Laureate 2023

Deepa Nallappan @ Duke Vu (Studio-tdt)

Duke Vu

The committee wished to recognize Deepa Nallappan’s authentic and singular career as a choreographer, performer and teacher of bharata natyam. The practice of this accomplished artist and teacher is imbued with rich emotion, movement and expression. The jury underlines her ability to build bridges between the traditional and contemporary forms of this classical Indian dance, by multiplying her collaborations with artists with singular practices and backgrounds. In all her projects, she constantly pushes her creativity further with authenticity and humanity. The jury wanted to highlight Deepa Nallappan’s essential place in Montreal’s professional dance community, through her creations, her teaching at the Param Nrithyalaya dance school in Pierrefonds, and as curator and founder of the Montreal Natyanjali festival.

Bharata natyam artist

Originally from Bangalore, India, Deepa Nallappan has over 20 years’ experience in performing and teaching in India and Canada. Her extensive portfolio includes over 15 group and solo performances at various national and international festivals, as well as more than a dozen workshops and five collaborations in Montreal.

Under the tutelage of esteemed guru Sri. M Swamy, an eminent teacher of bharata natyam in Bangalore, Deepa is trained as a dancer, learning not only to master the technical aspects of bharata natyam, but also to delve deeper into the rich mythological, historical and spiritual dimensions underlying this classical dance form. Her rigorous training, which includes daily sessions and frequent performances, allows her to hone her skills and deepen her appreciation of the art.

In 2014, Deepa Nallappan moved to Montreal and founded the Param Nrithyalaya school in Pierrefonds, enabling her to pass on her dance knowledge and passion for bharata natyam to the next generation. She also leads workshops and lecture-demonstrations in Montreal and India, promoting bharata natyam as a universal language of expression. Her distinctive artistic approach transcends traditional boundaries, making the subtleties of bharata natyam accessible to the general public while preserving its authentic essence. Deepa is dedicated to building bridges between artists across Canada and North America through the Montreal Natyanjali Festival, and works tirelessly to bring important social issues to the attention of the community.