Street closures around the NAC during Ottawa Race Weekend
  • Directed and choreographed by Nova Bhattacharya

Svāhā! is a celebration of dance as a revitalizing ritual that brings us closer together. It is an offering of movement, music, colours and sensations.

Created by award-winning Nova Bhattacharya, Svāhā! embodies the transformative power of dance, expressing the uniqueness of the individual and the value of community. Dancers surrender themselves, sparking the imagination, conveying a range of thoughts and sensations through movement and creating rhythm with their entire beings.

With a cast of over 20 performers selected from a diversity of dance forms and cultural backgrounds, Svāhā! brings differences together in a collage of moving images, offering metaphors, recitation, pulsating rhythms and intense emotions, revelling in simplicity and embracing complexity, Svāhā! asks, how can we be better together?


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

Past performances

Presented by DanceHouse with Indian Summer Festival & SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs Jul 14 - Jul 15, 2023 Vancouver Playhouse

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