Lata Pada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lata Pada (ಲತಾ ಪಾದ)
Born Lata
(1947-11-07) November 7, 1947 (age 69)
Bombay, India
Nationality Indian
Citizenship Canadian
Education Learnt under master teachers Kalaimamani Kalyanasundaram, and Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan.
Alma mater Elphinstone College in Mumbai
Occupation Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher and Author
Known for Bharatanatyam

Lata Pada,[1] (ಲತಾ ಪಾದ) CM (born, Nov.7, 1947[2]) is an Indian-born Canadian choreographer and Bharatanatyam dancer. Pada is the founder and artistic director of Sampradaya Dance Creations, a dance company that performs South Asian dance. She is also the founder and director of Sampradaya Dance Academy, a leading professional dance training institution that is the only South Asian dance school in North America affiliated with the prestigious, UK-based Imperial Society for Teachers of Dancing.[3][4] Pada founded the dance company in 1990; Pada said that she founded the company because she wanted to showcase Bharatantyam dance as an art form throughout the world.[5][6] Pada is known as an influential figure in South Asian-style dance in Canada.[7]

Earlier life[edit]

Born on Nov. 7, 1947, Lata was the eldest of four children in a well-educated family.[8] Her father was an electrical engineer in the Royal Navy, and her mother eventually had a career in insurance management. She gave up her studies in science to pursue Indian dance, when her first husband, Vishnu Pada, took her to Thompson, Manitoba, where he was working for Inco, she was able to combine her domestic duties with a social life and her artistic vocation. She and Vishnu were the first Indian family in the mining town.


Lata, who attended Elphinstone College in Mumbai,[9] trained under the gurus Kalaimamani Kalyanasundaram and Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan.[7] Pada lives in Mississauga, near Toronto.[10] Pada married geologist Vishnu Pada, (ವಿಷ್ಣು ಪಾದ) on October 30, 1964, when she was 17 years old. Marriage took place in Canada. Vishnu was graduated from McGill University in geology; when he came to India he saw Lata and the marriage negotiations were done.[11] After coming to Canada, Lata Pada became a member of a sorority, and started participating in the programs.

At Indonesia[edit]

Lata and her husband, Vishnu Pada moved first to Indonesia before settling in Sudbury, Ontario, nearly 40 years ago. She devoted her life in looking after her husband, two daughters, and teaching dance. She was visiting India almost every year to train with her dance guru. In 1985 travelling ahead of her family so that she could practice for a scheduled performance in Bangalore. Her family was to join her later for a vacation. They never made it. Her husband and daughters were on the Delhi-bound Air India flight 182 that crashed off the coast of Ireland-victims of a terrorist plot. Numbed with grief, she instinctively turned to her only remaining anchor, dance. On the larger canvas of universal grief, the two personal questions that ring through 'Revealed by Fire' are: "If you take away my husband, am I still a wife? If you take away my children, am I still a-mother.[12] Lata Pada, received a master's degree in fine arts from York University in 1997.[17],[13]

The Career in Bharata natyam[edit]

At the tender age 13, Lata gave her solo debut recital known as the 'Arangetram'. Lata pada's career as a soloist began in 1965, the year after she immigrated to Canada. At this time, her work was largely traditional. However, when she lived in Indonesia for several years, Lata Pada became interested in cross-cultural collaboration and opened up her choreography to other influences. In 1979, she returned to Canada. Pada's solo dances featured bharata natyam in a traditional form and in a more contemporary style. In 1990, Pada founded Sampradaya Dance Creations in Toronto, Ontario, and Sampradaya Dance Academy in nearby Mississauga. Sampradaya Dance Creations presents a range of solo and ensemble choreography in both a classical and contemporary repertoire. The company is also engaged in education and community outreach.

On vacation to India[edit]

In 1985 Lata Pada and her family decided to take an extended vacation to India.[14] On June 23 of that year Vishnu Pada and daughters Arti and Brinda died in the bombing of Air India Flight 182.[4][10] Lata Pada was not aboard since she left on an earlier date to tour India for Bharatanatyam recitals in Bangalore and across India; Lata was in Mumbai rehearsing for her tour, while her husband and daughters stayed behind in Sudbury, Ontario because Brinda was graduating from high school; afterwards the three flew on Air India 182.[15] Lata Pada became a spokesperson for the families of the victims.[16] Lata Pada expressed disappointment in the Canadian government's investigation of the Air India incident.[17] After the crash she created the dance piece "Revealed By Fire" in remembrance of the incident.[18] Pada received a master's degree in fine arts from York University in 1997.[13] [19]

Dances focussed on Women and identity[edit]

Among the dance productions of Lata Pada on various themes, two productions highlighting women and identity are praiseworthy :

  • 'Triveni', which relates Sita, Draupadi and Ahalya to generations of invisible, often silent, women, ever since.
  • 'Sohrab: Mirage' (Sohrab, a Dari word, means mirage), that dwells on the experiences of Afghan women under the Taliban regime.


