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Mississauga Life Early Spring 2015 : Page 29

Classical South Asian Dance and Terminology Sampradaya is the flow of knowledge from guru (teacher) to shishya (disciple) in a highly individualized oral tradition. Pada studied under the eminent gurus K. Kalyanasundaram and Kalanidhi Narayanan. This training provided the foundation for her distinguished international career as a solo artist, with performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the World Bank in Washington, DC. In 1992, she gave a command performance for the president of India. Bharata natyam is a Sanskrit phrase that combines the word bhavam (expression), ragam (music), thalam (rhythm) and natyam (dance). A traditional performance of bharata natyam lasts about two hours without intermission and is performed by a solo dancer who tells a story through facial expressions, hand, arm and neck gestures, and feet that pulse in elaborate counter rhythms. Changing characters in a story are signaled with a special turn position rather than a change of costume. Percussion, classical singers, and melody instruments conducted by the gurus form the musical ensemble that accompanies the performance. Sampradaya Dance Academy The continuous sound of children’s laughter marked with the occasional squeal bounces from the walls of the Sampradaya Dance Academy. The academy, housed in the same building as Sampradaya Dance Creations, is brimming with life and energy. A glimpse inside the studio, with its specially designed flexing wood floors (this style of dance involves some stomping and beating of the foot), reveals a sea of blue uniforms. After about 12 years of training and graduation, students get to wear the silk costumes, elaborate jewellery and makeup of bharata natyam . “Here, children not only learn dance movements, but they also develop character-building qualities—discipline, confidence, persistence, grace, body language and much more—that will serve them well in any life path they choose,” says Pada. Living the Life Well As a proud Canadian citizen and resident for more than 50 years and equally proud of her homeland, Pada was honoured to become the first South Asian to receive the prestigious Order of Canada in 2009. In 2011, she became one of 15 people in the world to receive the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award by the president of India. In 2012, she was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to the community as a Canadian citizen. In 2013, she was inducted into Mississauga’s Legends Row and was named one of the “Most Influential Individuals of the City of Mississauga.” After just a few minutes with Pada, it’s obvious that these prestigious honours pale against the smiling faces of the over 45 photos of graduates mounted on the walls of the Sampradaya Dance Academy. “I am profoundly overjoyed and humbled that I have had and continue to have the opportunity to help shape the personal and artistic development of these fine young people. This is my true reward,” says Pada. Pre-K to Grade 12 Reading Writing Math Grammar Study Skills Homework French SAT/ACT Prep Turn Je Ne Sais Pas into Oh-là-là with Oxford Learning’s French Programs! Make this year the best yet with Oxford Learning All Ages . All Grades . All Subjects . Enrol Today! Join in the conversation! Erin Mills Port Credit Mississauga East Mississauga Central Mississauga Meadowvale 905.369.6610 905.891.2500 905.306.7380 905.502.0699 905.824.6680

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