Arzoo Dance Theatre

Artists - Dancers

Prajakta Dravid

Dancer – Laddo

Prajakta Dravid is a Kathak dancer, teacher & choreographer based out of Toronto, Canada. Trained under the tutelage of Pandita Maneesha Sathe, Prajakta has a Masters in Kathak and has been conferred the title of “Nritya Shiromani”

 A recipient of the National Artists’ Scholarship from the Government of India, Prajakta has performance credits at the Indian Embassy (Portugal), World Peace Festival (Japan), Pune Festival & Cuttack International Festival (India) and so on. In Canada, she is carving her own niche, having performed at Kathak Mahotsav, Dance Ontario – Dance Weekend among others. She is promoting Kathak through her institute ātmikā, training dancers of all ages. She is empaneled with Bharti Vidyapeeth, Gandharva Mahavidyalay & Atul Desai Foundation as an examiner for advanced level examinations in Kathak. Through her artistic journey, Prajakta has participated on panels and collaborated with art forms like Salsa, Korean drums, Bharatanatyam, Ghatam, while staying rooted to the tradition of Kathak.

Marla Palakkamanil Gill

Dancer – Laddo

Marla Palakkamanil Gill is an Edmonton born and raised professional dancer with extensive training in the classical Indian dance form of Kathak

She began her training in Kathak and Bharathanatyam with Usha Gupta and has continued her Kathak training with Guru Sudeshna Maulik. Marla’s notable performances include Usha Dance Entourage’s contemporary Kathak production, Aalaap, touring across five cities in Canada and seven major cities in India in 2014/2015. In July 2016, Marla performed in a production choreographed by Pandit Birju Maharaj at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. In April 2019, Marla was presented in Brian Webb Dance Company’s Next Generation/South Asian Dance. In 2019/2020, Marla performed in Usha Dance Entourage’s production, Khoj – The Search, touring across twelve cities in India. In January 2023, Marla collaborated and performed in Deepti Gupta’s workshop production, Laddo: The Darling. In March 2023, Marla choreographed and performed in Trikōn at Edmonton’s SkirtsAFire Festival.

Ketaki Sathe

Dancer – Laddo

Ketaki Sathe is a Kathak (Indian Classical Dance) dancer.

She has completed her Master’s Degree in Kathak from Bharati Vidyapeeth, India. She has performed globally in countries like Norway, South Korea, India, Canada etc. She also works as a dance examiner. Currently she is teaching and performing Kathak in Canada.

Sukriti Sharma

Dancer – Laddo

Sukriti Sharma started her initial training under Guru Sh. Ashok Chakraborty and continued it under the able guidance of Sangeet Natak Academy awardee Guru Sh. Krishan Mohan Mishra (Elder son of late Pt. Shambhu Maharaj) and completed her 10 years of training in kathak and holds Post Diploma from National Institute of Kathak Dance – Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, India.

She holds a degree from Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh, India. Sukriti is also a graded artist with Delhi Doordarshan. She has also attended various workshops, and explored the different facets of kathak with masters such as Smt. Shama Bhate, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Smt. Alokparna Guha, Deepti Gupta and Madhu Natraj Kiran. She has taught in India for several years and now teaches here in Canada for 3 years. She has been a part of the repertoire of Padmashree Smt. Shovana Narayan named ‘ASAVARI’, for many years. She has also performed in various festivals in India and abroad such as Kathak Mahotsava, Surya Festival,Vasantotsava, Konark Festival, Khajuraho festival, Kathak Mahotsava Canada (2016 & 2018), Carrasauga Festival, ArohaFest (2017-2019), The great India Festival, Angikam to name a few. She has performed in the works of her guru Sh. Krishan Mohan Mishra, Sh. Jai Kishan Maharaj, Smt. Asavar Pawar, Smt. Shovana Narayan, Smt. Maitryee Pahari, Smt. Malti Shyam, Shailja Nalwade, and some Canada Based renowned Kathak artists such as Hemant and Vaishali Panwar, Deepti Gupta and Tanveer Alam. She has been a part of the Choreographic Mentorship Program, danceAdvance by Sampradaya Dance Creations and recently toured India in the production ‘Mandala’ organized by Sampradaya Dance Creations.

Neetika Sharma

Dancer – Self-Portraits with Amrita (CanAsian commission)


Born in Libya, to Indian parents, Neetika Sharma started her performance journey at the age of 10. Today, she is a passionate Kathak performer, choreographer, instructor and arts manager.

She is the founding member of Millennial Arts collective that worked on a support group for young women dance artists of color that practice traditional dance forms in Toronto. She has received rigorous training in an Indian classical dance form called – Kathak by Gurus Hemant & Vaishali Panwar in Toronto; and has worked with/for many renowned senior artists/organizations in the industry. Neetika has keen interest in exploring various layers of traditional Kathak repertoire and presenting them with new and relevant interpretations through research, creation and performance.

Priyanka Tope

Dancer – Laddo


Priyanka Tope is a Kathak artist from Hamilton, Ontario.

