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Juggling two full-time careers, Antara is a filmmaker and a Kathak dancer, trained since childhood under Pandit Chitresh Das. After completing her film studies at the New York Film academy, she worked as an assistant director for acclaimed director Jagmohan Mundhra, on films such as Provoked (Aishwarya Rai, Naveen Andrews, Nandita Das). She went on to direct her own feature film at the age of 25, a British suspense thrilled titled Telling Lies, starring Spice Girl Melanie Brown and Jason Flemyng (Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Upaj is her first documentary. As a Kathak dancer and teacher, Antara tours extensively, and has performed all over the U.S. and India.
Winner of a Cannes Young Director Award while still a student at the Art Center College of Design, Hoku has directed several award-winning films. His short film, Rose, has screened in over 26 film festivals world wide, and won awards in 12. The film was also featured in American Cinematographer magazine. His work has also screened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In addition to Upaj, Hoku is also directing a music video for Evelyn Evelyn, (aka Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls and Jason Webley).
Ritesh Das has been teaching tabla for over 30 years. He has trained for most of his life under the great gurus Pandit Shankar Ghosh, Ustad Zakir Hussain, and is currently a disciple of Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. Drawing from his rich background and privileged training, Ritesh Das is able to deliver North Indian classical music training that is unique throughout Canada. His classes provide an uncompromising balance of music theory, technique and cultural history. Das founded the Toronto Tabla Ensemble in 1981. The band has released four ground-breaking albums, including Juno-nominated Firedance. The Toronto Tabla Ensemble has given the north Indian classical art form a place in popular Canadian music.
Colours of South Asia Film Series explores the diversity of the various cultures and subcultures of South Asia.
A 64 year-old Indian Kathak master and a young Black tap dancer from Hells Kitchen journey together across India crafting a unique and startling collaboration. Bringing the ancient, foot founded, dynamic art of Kathak together with the American, underground art of Tap forges a trek that shatters barriers of age, race and culture. The show they fasten creates an explosion in audiences they meet along the way, and their friendship challenges their ideas about each other and themselves.
Harbourfront Centre in collaboration with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble present this multi-disciplinary programme. As a preview, the film’s producer Antara Bhardwaj will give a performance along with Ritesh Das and the Toronto Tabla Ensemble. This will guide the audience into the feature film, ‘Upaj: Improvise.' Antara Bhardwaj will rejoin the audience after the film for a Q&A session.
Film Duration: 60 minutes
In collaboration with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble.