Local Talent Showcase and AGM
Hindustani Classical Music and Dance by Ananyaa Mushrif, Neil Mushrif and Shivang Duseja
Ananyaa Mushrif is 13 years old. She lives in Edmonton and is in grade 8 at Crestwood School. She started learning Kathak at the age of 6 and currently she is training under the able guidance of Mrs. Sudeshna Maulik from Montreal. She is also learning Tabla from Shri. Bhuyash Neupane. Ananyaa has recently passed the level 4 Kathak Exam conducted by Pandit Ram Sahai Sangeet Vidyalaya in the UK with the highest grade of Distinction and she has also won a grant for the Alberta Foundation for Arts for Advanced Training in Kathak.
Neil Mushrif is 8 years old. He lives in Edmonton AB, and he is in Grade 3 at Windsor Park School. He started learning music when he was 4. Currently, he is learning Hindustani classical vocal from Shri. Subash Giri and from Ms. Naidile Hegde and his Guru for Harmonium is Shri. Milind Kulkarni from Pune, India.”
Shivang Duseja is currently studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Alberta. He got his initial education in Tabla from Sri Srikanta Panda, who is a student of the legendary Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and Pandit Vinod Pathak Ji of the Farrukhabad Gharana. He further advanced his training in Tabla from Sri Avijit Aich. He also took basic education of Raagdaari from Sri Ravi Gupta of the Gwalior Gharana. He participated in various competitions across India, including the Delhi Pratibha Puraskar 2016, where he won 2nd place, ABSS Pune 2018, where he won 1st place, and the Global Olympiad for Arts and Culture in Dubai, where he won 1st place and the gold medal. He is currently a senior disciple of the legendary tabla and sitar maestro Pandit Nayan Ghosh Ji.
Dance Performances by Usha Kala Niketan Dance School
Ushaji is no stranger to Edmonton. Over the past 60 years of her life in Edmonton she has taught thousands of students and continues to pursue her passion of “… to teach in my school and I love to be with the students and the children”. Inducted into Edmonton’s Arts & Culture Hall of Fame in 2016, she has brought her expertise to organizations like the Alberta Dance Alliance, the Edmonton Arts Council and more. She also received Edmonton’s Salute to Excellence Awards in 2001, which honours Edmontonians who have contributed to the unique and diverse fabric of the community. As she finishes off her eighth decade Ushaji still manages to put in around five hours of practice every day as she teaches.
Ushaji presents four of her students for this years local talent showcase.
Bhaveesha Jani is working towards her Bachelors Degree in Accounting at the University of Alberta. She wants to continue her studies with completing her CPA. She has been dancing from a young age with Usha Kalaniketan. She is grateful to have the opportunity to be part of Indian heritage and hopes to learn much more about Kathak in the coming years.
Maheesha Jani is completing her Bachelors in Sciences, specializing in psychology. She wants to continue her studies in a Masters degree. She also loves travelling especially with her sisters and family. She has been dancing with Usha Gupta from a very young age. She wants to continue learning about the Indian culture and dances and is happy to be apart of Usha Kala Niketan’s dance group.
Anika Gahun has been dancing kathak for 6 years. She recently started dancing again after a 9 year break. She is currently working as a Housing Outreach Worker with a non-profit organization. She is planning to pursue her Master’s degree in counselling psychology within the next year. Anika hopes she can continue to learn more intricate dances and techniques in the future.
Thariniy is in grade 7 now. Thariniy wants to be a pediatrician in the future. She has been with Ushaji since the age of 2 1/2 and is very dedicated and loves to dance.
Dance Performances by Natyam Dance Academy
Natyam Dance Academy is a premier dance institute in Alberta nurturing and promoting artistic excellence in south-Asian dance. Founded by artistic director Malavika Venkatsubbaiah, Natyam specializes in Mysore style of Bharathanatya and is committed to providing quality education and has produced many aspiring professional dancers. Natyam believes art to be an integral aspect of education. Inspired by the rich traditions of south-Asian dance their works attempt to reach a contemporary relevance with roots of traditional vocabulary. Natyam’s works have been at many prestigious venues across Canada including Feats Festival of Dance, Thousand Faces Festival, CanNatyam Festival, Lakeland Multicultural Association, Manohar Performing Arts of Canada. They have been supported by Calgary Arts Development, Edmonton Arts Council and Alberta Dance Alliance and Artistic director Malavika Venkatsubbaiah is the recipient of Cultural Diversity Award, Natya Saradhi and Konark Natya Ratna award.