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Danse Danse presents Natasha Bakht in an intimate solo evening of dance. Natasha Bakht, the Indo-Canadian choreographer and dancer known in Montreal mainly for her work with Roger Sinha, is particularly noted for her mastery of Bharatanatyam, a form of classical Indian dance that she has studied since childhood. Her work as a dancer and choreographer is highly individual and a testament to her cultural heritage. ”Gifted with an astonishing stage presence,” according to Le Droit newspaper, she will dance at the Centre Pierre-Péladeau performing a program that showcases her charisma and great talents as a dancer and creator of movement.

“Natasha Bakht is another fantastic solo artist who works with phenomenal integrity.”  Brian Webb, Artistic Producer of the Canada Dance Festival


Four Works for a Single Artist
In addition to the world premiere of White Space, Natasha Bakht will dance the solo Triptych Self by London choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh. First performed in 2005, this piece features movement through a shifting landscape in which cultural, stylistic and historical markers appear fleeting. “Jeyasingh has created an homage to a perfect body, but one in which the mind is in a whirl. […This] elevates Triptych Self from pure dance to the agony and the ecstasy of being a modern-day woman” (The Globe and Mail).

Loha, a duet choreographed and performed by Roger Sinha and Natasha Bakht, had its debut in Montreal in 2000. “A work of rare beauty and refinement. […] Belonging more to myth than reality, the intense, profound, and vivid imagery in this piece with a thousand faces transcends the body, movement and even meaning” (Le Devoir). This version of Loha will be a solo excerpted from the original duet.

The legal term Obiter Dictum for which the last piece is named refers to a remark made in passing that interrupts the authority of the main narrative. First performed in 2002 and nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award the following year, Obiter Dictum turns this Latin phrase on its head. Full of rhythmic structures, th is solo disrupts traditional notions of contemporary dance.

Natasha Bakht
As a dancer, Natasha Bakht spent twenty years training with the internationally renowned teacher, Menaka Thakkar, and performed for several years in her company . She was also a member of the London-based Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, performing with the troupe on its world tours. In Canada, Bakht has danced for such choreographers as Yvonne Coutts, Joan Phillips, Hari Krishnan, Robert Desrosiers and Roger Sinha, with whom she has choreographed two pieces. She has been featured at various festivals around the country, the Canada Dance Festival among them.


Natasha Bakht made her debut as a choreographer in 1994. Since then, she has created three solos: Dance if You Must, Appropriating Edges and Obiter Dictum.

“Bakht is well respected in the dance community for the quality of her dancing, her ability to integrate contemporary and classical Indian technique, and for her choreography.” (Edmonton Journal, Canada)

Alongside her dance career, Natasha Bakht is a graduate in law of the University of Ottawa and holds a masters degree in law from New York University. She currently teaches in the common law section at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law and is active in several organizations  including the National Association of Women and the Law and the National Judicial Institute. A member of the legal committee of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, Natasha Bakht has published in the area of women and religion.

Duration: 83 minutes
Triptych Self - 20 minutes
12 minutes
White Space -
20 minutes
Obiter Dictum - 16 minutes


Triptych Self (2005)
Natasha Bakht
Choreographer: Shobana Jeyasingh
Music Director: Glyn Perrin
Music: Clément Janequin, Ryoji Ikeda, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Asa-Chang & Junray, Bandish Projekt
Costume Design: Ursula Bombshell
Lighting Design and Concept: Lucy Carter
Lighting Design Realized by: Roelof Peter Snippe
Rehearsal Director: Yvonne Coutts

A solo, by its very nature, amplifies the dancer and draws attention to the politics of the body.  Its many layers (aesthetic, functional, animal among many others) are the starting points for this work.  It is partnered by music which is wide ranging and which aims to site the dancing body in a place which is culturally, stylistically and historically volatile.

Acknowledgements:Triptych Self is a co-production of The CanDanceNetwork Creation Fund, CanAsian Dance Festival, Harbourfront Centre, Peterborough New Dance, Danse Danse and Live Art Productions and supported by The Canada Council Dance Section. 

Triptych Self premiered at the CanAsian Dance Festival, Toronto, February 23 – 27, 2005.

LOHA (excerpt) (2000)
Natasha Bakht
Choreography: Roger Sinha in collaboration with Natasha Bakht
Composer: Ganesh Anandan
Musicians: Ganesh Anandan (percussion, vocals); Rainer Wiens (guitar)
Costume Design: Vandal Costumes (Liz Vandal & Yveline Bonjean)
Lighting Design: Caroline Ross as adapted by Roelof Peter Snippe
Rehearsal Director: Yvonne Coutts
Music Editing for excerpt: Ed Hanley

LOHA brings one through a journey of storm and peacefulness, as a metaphor for steel which is as flexible as it is resistant.  This solo is comprised of excerpts from the full 30 minute piece which is a duet performed with Roger Sinha and accompanied by live music.

Acknowledgements: The creation of LOHA has been supported by the Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts.  The performances of LOHA are presented by arrangement with Sinha Danse. 


White Space (World premiere presented by Danse Danse)
Natasha Bakht
Composer: Alexander MacSween
Set Design: cj fleury
Costume Design: Ursula Bombshell
Lighting Design: Roelof Peter Snippe
Artistic Advisor/Rehearsal Director: Yvonne Coutts

The image architect and words
She wanders around the bend and quietly cracks
Every audible sound is not discernable
White space a mortal coil
Of the colonial religious and political
History lodged in walls and dreams
Patches of white flowers bloom
The space is barren
Stillness at one

Acknowledgements: Creation and production support for White Space was provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa.

Obiter Dictum (2002)
Natasha Bakht
Composers: Ed Hanley and Suba Sankaran
Musicians: Ed Hanley (tabla, solkattu, programming); Suba Sankaran (vocals, solkattu); Rich Brown (bass); Debashis Sinha (riqq)
Costume Design: Jane Townsen
Lighting Design: Roelof Peter Snippe
Rehearsal Director: Yvonne Coutts

Turning on its head the notion that incidental remarks are mere comments made in passing, Obiter Dictum plays with the concept of asides that carry no authoritative weight.  Supported by music that reverses the typical ordering of a North Indian raga, this solo is rich in rhythmic structure and disturbs formulaic notions of contemporary dance.

Acknowledgements:  Creation support for Obiter Dictum was provided by The Laidlaw Foundation and the Ontario Arts Council.  Obiter Dictum has been produced with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

These performances would not have been possible without the assistance of many people and organizations.  Natasha would like to thank Le Groupe Dance Lab and The School of Dance for their generous donation of studio space.  She is also indebted to Anita and Baidar Bakht, Lynda Collins, Yvonne Coutts, Vanessa Gruben, Graham Mayeda, Carmela Murdocca, Normand Vandal and Brian Webb.

Photo 1 David Hou (Triptych Self), photo 2 Cylla Von Tiedemann (Obiter Dictum), photo 3 David Hou (Triptych Self)