This artistic collaboration was live streamed on Project 40 Collective’s FB page tonight, July 17th at approximately 7 PM (EST). The live performance was filmed at 187 Augusta.

Artist Statement:

Resist/Co-exist tells the story of two dancers from different cultures who live in the same place they’ve adopted as their new home. One dancer embodies the Spanish tradition of flamenco and the other embodies the North Indian Kathak tradition.

Will the dancers stay in rigid cultural silos and resist each other? Is this resistance necessary in order to preserve their own culture and traditions? Or, do they break down barriers and share each other’s values and coexist in harmony? Does coexistence mean traditions fade as they lose sense of what is “ours” and what is “theirs”? Can the adopted home put resistance and coexistence in equilibrium?

This performance was originally produced and sponsored by Emerging Young Artists (EYA). The length created was 12 minutes in collaboration with Tamar, Mushtari and Ahilan and was presented as an opening act of EYA’s contemporary art exhibition titled ‘De/Attachment’ at Narwhal Art Gallery in Toronto on March 17, 2018. We would like to credit them and note their support for the reproduction of Resist/Co-Exist.”


Artist Bios

Mushtari Afroz:

Mushtari was introduced to Bengali folk dance at a young age in Bangladesh as part of her school’s extracurricular activities. Unlike India where classical music and dance have a long-standing tradition, Bangladesh takes pride in her folk dance and music tradition. Mushtari’s training in North Indian Classical Dance form ‘Kathak’ began when she immigrated to Canada in the early 2000. After studying with her first Guru Joanna De Souza for about two years she started advanced training in Lucknow gharana of Kathak under the tutelage of Ms. Saveeta Sharma at Upasana – The Spirit of Dance and recently in Jaipur gharana of Kathak under the tutelage of Mr. Hemant Panwar at Panwar Music and Dance School. Grants from Canada Council for the Arts and UK’s Milapfest Foundation helped her pursue training with the living legend of Kathak -Pandit Birju Maharaj- and the leading contemporary Kathak artist -Ms. Aditi Mangaldas- in UK in workshop setting. Her interest in the recent development of contemporary aesthetic in dance has also motivated her to study with some of the leading Canadian and International choreographers. Mushtari has been performing primarily as a solo Kathak dancer for the past 3 years.

In 2016 Mushtari founded a dance collective called ‘Kathak Bandi’ that aims to celebrate human stories and experience through dance, rhythm, live music and the emotive quality of North Indian Classical Dance form ‘Kathak’. Since its inception the collective has created work inspired by visual art, poetry and contemporary events that speak to the ‘Now’. ‘Resist/Co-exist’ – a Kathak-Flamenco collaboration, ‘Sunset in Fall’ – a work inspired by Canadian Fall, ‘Emerged’ – a work inspired by Canadian Spring, ‘Past & Present’ – a work investigating the inner conflicts of an Asian immigrant to the West, ‘The Broken Dream of a Stream’ – a work inspired by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and ‘Bold Expressions’ – a work inspired by contemporary ideas on ‘what defines boldness’—are some of Kathak Bandi’s recent creations. With Mushtari in the lead the collective has presented its recent work at Aga Khan Museum’s Pop-Up performance Series, The Canadian Foundation for Asian Heritage’s Concert at University of Toronto, In-Depth Conference at Munk Centre for the Global Affairs, Noor Cultural Centre, University of Toronto Festival of Dance, Emerging Young Artist Inc’s Contemporary Art Exhibition, Tagore Centre, Open Open Open Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

Tamar Ilana:

Tamar grew up dancing Flamenco since the age of seven at the Esmeralda Enrique Academy of Spanish Dance in Toronto. Tamar has lived, studied and performed extensively in Barcelona, Seville and Paris, with such masters as Rocío Márquez, Esperanza and Curro Fernández, Encarna and José Anillo, Arcángel, David de Jacoba from the Paco de Lucía Project, El Rubio, the Farruco family, Rocío Molina, Adela Campallo, José Maya, Isabel Bayón, Mercedes Ruiz, Javier LaTorre and many others at the Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco and abroad. Tamar is a key member of the Toronto Flamenco community, having performed and recorded with Esmeralda Enrique, Jesse Cook, Carmen Romero, Benjamin Barrile, Caroline Planté, Manu Soto, and others. Tamar has been featured in flamenco festivals across the country, including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, and most recently, Chicago. When not on tour with her world music ensemble Ventanas (4 time CFMA nominees), Tamar teaches flamenco dance and singing in her hometown and gives workshops across the country in both singing and dance. Tamar loves collaborating with dancers from different disciplines, and has lately been working with Kathak dancer Mushtari Afroz and Indigenous Fancy Shawl Dancer Cotee Harper. Tamar Ilana recently completed Canada’s Music Incubator with Coalition Music on a scholarship, and is releasing her third album in the Fall.

See more of Tamar’s work at www.tamarilana.com

Ahilan Kathirgamathamby:

Ahilan started to learn Tabla at a very young age and continues to learn today under Ravi Naimpalli. He has also learned Mirudangam under Umayalpuram Sivaraman in India. The majority of his training has been live classical performances with the likes of Pandit Vinayak Torvi – Indian classical vocal and Ravi Kumar – Sarod. Ravi and Ahilan have practiced and performed together for more than 15 years, an experience he values the most to his growth.

Ahilan has performed many dance projects in Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi for over 20 years and expanding his play with Kathak, and Flamenco. He continues with his performances with numerous projects and other dance genres and Ahilan has also been teaching for more than 20 years, something he loves to do daily. Outside of percussion, Ahilan is a Life Coach, Filmmaker, and Photographer. The combination of these four elements truly personify who he is, and how his presentations of these can influence people to enjoy their lives. The love for these four passions created his company, Four Red Petals – “inspiring people to look within.”