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Photo: David Hou



About the company:
Menaka Thakkar Dance Company, Canada’s oldest Indian dance company was founded in 1978 as a performing wing for Menaka’s dance school, Nrtyakala, and later separately incorporated in 1993 as an independent performing company. The central artistic mandate embodies the vision of the Company’s functioning over a whole range of Indian dance, traditional and contemporary, involving creation of new works, presenting home seasons and touring. Besides the usual wing of new creation, the company has recently developed two special units of dance creation:one for contemporary choreography and the other for creating works for young audiences. The company also aims to emphasize and sustain its dancers’ training within and beyond the Indian dance traditions in which they are primarily rooted, so that they can effectively function in the shared domain with other dance traditions. The two specialized units that  coordinate the activities towards these objectives are (i) MTDC Dance Lab; and (ii) DanceAdvance, a two-week training residency for professional development of the contemporary face of Indian dance.

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About the choreographer:
Menaka Thakkar is a master dancer in three classical Indian styles – Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi. She settled in Canada over 38 years ago at the peak of her career as an international soloist and is credited with having been the first artist to introduce Indian culture to Canadian audiences. Menaka Thakkar is the founder and Artistic Director of two Indian dance organizations, Menaka Thakkar Dance Company and Nrtyakala- Classical Indian Dance with head offices in Toronto and branch studios in Thornhill and Brampton. Ms. Thakkar has created over 50 groundbreaking choreographic works which reflect both her exposure to western dance styles and her background in classical Indian dance and has collaborated with many of the best modern dancers in Canada. She is the recipient of many awards and honours including an honourary doctorate from York University, the Toronto Arts Foundation Face the Arts Award, EMCY, Canada’s Diversity Award, President’s Award from Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, Choreographic Lab Award from Le Group de la Place Royale, Ottawa and the India Abroad Top 30 Power List., and recently a finalist of the 2011 Ontario Premiers Award. 

Menaka Thakkar Dance Company - Prince Rama in the Wilderness

Regular tickets:$25 Children (under 12):$10 Flex Pass Eligible:YES

Canada’s premiere Indian dance company presents two productions choreographed by Menaka Thakkar based on the Ramayana. Prince Rama in the Wilderness is a children’s show based on Prince Rama’s exile with his wife Sita. Sitayana is a remount of Thakkar’s feminist classic which is a retelling of the Ramayana from Sita’s point of view.


This is a family-friendly performance.


"Thakkar's choreography is a consummate expression of the Bharatanatyam form and much more." − Dance Current


Don't miss a special symposium being held in the Fleck Dance Theatre on June 2 from  3-5:30pm. Tickets are $10  (or free with a  ticket purchase to Sitayana). Click here to purchase.


Click here for information and to buy tickets for Sitayana, the other performance featured as part of the weekend.


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