Let’s all get filmy in Toronto this May

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May ’17 South Asian events in Toronto offer a heady and healthy mix of films, theatre, music and dance. Check out our desi events calendar.

Monday, May 1

Event: IFFSA
Details: Controversial film Lipstick Under my Burkha, Shahrbanoo Sadat’s Wolf and Sheep and dozens of others are part of the line-up. Guess what? Akshay Roy ‘s Meri Pyaari Bindu starring Parineeti Chopra and Ayushman will make its North American premiere e May 15 at the festival. IFFSA runs 11 to 22.
Contact: Here

Event: Ask the Sexpert
Details: Toronto’s International documentary festival 2017 Hot Docs will showcase an array of documentaries from across the globe including Vaishali Sinha’s Ask the Sexpert, a film is about Dr. Mahinder Watsa, a highly popular 93-year-old sex columnist for Mumbai Mirror. The film will screen at Hot Docs May 1 to 3 at the TIFF Bell Lighthouse. Festival runs until Sunday, May 7
Contact: Here 

Friday, May 6

Students from Nachdi Jawani showcase their dance at the Carassauga Festival of Cultures. Photo by Rob Beintema

Event: Nachdi Jawani
Details: Punjabi Virsa Arts and Culture Academy will be hosting its 17th annual Nachdi Jawani Youth Festival, at 1370 Williams Pkwy. Brampton from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Event will feature gidha and bhangra competitions.
Contact: Here

Event: Taraang
Details: Enjoy a Bollywood musical concert at Glenforest Secondary School, 3575 Fieldgate Dr. Mississauga. The Taraang Ek Sureela Kaarvaan starts at 6 p.m.
Contact: Here

Sunday, May 7

Event: Gujarati Comedy Show
Details: Enjoy a Gujju comedy show at Chinguacousy Secondary School, 1370 Williams Parkway, Brampton at 5 p.m. The three-hour LOL riot features Dr. Jagdish Trivedi.
Contact: Here

Thursday, May 13

Event: Hindustani Music Concert
Details: Raag-Mala Music Society presents Hidayat Khan (sitar) and Manjusha Patil (vocals) at this spring concert at McLeod Auditorium, Medical Sciences bldg., 1 King’s College Circle at 7 p.m.
Contact: Here

Saturday, May 20

Event: Zumba Party
Details: A Bollywood-themed Zumba fitness party is happening at the Harold Braithwaite Secondary School, 415 Great Lakes Dr. in Brampton at 4 p.m.
Contact: Here

Friday, May 26

Event: Carrasauga
Details: Mississauga’s festival of cultures beckons you to take a trip around the world for chump change. While you’re globetrotting, stop by the India pavilion at the Hershey Centre, community rinks at 5500 Rose Cherry Place, Mississauga. Festival runs until Sunday, May 28.
Contact: Here

Saturday, May 27

Event: Malhar SpringFest
Details: Malhar Group will present its annual SpringFest at the Molson Canadian Studio at Hamilton Place, 1 Summers Ln. Hamilton, at 6:30 p.m. Concert will feature: Subhranil Sarkar (sitar), Kaivalya Kumar (vocals), Abhijeet Banerjee (tabla) and Sanatan Goswami (harmonium)
Contact: Here

 

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Shereen Ladha’s Roots will take you on a magical journey of colour and sound

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Roots: A Journey Through India is a show that combines dance, music and history. It comes to the Rose Theatre in Brampton, Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.

Whenever I chance upon something amazing: a good book, a watchable movie, an incredible entrée or even an interesting conversation, there’s a good chance, I will not simply shut up about it.

Sometimes, I even write a whole blog.

So pretend for a moment, these words are being delivered via a bullhorn.

I, for one, plan to stop by the Rose Theatre in Brampton, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. to watch Roots: A Journey Through India.

Having sampled a small snippet on video (you can watch the earlier post), I know it’s just the kind of thing to appeal to all my senses— high-energy dance, opulent costumes, familiar Bollywood tunes and a story line.

Shereen Ladha, 29, the director and creator of Roots as well as owner of popular YouTube channel, dancewithSL has conceived the show by combining her love for dance and choreography, India and Bollywood music.

