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Sanskriti Arts performing at the TSO Open House

On Bhangra and Beyond

An interview with Puja Amin of Sanskriti Arts
April 2, 2024

The music of India and the Indian subcontinent is an incredibly rich source of musical joy for so many people within the GTA and beyond. It is this rich diversity of Indian styles of dance that the TSO is celebrating with its Bhangra and Beyond concert, featuring special performances by Maritime Bhangra and Sanskriti Arts. Maritime Bhangra is a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based dance group which came into existence back in June 2016. Since its inception, the group has produced more than 50 videos to raise money for different causes like ALS, Autism, Blood Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Feed Nova Scotia, and many more using joyful activism. 

Alongside Maritime Bhangra, Sanskriti Arts will also be bringing their own unique expression of Indian dance in a mission to spread Indian culture through traditional performances. Sanskriti Arts was founded in 2003 by Puja Amin, a dancer and teacher from Mississauga. Amin and Sanskriti Arts won the Global Excellence Award in 2019 for being the best dance studio in Canada. Ahead of the Bhangra and Beyond concerts at Roy Thomson Hall and Brampton’s Rose Theatre, Amin joins Noteworthy to reflect on the cultural impact of her company’s collaboration with the TSO. 

Noteworthy — How does this appearance with the TSO reflect your mission to improve the diversity of cultural experiences that young learners are exposed to across the GTA? 

Puja Amin — Our collaboration with the TSO embodies the very essence of the mission of Sanskriti Arts: to unite people of all ages and backgrounds through the transformative power of dance and music. By showcasing South Asian Dances like kathak, bhangra & Bollywood alongside orchestral masterpieces, we’re not just entertaining, but enriching young learners across the GTA with a profound cultural experience. Through this partnership, we’re breaking down barriers, fostering inclusivity, and inspiring a deep appreciation for the diverse tapestry of our world’s artistic heritage for the new generation.

NW — How will an appearance with a live orchestra influence the typical performance by Sanskriti Arts? 

PA — Every Sanskriti Arts performance meticulously celebrates culture, but our collaboration with the TSO elevates this mission. The live orchestra transforms the stage into a grand spectacle, infusing our dances with unparalleled depth. This synergy between South Asian Dance and symphonic music amplifies the cultural narrative, creating a larger-than-life experience. It’s not just a performance; it’s a transcendent journey embodying our commitment to cultural inclusivity and artistic excellence. This fusion leaves an indelible mark on audiences, enhancing our mission’s reach and impact.