This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Reshmi Chetram. Reshmi comes from an artistic family. She developed her love for dance- more specifically, for Kathak from her mother Deviekha Chetram. At a young age Reshmi was exposed to the artform as mother had founded the Tarana Dance Centre in 1989, allowing Reshmi to grow up hearing Tukras & Tatkar on a daily basis. From the young dancer to a young woman pursuing her love for the art- Reshmi’s passion is dance.
Since 2005 Reshmi has been traveling to New Delhi India to study under the guidance of Pandit Birju Maharaji. Having been exposed to his teachings & advanced students of Kalashram it has enriched Reshmi’s love for the artform – the beauty of Kathak, is that you never stop learning. Reshmi is the principal dancer for the Natya Arts Productions & Choreographer at the Tarana Dance Centre. Following along with her passion for dance, Reshmi is an entrepreneur in the Dance Industry. She founded two of her own companies ” BollyFit International & the Dance For Life Foundation. Reshmi is being recognized as an emerging artist in the dance industry, along with her passion for Kathak- she loves everything Dance. Reshmi has now gone onto reach out to others who share the same passion by teaching Kathak & Bollywood classes, BollyFit Fitness classes & showcasing Toronto based artists on a platform that raises funds for charity.
Reshmi has been featured on : BollyFit TV Series ( Host.) Breakfast Television, Rogers Daytime, WOW TV, ZoomerLifestyle, Daily Buzz, in Tonic Magazine, Anokhi Magazine, Toronto Observer, Markham Economist . She has been a featured presenter at DivaGirl Conference, Zoomer Show & Moses Znaimers IDEACITY.
Follow Reshmi on twitter @reshmichetram
Find out what Reshmi had to say in this weeks’s shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Reshmi: I can actually remember my first dance class. I was always eager to be in the classes. My mother, Deviekha Chetram is the Artistic Director of the Tarana Dance Centre & I always remember running downstairs to see what she was teaching, and run back upstairs and practice in front of the mirror. I was 5 years old when I was put in my first dance class- I had to wait till I was 5 as all the other students did 🙂
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Reshmi: In Kathak dance, the idea of freestyling, is partnered with a live musician. We listen to the taal ( cycle of beats.) and can start wherever we please in the cycle but must end on Sam ( first beat.) The adrenaline rush is exhilarating. It takes practice. From a non classical point, freestyling can be so liberating. Just remember, YOU are the dance do not be afraid to let go. When I say let go, I also mean let go of your training for that moment. I find that sometimes dancers feel that they have to perform a routine when doing freestyle.There is a different amount of energy when one is freestyling. You will surprise yourself, when you let go.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Reshmi: Dim Lights a cup of tea , and the track on repeat.
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why? (Could be another Dancer, choreographer, musician etc.Doesn’t have to be from Toronto)
Reshmi: I have had the pleasure of working with many dancers in Toronto. More recently my path has crossed with Parul Guptas. She is a dancer from Montreal who has moved to Toronto. We met 3 years ago at Dance Intense Calcutta, where 19 dancers from all around the world were brought together for a 2 week intensive dance training program. At the time she was a Bharatnatyam dancer, she has worked hard & joined the Kathak world here in Toronto. It is a great feeling when you are on the same wave length with a fellow artist, the creative energy flows and so many great things are created.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Reshmi: Currently working on events leading up to International Dance Day & National Dance Week! In rehearsals with Parul Gupta for our piece for Natya Arts Productions Rhythm of Ghungroos Showcase. It will be a great event showcasing Torontos Leading Classical Dance Companies on one platform. Secondly, my organization Dance For Life Foundations team is gearing up for Torontos first 12 Hour Challenge for Dance Companies! We are excited and looking forward to raising funds for charity with our fellow Dancers of Toronto!
I am doing a call for auditions for ladies & gents who want to be a part of our Bollywood Dance Troupe! Need dancers who have at least 8 years of dance training , energetic and either love bollywood or want to try something new! We are gearing up for our summer season which is usually pretty booked!
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
Reshmi: Toronto Dancers reflect the city, they are diverse they are brave, bold and they show no restrictions or restraints in their dance. They reflect, embrace & execute with passion.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Reshmi: Do not be afraid! Take as many classes as you can learn as much as you can. Be a sponge this is how you will find YOUR element. Your style will be a blend of many things you have learnt along the way. The beauty of our art form is you will never stop learning, and there fore you will never stop being an innovation in itself.
THANK YOU RESHMI FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO