Svaha Story - Ashima Suri

"As a local dance artist from an Indian classical background, getting a sense of belonging in the Toronto dance scene wasn't always easy to say the least. Coming into Nova Dance I felt my sense of purpose. And it really began from the moment we began our daily sessions. 

 Each session began with namaskaaram. Though familiar, it also changed and shifted each day. It still honoured the dance, the artist, the earth and each other but it almost always, adapted to present day. I found my feet ground into the earth much deeper during the namaskaaram. I felt my identity as an Indian woman become stronger with each small gesture that was made. I remember the emotions that would come up as we sat into a shape to breathe, reflect or let go. I surrendered into the experience and that really shaped the rest of the days practice. 

This experience was like returning home to my roots. The process reminded me of the magic that has existed within us all along. That our movements, though different, can connect us to our own stories and history. There was a lot of sharing, learning and exploring this week and I'm forever grateful to Nova Dance for providing a safe space where dancers from South Asian backgrounds, could come together to learn from one another and create!" 

- Ashima Suri, on the creation process of Svāhā