Awards, accolades[edit]

  • In December 2008, Lata pada was made a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to the development of Bharatanatyam as a choreographer, teacher, dancer and artistic director, as well as for her commitment and support of the Indian community in Canada.[21] Lata was also recently appointed as adjunct professor in the Graduate Faculty of Dance, York University, Toronto.
  • She was one of the interview subjects of the documentary Air India 182.[22] She was also interviewed for the Mayday episode on AI182.
'Shanmukhananda Hall,Matunga, Mumbai'
  • On January 9, 2011, Pada was conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, by the President of India. This award, instituted by the Government of India in 2003, recognizes outstanding contributions by overseas Indians in the diaspora.
  • Lata was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award for her exemplary contributions in the field of dance, as well as for her unrelenting efforts in seeking a public inquiry into the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182.
  • Pada is the first performing artist to be given this prestigious honour in Canada.,[23][24]
  • On June 18, 2012, Pada was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, for her outstanding contributions in promoting South Asian dance in Canada.[25]

A Tribute to our Master[edit]

'A Tribute to our Master', was the falicitation ceremony held at The Shanmukhananda hall, was arranged on 1st, March, 2012, at 6-30 pm. in connection of the 80th birth day of Guru.Shri. Kalyana sundaram pillai, by the disciples of 'Shri. Rajarajeshwari Bharatha Natya Kala Mandir' Matunga, Mumbai. 'Smt. Lata pada' was one among the several established artists of the Vidyalaya. A Bharatanatyam program was conducted by Smt. Viji Prakash, Artistic Director, Shakti School of Bharata natyam, Los Angeles, USA.[26] 'Mythili Prakash', her Disciple and daughter, gave a scintillating performance of Bharatanatyam on the occasion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nartaki, Interview, May, 2001, Lata Pada - Choreographer
  2. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  3. ^ Walker, Susan. "Call it South Asian dance HQ." The Toronto Star. May 30, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Kopun, Francine. "When the only thing left is hope." The Toronto Star. August 25, 2007.
  5. ^ "“B2” a collaboration between Sampradaya Dance Creations and Ballet Jorgen." Harbourfront Centre. Retrieved on December 10, 2008.
  6. ^ " Sampradaya Dance Creations." Canada Council for the Arts. Retrieved on December 10, 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Daring and innovative." The Telegraph. Retrieved on December 10, 2008.
  8. ^ Resource guide, By dance reborn-By Keith Garebian
  9. ^ "P-196." Air India Commission, Government of Canada. September 17, 2007. Retrieved on June 24, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Curry, Bill. "Air India bombing could have been prevented." The Globe and Mail. May 9, 2007.
  11. ^ Radhika, V. "Dancing To Transform." Boloji. December 4, 2004.
  12. ^ 'If you take away my children, am I still a-mother'
  13. ^ a b Fields in Motion: Ethnography in the Worlds of Dance, edited by Dena Davida, Revealed by fire-Lata Pada's Narrative of Transformation-Susan Mcnaughton P-381, Chapter 20
  14. ^ "Explosive Evidence." Mayday.
  15. ^ "The Kanishka Bombing, 20 years on Lest we forget." The Sunday Times. Sunday July 10, 2005.
  16. ^ "Ottawa asks Rae to head Air India inquiry." CBC News. Wednesday November 23, 2005.
  17. ^ Struck, Doug. "For Canada's Police Agencies, 'A Multidimensional Failure'." The Toronto Star. Friday March 18, 2005. A20.
  18. ^ Mahesh, Chitra. "A voyage of discovery." The Hindu. Friday December 5, 2003.
  19. ^ Carlyle, Cathy. "Michael Stevenson responds." York University Gazette. Wednesday May 24, 2000. Volume 30, Number 32.
  20. ^ To Transform'-by V.Radhika Aug,17, 22015
  21. ^ "Governor General Announces New Appointments to the Order of Canada". December 30, 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  22. ^ "Air India 182 Press Kit" (Archive). Air India 182 (film) official website. p. 10/12. Retrieved on October 22, 2014.
  23. ^ New yorku, ' It's a first: South Asian Lata Pada artist receives the Order of Canada published May 1, 2009'
  24. ^ Pravasi Bharatiya Samman
  25. ^ ZOOMERTV, Lata Pada Awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, June 27, 2012
  26. ^ Chi. Mythili prakash
  27. ^ 'The biography of Lata pada, and her YouTube', The youger days pics are documented

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]