Sopanam Canada Ensemble
"Sopanam" - is a Sanskrit word and refers to the sacred steps leading to the main shrine of a temple or worshiping place.
ANUPAMA DINESHKUMAR Born in Tripunithura, Kerala, India, Anupama received kathakali training under the tutelage of renowned guru Sri FACT Padmanabhan. Kathakali dance was traditionally performed by men. After her Arangettam (debut/graduation in Kathakali) in 1990, Anupama became an active member of Tripunithura Kathakali Kendram (ladies troupe) ,an organization promoting and empowering women to learn and perform kathakali . In 2017, the troupe was recognized by the President of India with Nari Shakthi Puraskar.
Immigrated to Canada in 2003. Anupama Continued her passion for the artform and has performed kathakali in prestigious venues in USA & Canada such as Smithsonian University, Chicago Art Gallery, Chicago University, Royal Ontario Museum, Festival of India (Toronto & Ottawa), Montreal Natyanjali festival and for organizations such as KHNA and AKMG . Anupama has been promoting cultural exchange through dance by introducing Kathakali through various dance projects and collaborating with dance professionals and students practicing other dance forms.
PREETHA KANDANCHATHA Preetha is a multi-talented artist, proficient in all South Indian classical art forms - Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi and Bharathnatyam . Preetha hails from the family of renowned Kathakali artist, Sri Naripatta Narayanan Namboodiri, her Guru and Uncle. She is trained by eminent teachers like Sadanam Lakshmikutty and Kalamandalam Indira in the field of classical dance. She has achieved the Kala Thilakam award from Palakkad District for her performances in various art forms and received accolades from well-known dancers in and around kerala. To promote classical dance, traditions and values of rich Indian culture, Preetha has established Nritha Kala Kendra, a dance academy in Toronto, empowering, mentoring and motivating students through the technique of dance.NKK has initiated dance projects like SAMYOGITA, BHAAVAYAAMI GOPAALAM, THYAAGA PANCHAKAM and Theatre plays like KANNAKI . Bhaava prayaanam is an ongoing dance series to share knowledge on dance , bhavaas and mudras
KOCHUNNI OPPATH An ardent lover of art, a pioneer in promoting classical Indian dance forms who initiated the first ever kathakali performance in 2006 by trained artists who immigrated to Canada thereby maintaining traditions alive in North America. A scholar as well as a performer of ottamthullal, Chakyarkoothu , Padakam and Kathakali. An Active member of many cultural organizations in North America.
JAYASHREE DINESHKUMAR Jayashree is learning Kathakali under the guidance of Sadanam Vijayan G. warrier. She had actively participated as supporting characters in many kathakali programs. Jayashree completed her Arangettam in Bharathnatyam in 2022 and continues to perform both artforms expanding her knowledge in dance.
GAYATHRI DINESHKUMAR Costume and makeup assistant. Gayathri recieved Chutti (a unique Facial make up for Kathakali) training, under the guidance of Kalamandalam Arun Ramesh. Gayathri has supported Sopanam members in many performances in Canada & USA. She is a Kathakali student, and performs supporting characters.
RAJESWARI KOCHUNNI Costume and stage assistant. Rajeswari has supported Sopanam members in many performances in Canada and U.S.A.