When she started dancing at four,it was because it was, “so organic, almost like breathing.”

Then on, it was all hard work and grit and following the path.

Magnificent, mesmerizing and magical

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Shereen Ladha, creator and director of Roots: A Journey Through India is a versatile artist proficient in many genres of dance. Supplied photo

Roots can be described as a panoramic, visually stunning musical show that through Shereen’s signature vision wefts and weaves silken threads of romance, laughter and drama through several touchstones of India’s cultural heritage. The rich tapestry is sewn together with Bollywood music.

“I think what makes Roots so unique is its multi-generational and multi-cultural appeal,” said Shereen who considers Madhuri Dixit and Michael Jackson her idols. “It will remind our grandparents and parents of home; the younger generation will connect to our heritage and for people of other cultures, Roots will demonstrate the length and breath of India’s cultural diversity and richness…”

By the way, the last two shows sold-out.

Some 16 or more talented artists execute Shereen’s vision on stage. Mississauga’s Shama Kassam, 26, is one of them.

ken_5721Shama and Shereen are best buddies bound by their passion for dance. When she’s not swaying to music, Shama channelizes her energy into making the body, mind and breath connection as a yoga instructor at Power Yoga Canada Mississauga.

Roots, must be watched to be believed, she says

“I, like many Indians and non-Indians alike, grew up with a love for classic Bollywood and have always been inspired by the feminine grace of movement in Indian dance styles,” Shama said. “My parents love Bollywood music and our house is always willed with Indian music from the 70’s to modern day. I also grew up with a lot of interest in Hip-Hop music and that influences the style of dance I love, and the types of music I’m drawn to.”

Naach baliye, naach

Shereen, a Toronto native is a choreographer, dance visionary schooled in many genres: Hip-Hop, Ballet, Kathak and jazz, all of which she assimilated by the time she was 10.

“Intense dance training is really at the heart of that (dance repertoire),” said the artist whose day job is working with a strategic consulting firm. “I’m a strong believer in having a good foundation in dance. I believe a dancer really should never stop learning, a reason why I started my Master Classes in Bollywood.”

Sorry? Nah, Maafi

You probably recall Shereen from her viral hit Maafi, a cover of Justin Bieber’s chartbuster Sorry. The remix video garnered almost a million views before Sony Music grabbed the copyright.

“One my friends wanted me to do a choreography piece to Sorry by Justin Bieber as part of my regular channel videos, but I thought the original video and choreography was so good that I wanted to do something more unique and put my own spin on it,” Shereen told TDD. “So I got my music producer, J-Raj, and my team on board and Maafi was born.”

On the video going viral she says:

“I think it’s one thing to have fame, however long or short-lived it is, and another thing to make an impact,” Shereen says. “Sharing my art, educating people about my culture, and changing perceptions though dance is something I value so much more, and I feel strongly that I won’t ever compromise the quality of my work to achieve any level of fame.”

Check out Maafi!

To buy tickets for Roots, visit here or call 905-874-2800.

October’ 16 events in Toronto are filled with Navratri and Diwali celebrations

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Dhamal Masti Group (DMG) will host a Navratri event, Oct. 1 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. Photo by Bryon Johnson/The Brampton Guardian

Saturday, Oct. 1

Event: Dandiya Dhamal

Details: DhamalMasti Group (DMG) will host its annual Navratri celebrations at the Hershey Centre, 500 Rose Cherry Pl. in Mississauga from 7 p.m. until midnight. Cost of tickets is $20/person and can be purchased at the door.
Contact: Here

Event: Mere Sung Gaa
Details: Head to Cineplex Entertainment, 110, Courtney Park Dr., Mississauga for a karaoke contest. Championship open to South Asians between 11 to 60+ (There are various categories.
Contact: Here

Event: Navratri Gujju Garba
Details: Ami Modi and Pratik (vocalists) will perform at David Suzuki Secondary School, 45 Daviselm Dr. at 7 p.m. for a garba/dandiya event hosted by Suravali Musical Group. Cost of tickets is $12/person (advance) and $15 at the door.
Contact: Here

