The Natyam Ensemble

Natyam Ensemble is creation-based dance company that has brought south-Asian dance to the forefront in Alberta. This brainchild of dancer, choreographer, and art educator Malavika Venkatsubbaiah, Natyam was established with the vison of cultivating and nurturing artistic excellence in the next generation of artists. Inspired by the rich traditions of south-Asian dance and attempting to reach a contemporary relevance with roots of traditional vocabulary, Nataym’s forte lies in the idiom of neo-bharathanatya. They have collaborated with many local and international artists to produce some very interesting works that have been presented at many prestigious venues including Manohar performing Arts of Canada, Feats Festival of Dance, The Thousand Faces festival, Works Arts and Design Festival, Ragamala, American Natay Festival and Brain Webb Dance Company.


Natyam Ensemble’s new work for CanNatyam features choreographer Malavika Venkatsubbaiah, company dancers Abi Subramanian, Visesha Dronamraju, Monica Surti and Shriya Sidhaye in collaboration with a live music ensemble featuring the highly accomplished versatile musician Dr. Deepak Paramashivan, Dr. Michael Frishcopf, Mukund Shankar Krishan and Layamadhuraa Gowrishanker Balachandran.


Dance ensemble:


Malavika Venkatsubbaiah is a dancer, choreographer and an art educator, artistic director who takes pride in cultivating a serious passion and artistic excellence in home-grown talents. She is recognized for her technical excellence and breathes freshness into her works with creative thinking and insightful choreography. She has carved a niche in bringing high caliber south-Aisian dance to Alberta. Her solo and collaborative works have been presented at many prestigious venues in Canada, US, UK and India. Her works have been supported by Edmonton Arts Council, Calgary Arts Development Authority and Alberta Dance Alliance. She is the recipient of the Konark Nrithya Ratna award, Natya Saradhi award and The Edmonton Arts Council Cultural Diversity Arts Award.


Abinaya Subramanian is a young and enthusiastic Bharatanatyam dancer from Calgary currently under the tutelage of Malavika Venkatsubbaiah. She has been part of the Natyam Ensemble since 2018 and has performed at various cultural events and festivals such as The Thousand Faces Festival, Calgary Naatyanjali and many of Natyam’s own productions. Abinaya has also performed other dance styles such as Mohinattam, Rajasthani folk and other fusion pieces. She recently graduated with a Bachelors in Health Sciences from U of C.


Monica Surti is a member of Natyam Ensemble since 2018 under the tutelage of Malavika Venkatsubbaiah. For Monica, bharatanatyam has always served as a connection to her heritage and has led her to advocate for the Indian arts, by partaking in events including Natyanjali Calgary and the Mosaic Dance Festival in Edmonton. As a result of her advocacy for the arts, Monica placed as a finalist for the Youth of Distinction Award in Calgary in the Arts and Culture category. She holds a master’s degree in public health from U of A.


Shriya Sidhaye is the newest member of Natyam ensemble and is currently training under Malavika Venkatsubbiah. She has partaken in many dance festivals in Ontario as a part of Sri Abiramy Dance Academy and won the first place at Toronto Marathi Association. Her debut with Natyam Ensemble was at the Thousand Faces Festival last year.


Music Ensemble:


Dr. Deepak Paramashivan is a composer, singer and a Sarangi player from Canada. He has performed world-wide as a soloist and in collaboration with stalwarts like Ustad Ashish Khan, Pt. Yogesh Shamsi, Pt. Anindo Chatterjee, Abbos Kosimov, kathak legend Pt. Birju Maharaj, A R Rehman and Hollywood music director Rick Boston. He has conducted master classes on Indian music, composition and music theories at various universities including Berklee college of Music and New England Conservatory. He has a PhD in energy and Climate Engineering from IISc, his second doctorate in Music from U of A and is working towards his third.


Gowrishanker Balachandran is an internationally renowned Toronto-based mridangist who has been performing for almost four decades. He is well known for his involvement in many jugalbandhi and fusion music concerts with many celebrated artists across the globe. Gowrishanker has received many honours and awards including "Mridanga Vadhya Sironmani" presented by Gayathri Fine Arts of New Delhi and "Best Teacher Award" presented by the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana. He is the Founder and Director of Layamadhuraa Percussive Arts Center,

Canada established for the promotion of South Indian Percussive Arts.


Mukund Shankar Krishnan is a carnatic Violinist based in Edmonton and a student of Sri Sikkil Balasubramaniam in Chennai. A regular performer in the Carnatic music scene in Edmonton, he is also actively involved in dance productions with live music accompaniment at the Vancouver International Dance Festival, Mushtari Begum festival, the Image India Society and The Thousand Faces Festival. He has continually collaborated with Natyam Ensemble in many of their projects Including MahaMaya, Madanika, Virahi Chitra and many more. Mukund currently works in Aftermarket Sales and Customer Service at National Oilwell Varco.



Lighting Design by Ami Farrow

The Natyam Ensemble