She has been studying under the guidance of Parul Shah. Priyanka also has years of training in Bharatanatyam and Hindustani vocal music. Priyanka has attended various workshops with artists such as Aakash Odedra, and Padmini Chettur. Priyanka has performed for various events throughout Ontario such as CanAsian dance festival, London Museum, London Dance Festival, Meaningful Movement, Anandam dance events, Dusk Dances to name a few.


Ian Garrett

Visual Artist – Laddo


Ian Garrett is an artist, designer, producer, educator, and researcher in the field of sustainability in arts and culture

 Ian is Associate Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University in Toronto, is the co-founder and director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), and Producer at ToasterLab. He is a member of Associated Designer of Canada, where he serves on the Board of Directors, He is a member of the US Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT), where he served as the Curator for the United States’ entry for the 2019 Prague Quadrennial. He is co-chair of World Stage Design 2022, and he co-chairs the Education Committee for the Broadway Green Alliance.

Ian maintains a practice focused on the integration of sustainability, design, and technology in performance and performing environments. His work is often focused on the concept of Technological Haunting, using immersive media and mixed reality technology to time-shift the experience of performance. Much of this work is done with collaborators Justine Garrett and Andrew Sempere through Toasterlab.

Other work includes Theatre Panik’s durational performance, Peep, at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2015; Erika Batdorf’s Micro-theatre for Burnish at the Theatre Centre and Venice Biennale, and the set and energy capture systems for Zata Omm Dance Projects’ Vox:Lumen at the Harbourfront Centre. He has worked on installations such as DTAH Architects’ installation Ravine Portal for the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Toronto Site in 2014 and on the lighting team for the Crimson Collective’s Ascension, a 150’ wide, origami-style crane sculpture at the 2010 Coachella Music Festival.

He has been involved with hundreds of theatre productions as a lighting and media designer, having received the 2006 LA Weekly Theater Award for best lighting for Permanent Collection at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and having been the lighting designer for Song of Extinction with Moving Arts, which won the 2008 LA Weekly Theater Award for Production of the Year. This work includes work as a producer having worked on the premiere of Richard Foreman and Michael Gordon’s What to Wear at REDCAT, the Prague tour for Torry Bend’s puppet adaptation of Aimee Bender’s Loser, dozens of shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe including At Sundown—a physical theatre piece on aging and memory that he initiated, and was an associate producer on The Medea Project, a cross- cultural production of Medea in Athens and Los Angeles.

 Ian received MFAs in Lighting Design and Producing from CalArts, and has a BA in Architectural Studies and Art History from Rice University.

Sheniz Janmohamed

Poet – Laddo


Sheniz Janmohamed (MFA) is a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration, compassion and creativity.

In her own practice, she strives to embody words through performance, land art and writing in the ghazal form. A poet, artist educator and land artist, Sheniz has performed her work in venues across the world, including the Jaipur Literature Festival, Alliance Française de Nairobi, Aga Khan Museum, and Vancouver Writers Fest. Sheniz is also the author of three collections of poetry: Bleeding Light (2010) and Firesmoke (2014) – both have been taught at the University of Toronto – and her most recent collection, Reminders on the Path (2021). Her writing has been published in a variety of publications, including Quill & Quire, Arc Poetry Magazine, and Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press, 2019). Sheniz visits dozens of schools and organisations each year to teach, perform, and inspire creativity in her students. In 2022, Sheniz served as UTSC’s 2022 Writer-in-Residence, where she mentored students and facilitated creative writing workshops.

Michael Penney

Film Director – Self-Portraits with Amrita


Michael Penney is a writer, producer, director and editor and started Afterlight Films in 2006.

He graduated in 2002 from Ryerson University’s Film Studies program with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He produced, shot, directed and did the post production for a 30-minute documentary on conflict gold in Columbia’s Chocó rainforest called “The Last Gold Rush” (2008) with the help of friends and colleagues at Fair Trade Jewellery Company (FTJCO) in Toronto. The documentary was used by the United Nations and FLO-Cert (the Fair Trade Labeling organization. Penney worked extensively with Mod Club Theatre and Virgin Mobile, producing concert videos and interviews with bands such as Muse, Metric, and the Killers, as well as with many charitable organizations including KidsFest, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Polo for Heart, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and War Child. In 2008, he was also a founding member of #HoHoTO, a Twitter-based non-profit that raised over $285,000 for the Daily Bread Food Bank in its first 5 years.

Artistic Community

Sheniz Janmohamed

Author/ Nature Artist/ Artist Educator

Instructor at the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto, and works at Reviewer at Quill & Quire.

Rekha Tandon

choreographer/ performer/ researcher in odissi dance

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Ravi Naimpally

Tabla player/ composer/ teacher and student.

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Tricia Postle

Founder CEO

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Redfeet Dancestudio

Pondicherry Dance School

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Sukriti Sharma

Community Associate at Regus, Guest Service Representative at Elmwood Spa and Kathak Dance Teacher at danceShala

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Joanna De Souza

Dancer, community builder, lover of life

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Anna Chatterton

Playwright in Residence at Nightwood Theatre

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