Sunday, Oct. 2

Event: Sadhana
Details: Pratibha Arts will be collaborating with Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps Dance Series for this performance series, taking place at the Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto.
Contact: Here

Friday, Oct. 7

Event: Monster Rock Orchestra
Details: With the far-out sounds of a rock band and classical instruments of an orchestra, the unconventional Monster Rock Orchestra (MRO) will deliver rock and pop hits from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today at a spectacular free concert at Yonge-Dundas Square at 7 p.m.
Contact: Here

Friday, Oct. 14

Event: Diwali Raazmataaz
Details: Indo-Canada Arts Council is bringing Diwali celebrations to the “Square.” Event will have elements of Dandiy, Dusherra and Diwali and takes place at the Celebration Square in Mississauga at 5 p.m.
Contact: Here

Saturday, Oct. 22

Event: Kardoon Kamaal
Details: A Diwali dance/dinner concert featuring many local artists will take place at Shingar Banquet Hall, 2084 Steeles Ave. E. Brampton at 6 p.m.
Contact: Here

Thursday, Oct. 27

Event: Piya Behupriya
Details: Soulpepper Theatre, will present Company Theatre’s (India) Piya Behupriya (Twelfth Night) Oct. 27 to 29. Amitosh Nagpal has translated the work of Shakespeare into Hindi. Since it was introduced at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, England, this Hindi musical adaptation about romance, mistaken identity, love and unrequited love has wowed the audience world over. Show will take place at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane, Toronto.
Contact: Here

Note: This is just a few of Navratri and Diwali events happening in the Greater Toronto Area this year. There are lots of others happening, unfortunately, given the resources, It was impossible to list them all.

 

September ’16 events elevate Toronto as a Mecca for artists

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Ganga

Janak Khendry Dance Company will be hosting a dance/drama Ganga at 3 p.m. at the Sir Fredrick Banting Secondary School, 125 Sherwood Forest Square, London, Ont. on Sunday, Sept. 25. Photo courtesy of the Janak Khendry Dance Company

Thursday, Sept. 1

Event: Salim-Sulaiman Concert
Details: The Kidney Foundation of Canada wants GTA residents to experience a musical evening with Bollywood composing duo- Salim and Sulaiman. Event is happening at Mississauga Living Arts Centre. 4141 Living Arts Dr. in Mississauga at 7:30 p.m.
Contact: For tickets visit, Here

Saturday, Sept. 3

(Please note, this event has been cancelled)

Event: Kalangan Series
Details: Samprada Dance Academy will welcome Aditya Prakash Ensemble for its signature, Kalangan Series at the Samprada Theatre, 4-3250 Rideway Dr. at 7:30 p.m. The concert will blend traditional Indian vocals/ragas with western musical instruments. Tickets cost $20 (adults) $15(students). Check out the accompanying video to get a sample. The sounds are magnificent.
Contact: Here

Saturday, Sept. 10

Event: Rung De’ One
Details: Since its launch few years ago, the Holi-inspired event has been adding colour to the social scene in the GTA. This year, the action shifts to Scholars’ Green (outside Sheridan College Campus), 275 Prince of Wales Dr. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: Here

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Rung De ONE, an event inspired by the Indian festival of Holi made its debut in Toronto. Organizers invited not just South Asians, but everyone to sample the culture of India. Supplied photo

Saturday, Sept. 17

Event: Swayamvar
Details: Dubbed as one of the largest singles events in the GTA, the evening, kicking off at 3 p.m. at Tich Restaurant, 2314 Lake Shore Blvd. W. Toronto combines an exhibition portion as well as some components of speed dating. So, if you’re sleepless in Toronto, head there. Tickets are $35/person.
Contact: For more, visit Here

Saturday, Sept. 24

Event: Bhangra/Reggae concert
Details: Small World Music Festival and Dhol Foundation are bringing a wonderful concert at  noon featuring sounds of Bhangra, infused with reggae as part of in/future – an 11-day festival of arts and music at Ontario Place, 955 Lakeshore Blvd. W.
Contact: Here

