Nova Dance Toronto
  • Directed and choreographed by Nova Bhattacharya

Svāhā! is an epic pageant of dance, chant, and ritual performed by women.  At the heart of the work is choreography by Nova Bhattacharya for 15 Indian classical dancers, sharing the stage with a body-choir of 75 performers from Indian dance training programs. 

With the large cast for Svāhā!, Nova delves into the integration of classical vocabulary with improvised movement, along with elements of body percussion, vocalisation and transmission that are inherent to Indian dance.  A driving, compelling, ceaseless, and loud celebration, Svāhā! pays homage to South Asian Canadian women through an offering of joy, faith, and female collectivity, offering the audience an immersion in a visual and sonic experience inspired by rituals of the South Asian diaspora.



Led by Founding Artistic Director Nova Bhattacharya, Nova Dance is a radically imaginative, contemporary dance company dedicated to reflecting the evolution of Indian classical dance on the Canadian scene.  Over the past decade, the company has presented a number of critically acclaimed works, initiated a range of projects to enrich artists and audiences, and created a context for South Asian dance artists to take space with their art as a vital part of Canadian society.

Creative team

  • Directed and choreographed by Nova Bhattacharya
  • Composer and Sound Designer Ed Hanley
  • Lighting Designer Simon Rossiter
  • Costume Designer Sage Paul
  • Creation support Bonnie Kim, Louis Laberg-Côté, Tedd Robinson, Anisa Tejpar
  • Cast Mushtari Afroz, Nidhi Baadkar, Nova Bhattacharya, Chelcia Creary, Rajvi Dedhia, Ed Hanley, Mel Hart, Gurtej (Tej) Hunjan, Neena Jayarajan, Rachana Joshi, Candace Kumar, Nyda Kwasowsky, Judy Luo, Swadhi Ranganee, Kiruthika Rathanaswami, Malavika Santhosh, Hannah Shikatani, Eilish Shin-Culhane, Ashvini Sundaram, Abigail Thomas, Sukruti Tirupattur, Yui Ugai, Purawai Vyas, Kaela Willey

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Fund’s investment of $160,000 gave Nova Dance the opportunity to work with a large ensemble of the country’s top Indian classical dancers during an extended workshop and rehearsal period.


Produced by Nova Dance in partnership with Citadel + Compagnie, with support from TO Live.

Partners:  Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, the Metcalf Foundation, and The Theatre Centre.

Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.

Performance dates

September 16 to 18, 2022:  World Premiere, Bluma Appel Theatre (Toronto), presented by TO Live

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