MANDATE & HISTORY
Dedicated to the promotion and nurturing of Indian Dance as an integral part of the Canadian artistic life, Kala Nidhi Fine Arts of Canada is an uniquely Indo-Canadian cultural treasure. Kala Nidhi presents the greatest Indian dance artists and organizations from Canada, India and other countries. At the heart of its mandate is the belief that continued collaboration between countries and artists and the ongoing interchange of artistic traditions and styles, will create a richer dance tradition, and enhance the Canadian cultural scene.
Kala Nidhi Fine Arts has taken a pioneering role in presenting the contemporary face of Indian dance while embracing its traditions; and has inspired a number of choreographers to try new approaches. Since 1993, Kala Nidhi has produced four major international festivals and two festivals showcasing emerging artists from Canada, India and the U.S. and presented numerous choreographic laboratories and workshops and master-classes with leading interpreters of the classical and contemporary Indian Dance traditions.
The international companies and artists that Kala Nidhi Fine Arts has brought to Canada include:
Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, the legendary performer-choreographer of Odissi Guru Kalanidhi Narayanan, the great custodian of the traditional art of Abhinaya (expressional dance) in Bharatanatyam Chandralekha, a choreographer whose spellbinding contemporary works were first introduced to Canada by Kala Nidhi Fine Arts in 1993.
Kala Nidhi Fine Arts festivals explore traditional Indian dance and place it within the context of contemporary trends and dance styles from other cultures. Each festival actively engages audience members in the dialogue with scholarly experts through workshops, lectures and demonstrations, panel discussions, invited talks and presentation of scholarly papers. Whether a scholar, dance enthusiast or someone who is interested in expanding their knowledge of Indian cultural traditions, Kala Nidhi has something for everyone.
In celebration of its first decade in Canada, Kala Nidhi Fine Arts presents a major two phase international festival and conference in March 2004 and March 2005 – “A Century of Indian Dance”. Poised at the beginning of a new century, and also a new millennium, this festival-conference will look back at the century that has just ended and take stock of the multi-faceted development of Indian dance in that very eventful span of 100 years.
 Highlights - A Decade of Kala Nidhi Fine Arts
1993 New Directions in Indian Dance - A Festival and Conference An ambitious 6-day event featuring eight of the world's leading Indian dance companies from India, Canada, the U.S.A and France, 16 solo artists, 26 scholars from eight countries. The Festival received international critical acclaim and created a major impact on people’s awareness of a broad range of Indian dance styles.
1994 & 1997 Navodaya (New Dawn) Festival Two festivals focusing on emerging dancers and young choreogpraphers.
1996 Homage to Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra A tribute festival recognizing the outstanding contribution of the legendary choreographer-teacher-performer Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra on the occasion of his 75th birth anniversary
1996 Navanartan Festival and Conference A festival showcasing new works by senior Canadian Indian choreographers.
1997 4th Kala Nidhi Festival Navodaya - A New Dawn A festival showcasing works by the new generation of Indian choreographers.
1999 5th Kala Nidhi Dance Festival and Mini Kathak Conference Featuring traditional and contemporary work of artists from Canada the U.S. and India, the highlight was a mini Kathak conference chaired by the renowned Kathak exponent Kumudini Lakhia. The first Kathak conference to be held in North America, it traced the evolution of the dance style from its ancient beginnings to modern times.
2002 Bharatnatyam Festival and Symposium A 3-day Bharatnatyam Festival and Symposium exploring another rich tradition – evoking a sense of the living lesson of the outstanding Gurus of the 20th century and discussing contemporary challenges. The conference created common performing opportunities for diverse dance groups and brought together an equally diverse audience representing the broad spectrum of the S. Asian community.
2003 6th Kala Nidhi Dance Festival - YUVAKALA A five-day event celebrating the dawn of the new millennium by projecting the visions of young dancers and choreographers from Canada, the USA, England and India. The festival featured a 10-day Residency and Master Class in Mohiniattam taught by the visiting Indian artist, Pallavi Krishnan and a 10-day choreographic lab involving collaboration between young dancers from Toronto and Birmingham (UK). The festival featured 86 artists performing four different traditional Indian dance styles and a large number of innovative contemporary works.
2004 7th Kala Nidhi Dance Festival - A Century of Indian Dance, Phase One A Century of Indian Dance, Phase 1 presented five evenings of performances by some of the leading artists and practitioners of the featured dance styles - Kathak, Manipuri, Kathakali, Mohiniattam and Rabindranath Tagore’s creative dance style. Artists from India, France, the U.S and Canada highlighted the vitality of these dance styles and their continuing evolution around the world. From traditional to contemporary to fusion choreography, the festival featured something for every taste.