Our Team

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Roma Thakore

Artistic Director & Founder

Roma Thakore received her Bachelor of Arts, with a focus on classical dance from Nalanda Dance Academy, affiliated with the University of Bombay in 1982. Roma taught at the School of East Indian Languages and Performing Arts for 13 years, and started the dance program there in 1985 teaching Bharatnatyam and traditional folk dances of India (a program which is still running). In 1987 she started Kala Bhavan of Calgary. She has performed and taught for several organizations such as the Bengali Association, Hindu Society, Gujarati Mandal, Marathi Association, SICA, Telugu Association, Tamil Association, and Raag Mala Music Society.

 

Roma has also been a supporter of the local community and has performed for Heritage day, Canada Day, and has been actively involved in GlobalFest through the India Canada Association (INCA). Roma has acted as program coordinator of the annual Multi Cultural Night organized by INCA and SAHALA, and has been both Vice-President and President of the Gujarati Mandal of Calgary. She has held her own successful productions through Kala Bhavan of Calgary and has been involved with organizing the Western Canada Folk Dance Competition. Roma has collaborated with many groups and dancers over the years including Divya Unni, Firenze Flamenco, Arabia Adorned, and independent musicians from across Canada.

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Jovita Patara

Pro-Level Choreographer

Jovita began her Bharatnatyam training in 1990 and has been a student of Kala Bhavan of Calgary since 1992. She has been choreographing classical, semi-classical, cinematic, fusion, and folk dances since 1999, and began teaching the Bharatnatyam curriculum in September 2015. Jovita's goal as both a performer and choreographer is to connect with the audience through the creation of unique, challenging and dynamic dances that are embedded with classical movements. She completed her bharathnatyam Arangetram in 2014.

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Pooja Thakore

Pro-Level Choreographer

Pooja started training with Kala Bhavan of Calgary in 1988, and now has over 20 years of dance experience, including Bharatnatyam, traditional Indian folk dances, Indian film, and fusion styles. She has trained intensively in Bharatanatyam in Calgary as well as in India, at the Nritya Shala Dance School. Pooja has been an instructor since 2002 at KBC and she completed her Arangetram in September 2010.

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Kajal Dattani

Pro-Level Choreographer

Kajal began her Bharatanatyam training with Kala Bhavan of Calgary in 2000. She has been an instructor at Kala Bhavan of Calgary since 2015. Along with Bharatanatyam, she enjoys choreographing folk, fusion and contemporary pieces, and collaborating with various artists across Calgary. Kajal performed as the co-lead for KBC dance productions, earning praise for her acting, dancing, and choreography.

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Parvathi Nair

Pro-Level Choreographer

Parvathi began her studies in Bharatnatyam in Kerala with R. S. Lakshmi in 1998. After she immigrated to Calgary in 2004, she continued her training at Kala Bhavan of Calgary. While her passion lies within the world of Bharatanatyam, she has also performed folk, fusion, and cinematic dances at various venues. She has been briefly trained in Carnatic singing, violin, and piano. She has contributed as a scriptwriter for KBC's dance 2017 and 2019 dance productions.

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Anita Stephen

Pro-Level Choreographer

Anita has been a student with Kala Bhavan of Calgary since 2000. She has performed classical, fusion and folk dances at various events since her childhood. Dancers such as Divya Unni and Shobana inspire her, along with her fellow dancers at KBC. Anita has choreographed and performed for many private events, and was one of the key choreographers for KBC productions Devadasi and Yoddha.

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Justiena Matthew

Pro-Level Choreographer

Justiena has been an active member of Kala Bhavan of Calgary for over 20 years, starting in 1996. Since then she has practiced different styles of dance, including folk, contemporary, Bollywood, and fusion. Justiena has performed for numerous events and has had the opportunity to dance alongside famous South Indian actors such as Divya Unni and Suresh Gobi. Justiena has also choreographed and performed for many private events, and was one of the key choreographers for KBC productions Devadasi and Yoddha.

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Ashley Matthew

Pro-Level Choreographer

Ashley's passion for dance began in 1997 under the training of Roma Thakore. Ashley enjoys all forms of Indian dance and performs various types; her favourite forms include Bharatanatyam, garba/raas and fusion. She also actively choreographs for different shows and enjoys spreading the rich Indian culture with everyone she encounters.