Skip to main content

LuminaTO Dance: Sampradaya Dance Creations' Taj June 10 - 12

From a media release:

Sampradaya Dance Creations performs
the World Premiere of TAJ
The awe-inspiring story behind one of the greatest wonders of the world
Concept by Lata Pada, Written by John Murrell, Directed by Tom Diamond
Commissioned by Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity
June 10 - 12

- Sampradaya Dance Creations, renowned for its innovative dance productions under the artistic direction of Lata Pada, has created TAJ, an exciting new dance-theatre production chronicling the great human drama behind the magnificent architectural wonder, the Taj Mahal.

TAJ runs June 10-12 at Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre as part of, and commissioned by, Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity.

Written by Governor General's Award-winning playwright John Murrell and directed by Dora-winning opera director Tom Diamond, TAJ explores the saga behind the Taj Mahal through dramatic scenes starring international Bollywood film, television and theatre star Kabir Bedi (Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story, Octopussy, Sandokan, The Bold and the Beautiful) and acclaimed Canadian actress Lisa Ray (Bollywood/Hollywood, Water, Cooking With Stella), and through exquisite kathak dance choreographed by South Asian kathak legend Padmabhusan Kumudini Lakhia, performed by an ensemble of dancers from Toronto, the U.K. and India: Tushar Bhatt, Reshmi Chetram, Parul Gupta, Meghranjani Hirani, Atri Nundy, Karan Pangali, Hemant Panwar, Samyuktha Sharath, Chad Walasek and Sashar Zarif.

Celebrated through poetry, music, dance and projection, the Taj Mahal is symbolic of enduring love, yet the story behind this majestic edifice in marble is as awe-inspiring as the monument itself. Imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb, former emperor Shah Jahan 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, 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.

Lata Pada is Artistic Director of Sampradaya Dance Creations, 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. She has had an extensive career as a bharatanatyam soloist with performances in prestigious dance festivals worldwide. Lata 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.

John Murrell (playwright) is one of Canada's most distinguished and most frequently produced playwrights. His best-known plays include Memoir, Waiting For The Parade, Democracy, The Faraway Nearby, Farther West, and New World. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a recipient of the Governor General of Canada's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

Tom Diamond's (director) acclaimed productions include premieres of Chan Ka Nin's Iron Road (Dora Award) and Timothy Sullivan's Florence the Lady with the Lamp (Chalmers Award), five productions for Pacific Opera Victoria and nine for the Canadian Opera Company. He is the Resident Director/Dramaturge at Tapestry New Opera.

Kumudini Lakhia (choreographer) is one of the foremost dance practitioners of kathak today. With a commitment of 70 years to kathak dance, this 81-year-old dance legend is considered a pioneer in her field. Her choreographies have been performed in India and internationally, and she has received a number of prestigious awards including the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award.

Sampradaya Dance Creations performs the World Premiere of TAJ
The awe-inspiring human story behind one of the greatest wonders of the world.

Images by Sid Sawant
• Kabir Bedi
• Lisa Ray

Concept by Lata Pada
Written by John Murrell
Directed by Tom Diamond
Projection design by Jacques Collin,
Musical composition by Praveen Rao
Lighting and set design by Phillip Silver
Costume design by Rashmi Varma
Commissioned by Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity
at Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queen's Quay West
Friday, June 10 - Sunday, June 12, 2011
Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 2PM & 8PM, Sunday at 2PM.
Tickets: $51.50 - $71.50
• Box Office:  416-368-4849
• or Online here
• Info:


What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you

CD Release: TriBeCaStan's New Deli Breaks the Time/Space Continuum in New Deli (Feb 7)

From a media release: New Release from Little Known Government of TriBeCaStan : Capital New Deli Found to Have Irregular Time-Space Continuum EverGreene Music - February 7, 2012 TriBeCaStan: News Alert. This morning Aljazzeera reported that the questionable nation of TriBeCaStan ( ) has made scientific breakthroughs in time travel. The unrecognized republic of nomads has broken the code of the time/space continuum. And by broken we mean: it no longer works. Applying sonic techniques once only known to a small group of punk rock shamans, the nation's most prestigious scientific entity, the TriBeCaStani FolkLorkEstra, uses sound alone to simultaneously place listeners in eras separated by decades and terrains separated by oceans. The breakthrough is outlined in an auditory compendium titled New Deli (distributed by the state-run EverGreene Music, set for release February 7, 2012 ), a recording that allows the world to experience a type of soulful networking mor

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020)

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020) New York City based singer and songwriter Shihori's new single Soul Trip is atmospheric and ambient. Interesting rhythms and interwoven melodic vocal lines showcase jazzy harmonic progressions in a slow groove mode.  As a songwriter, she uses electronic effects with impeccable musical taste. As a singer, her flexible vocals range from a sweet soprano to a strong mid-range. A veteran of the Japanese pop scene, Shihori moved to New York City in 2018, a move she talks about in a media release. "I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, 'oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn't know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas...I am so