Sunday, Sept. 25

Event: Ganga (dance/drama)
Details: Janak Khendry Dance Company is hosting a dance-drama Ganga at 3 p.m. at the Sir Fredrick Banting Secondary School, 125 Sherwood Forest Square, London, Ont.
Contact: Here

Ganga

Janak Khendry Dance Company will be hosting a dance/drama Ganga at 3 p.m. at the Sir Fredrick Banting Secondary School, 125 Sherwood Forest Square, London, Ont.on Sunday, Sept. 25. Photo courtesy Janak Khendry Dance Company

 

 

Remember Kolaveri? music director Anirudh stops by Toronto for concert

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Anirudh Ravichander, South Indian music director of Kolaveri fame is coming to Toronto (Brampton) for a concert, Saturday, Dec. 12. Check out our list of other events happening in and around Toronto in December.

Anirudh Ravichander, South Indian music director of Kolaveri fame, is coming to Toronto (Brampton) for a concert, Saturday, Dec. 12. Check out our list of other events happening in and around Toronto in December.

Wednesday, Dec. 2
Event: Red and White Gala
Details: Canadian South Asians Supporting Independent Living (C-SASIL) is hosting its annual Red and White Gala at Shingar Banquet Hall, 2084 Steeles Ave. E. Tickets cost $60/person.
Contact: Harvinder Bajwa, 905-799-7274.

Friday, Dec. 11
Event: Brown Canadian
Details: Council of Agencies serving South Asians (CASSA) will be hosting its 2nd annual Brown Canadian 2020 Summit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at York University (Founders College Assembly Hall), 4700 Keele St. in Toronto. The purpose of the conference is to understand: Where South Asians are at in Canada and secondly to formulate a plan to respond to the needs of the community.
Contact: Gloria Kim, email: gloria@cassa.on.ca or call 416-932-1359 (ext. 12)

Saturday, Dec. 12
Event: Anirudh Concert
Details: Arya Canada will present Anirudh Live at Brampton’s Powerade Centre, 7575 Kennedy Rd. S. at 6 p.m. Anirudh Ravichander is a film composer/singer whose song Why this Kolaveri Di went viral on YouTube with 100 million views. He’s the nephew of Rajnikanth and is part of a band called Zinx.
Contact: Tickets can be purchased here

Event: Chill 2015
Details: The Canadian Malayalee Association (CMA) is hosting its CMA Chill 2015 Meet and Greet at Payal Banquet Hall, 3410 Semenyk Crt. in Mississauga at 6 p.m.
Contact: Here

Wednesday, Dec. 16
Event: Dance Competition
Details: Love Birds 2016 dance competition auditions are taking place at ONEROOF Studios, 2244 Drew Rd. Unit 6 in Mississauga. The grand finale will happen, Feb. 5, 2016.
Contact: dancewithlovebirds@gmail.com or call 647-897-7210

Event: My Room Music Video
Details: Mukta Advertising will host the world premiere of Sirens of Shanti’s music video, My Room, at Lula Lounge, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1T9, 1585 Dundas St. W. in Toronto at 7 p.m. Juno Award nominee Tony Singh aka Punjabi By Nature will also be there
Contact: Here

Saturday, Dec. 19
Event: Bollywood music
Details: Chinguacousy Secondary School, 1370 Williams Pkwy. in Brampton will host Bollywood Musical Night at 5 p.m. There will be live music. Deepak Gandhi and Orchestra will provide live entertainment. Music includes old and new Bollywood hits.

Friday, Dec. 25
Event: Nawaabi Shaam
Details: Ajaay Modi Entertainment is bringing Nawaabi Shaam: Sharab, kabab and shabab ke naam featuring royal gharanas of Lucknow & Hydrabad with the Jhankaar of ghungroos, mehak of the gajras. Sounds interesting.
Interested? Show up in ethnic (serwanis, Jodhpuris, Achkans and kurta pyajamas.
Contact: Here

Dec. 31
Event: New Year Dhamaka
Details: There are so many happening in and around the GTA it just wasn’t possible for me to list them all. Pick your venue. Have fun.