BY STAFF REPORTER
It was a day of Fusion, Fitness and Fun at Sanskriti Arts Ensemble’s Open House at their new space in Mississauga. Held on February 11, 2017, the day-long event was filled with an array of dance performances including Bollywood, Yoga, Kathak, Hip Hop and Latin Fusion as well as Yoga. Participants also got the opportunity to learn all the shades of dance, yoga, and empowerment.
“We wanted to initiate a place of belonging for the community, something they could call their own,” says Puja Amin, director of Sanskriti Arts Ensemble. “We want to provide positivity through fitness and movement.”
Besides performances, there was free sampling of food as well as an assortment of giveaways including hampers, gift baskets, water bottles, mugs and jewelry.
“Dance is especially significant for the oppressed and the depressed. We want you to find your way into our studio where you will get a passage for support, encouragement and energy,” says Amin. “This is a unique opportunity being provided for kids and adults from the Greater Toronto Area to explore possibilities and a diverse avenue and arenas to train in dance and fitness.”
The mandate of the Open Day was to empower through movement; provide a place for Fusion, Fitness and Fun.
Sanskriti Arts Ensemble, with Imagebuilderz as media partners, also announced the second chapter of Dance Diaries with Bollywood choreographers Shampa Gopikrishna and Nishant Bhat. This year also, Dance Diaries presents a unique opportunity for Bollywood dance aficionados to learn the art of popular dance and get a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform with the choreographers live on stage during a final showcase.
The B-town dance experts who will train participants during a two day dance workshop (March 23-24) and an intensive dance workshop (March 25), ultimately culminating in a Grand Finale performance at the Maja Prentice Theatre in Mississauga on March 25.
“Dance Diaries is a promise I made to my students that they will get opportunities to train with the best talent Bollywood and the dance industry has to offer,” says Amin.
“Last year, we had the legendary Saroj Khan, training students’ right here in Toronto, and this year we have Shampa Gopikrishna and Nishant Bhat. All I can say is every chapter of Dance Diaries will keep getting bigger and better,” she added.
Shampa Gopikrishna, daughter of legendary Kathak maestro, Natraj Gopikrishna, has twice won the Indian version of Dancing With the Stars, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, with Gurmeet Chaudhury and Ashish Sharma. She has also choreographed the popular song Pinga from Bajirao Mastani, Ang Laga De from Ram Leela and Malang from Dhoom3 among others. She is currently working for the Hollywood movie, Heartbeats as Indian choreographer.
Nishant Bhat is a popular choreographer well known to ardent lovers of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa and Nach Baliye, Just Dance and Dance Plus. He is trained in Kathak, Indian folk and Latin Ballroom. Bhat has also worked as an assistant choreographer for popular Bollywood foot-tapping tunes including Cutiepie and Channa Mereya from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Love Ki Ghanti from Besharam and Ek Number Ek Number from Sanam Teri Kasam.
Established in 2003, Sanskriti Arts is the brainchild of Puja Amin who has brought together performers with a passion for dance and extreme drive to explore their potential. Under her tutelage, the company raises awareness of the various forms of South Asian dance to spread Indian culture and ethnicity through traditional and contemporary dance and music performances. They have been a pioneer in authentic South Asian Entertainment including classical, folk and Bollywood repertoire. The Sanskriti Arts Ensemble has performed in concerts and music videos for Falguni Pathak, Boman Irani, Lisa Ray, Jonita Gandhi, Sukhwinder Singh, Lata Mangeshkar, Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor amongst others.