations and Lata Pada are now pleased to announce that, after four sold-out nights at the 2011 Luminato Festival, TAJ is heading out on a 8 city tour of Canada in October and November 2013, again featuring the renowned Bollywood film, television and theatre star Kabir Bedi (Octopussy, Sandokan, The Bold and the Beautiful, Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story) and the acclaimed Canadian actress Lisa Ray (Food Network Canada's Top Chef Canada host,Water, Bollywood/Hollywood, Cooking With Stella), supported by an international creative team of award-winning artists.
The original creative team returns including director Tom Diamond, projection designer Jacques Collin, set and lighting designer Phillip Silver and costume designer Rashmi Varma to deliver this stunning and evocative work that chronicles the human drama behind the magnificent architectural wonder that is the Taj Mahal.
Built around exquisite kathak dance choreographed by 82-year-old South Asian legend Padmabhusan Kumudini Lakhia, ten dancers from India along with Toronto's Sashar Zarif, who performs as a Sufi mystic, round out the international ensemble.
The tour is as follows:
October 19 Mississauga, ON Living Arts Centre Hammerson Hall
October 23 Kingston, ON Grand Theatre ReGina Rosen Auditorium
October 26 Sault Ste. Marie, ON Kiwanis Theatre
October 30 Ottawa, ON Museum of Civilization
November 1 Markham, ON Flato Markham Theatre
November 3 Sudbury, ON Sudbury Secondary School
November 6 Sherwood Park, AB (near Edmonton, AB) Festival Place, Festival Place Theatre
November 9 Banff, AB The Banff Centre Eric Harvie Theatre
Imprisoned by his son, former emperor Shah Jahan (Bedi) gazes upon the Taj - his wife Mumtaz's final resting place and whose memory inspired the construction of this spectacular edifice - and engages in an impassioned dialogue with his devoted daughter Jahanara (Ray), taking the audience on an emotional journey that explores the emperor's life, the 17th century Mughal Empire and the universal themes of ambition, revenge, rivalry and love in this story about human tragedies and human triumphs.
Says Lata Pada, whose concept TAJ is, "I am so pleased to tour this unique Canada-India collaboration to audiences across Canada and transport them to 17th century India. Through theatre, dance, multi-media and original music, they will glimpse some of the passionate history and court intrigues behind one of the wonders of the world. Stories are important repositories of human truth and the story of the Taj Mahal is one of the world's celebrated epics. As well, I am extremely excited that our acclaimed stars - Lisa Ray and Kabir Bedi - are able to join us once again for this dream project."
Sampradaya Dance Creations is an award-winning company recognized for innovation and excellence that breaks new ground in choreography and performance with a synthesis of traditional and contemporary dance. Founder and Artistic Director Lata Pada has been conferred the Order of Canada in 2009, and holds the distinction of being the first South Asian artist to receive this award. She was the recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the President of India in 2011. Her previous works for the company include Revealed by Fire, Shunya and SARUPYAM - Visions of the Divine. Sampradaya'sAlchemy, presented in 2012, was nominated for a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance, Male (Aakash Odedra) and Outstanding Lighting Design (Arun Srinivasan). Info: www.sampradaya.ca
The TAJ tour is supported by: Operating Funders - Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, City of Mississauga Culture Division. Corporate Sponsors - Scotiabank, Qatar Airways.