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Coming from a music background, Canadian born Joanna de Souza began her life-long study of kathak under Pandit Chitresh Das in 1978, and was part of the Chitresh Das Dance company from 1981-1985. Under his guidance, in the traditional one-on-one, guru-shisha-param-para context, she received knowledge in all aspects of Kathak dance performance, theoretical understanding and teachers training.
Pt. Das, with over 40 years of dedication to establishing the kathak form in North America, has achieved a reputation for continued artistic excellence as a dancer, choreographer and teacher.
During a two-year study period in Kolkata India, living with her Guru’s parents Nrityacharya Prohlad Das and Smt, Nilima Das, Joanna received her Masters Degree in kathak dance through the Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad India and studied sarangi with Pt. Ram Nath Misra, father of the famed New York based sarangi master Pt. Ramesh Misra.
Joanna’s return to Canada, and establishing M-DO, was fuelled by the intent to establish the art form here from her unique perspective as an informed, contemporary, non South Asian, classical Indian dancer.