Lata Pada

Artistic Director of SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations
Founder/Director of SAMPRADAYA Dance Academy

“When I came here forty years ago I was an exception, today I’m mainstream.” – Lata Pada

(Photo by Richard Lautens)

Lata Pada is Artistic Director of Sampradaya Dance Creations, an award-winning professional dance company recognized for its innovation and excellence in dance. Lata has lived in Canada since 1964 and has had an extensive career as a bharatanatyam soloist, including a command performance for the President of India in 1992. She has trained in bharatanatyam under India’s distinguished gurus – Kalaimamani K. Kalyanasundaram and Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan. Her performances have been featured in important dance festivals and venues worldwide. She brings a contemporary worldview to her award-winning creations, which have been recognized for their distinctive, intercultural and multi-disciplinary choreography and which have been performed at prestigious festivals and venues all over the world. Lata holds a Masters in Dance from York University and is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Program of Dance at York University.

Recipient of many honours and awards, in 2009 Lata was conferred the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian award. She has the distinction of being the first South Asian artist to receive this prestigious honour.

Lata’s career spans an impressive spectrum of performance, choreography, teaching and research. Her choreographic versatility is seen in the exploration of the classical idiom of bharatanatyam in its interpretation of classical and contemporary themes.

She is a founding member of the South Asian Advisory Committee at the Royal Ontario Museum. She currently serves on the Advisory Committees of York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, Centennial College, and the Toronto Arts Council; and the Advocacy Committee of the Canadian Dance Assembly. Lata is a member of the International Dance Council (UNESCO), the World Dance Alliance and CADA (Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists). Lata has received several awards and honours for her contribution to the arts in Canada, including the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Toronto Sanskriti Sangha, the 2003 Professional Woman of the Year Award from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, the 2000 New Pioneers Award, the 1995 Mississauga Arts Award, and the Nrithya Seva Mani Award – Best Teacher Award – by the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana 2006.


Lata is a leading Canadian arts advocate and a frequent presenter at international dance conferences and symposia. She is a regular motivational speaker and workshop leader for corporate and community organizations speaking on her life, creativity and collaboration in the arts.

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