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Aaloka & Nova

Spring is here and the 20th anniversary of Older & Reckless continues!

We remember the senior dance artists who have joined us over the years, including artist, teacher, mentor, community builder and leader AALOKA MEHNDIRATTA. Aaloka enchanted the Older & Reckless audience in 2018 with her solo work Piya Ali Ali.

(Aaloka Mehndiratta – photo by Tamara Romanchuk)

Aaloka, the remarkable force behind the Malton Women Council (MWC), is “a leader who was determined to create many more leaders who would then continue the journey of women’s empowerment and self-actualization into their families, their communities and into this global village called ‘world’.”

MWC began as an informal women’s support group and has evolved into a strong network and support system for women, families, youth, seniors and newcomers. MWC offers services in the areas of holistic health and well-being; information and resource sharing; education and awareness; peer support; civic engagement; cultural connections; inter-generational activities; skills development and training.

Here is the link to the MWC International Women’s Day celebration, a moving online event featuring eloquent and powerful messages by the MWC community and their esteemed international guests!

Also - please enjoy Aaloka’s beautiful new film Resilience


AALOKA MEHNDIRATTA started learning Kathak, a classical dance form, as a young child in Punjab, India. Since the age of 4, she has pursued and explored this form in its many interpretations in India, Canada, and the UK. Aaloka has studied Kathak with several distinguished Gurus including Guru Govardhan Prasad, Guru Gyan Shankar, Guru Smt. Shobha Kauser, and Guru Smt. Maya Rao. She also completed her Master’s degree in Dance and Movement from Punjab University, Chandigarh, India. Since the 1980s, Aaloka has created a number of Kathak style dance-dramas, including: Krishna Krishna Krishna (1980) and Worship & Celebration: A Journey of Kathak from Temples to Courts (1982). After arriving in Canada in 1981, Aaloka found herself immersed in learning Ballet, Modern Dance, Jazz, Bellydance, Eurythmy and Odissi. In recent years, with her evolving spiritual and artistic vision, she has been increasingly drawn to using the Kathak style to render the mystical poetry of Amir Khusro, Bulleh Shah, Kabir and Warris Shah in new original forms of Sufi dancing for growing audiences in the spirit of universal and divine unity.


NOVA BHATTACHARYA, a ground-breaking and award-winning dancer, choreographer and cultural leader, crafts vivid images that invite the viewer on a journey of heart and mind. Nova believes that dance expresses the essence of our humanity and has tremendous transformative power to bring us together.

Don’t miss Nova’s performance, a free livestream event presented by CITADEL LIVE

Citadel LIVE presents Nova Dance in a double bill of rhythmic, virtuosic solos created by Nova Bhattacharya and José Navas. Featuring the precise and intense performances of Bhattacharya, Calm Abiding (Navas) is motivated by the belief that the simplicity of movement is more powerful than words, and Elemental (Bhattacharya) exposes the inner world of the dancer, invoking the imagination and channeling the music.

The free livestream will be available on March 26th 2021 at 7pm ET.

Limited time replay available until March 27 at 11:59pm.



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