submitted photo                                 Rehearsals for “Married to Canada” dance show coming to Surrey Arts Centre on Nov. 11.

submitted photo Rehearsals for “Married to Canada” dance show coming to Surrey Arts Centre on Nov. 11.

VIDEO: ‘Married to Canada’ merges dance styles for show in Surrey

Sudnya Dance Academy and Surrey India Arts Club collaborate for Nov. 11 event

Sudnya Mulye sounds like she’s in a mood to celebrate – not only the 20th anniversary of the dance academy that bears her name but also the debut of “Married to Canada.”

The show is based on her personal story of coming to Canada as a new bride from Mumbai, India, and is a collaboration with fellow choreographer Raman Sangha, from Surrey India Arts Club.

Mulye is “married to Canada” through her art, a classical style of dance known as Bharat Natyam, in which female dancers integrate stylized hand gestures, facial expressions, footwork and yoga.

Sangha, meanwhile, focuses more on Giddha, a bhangra-like dance style for women that exhibits “teasing, fun, and the exuberance of Punjabi life.”

The two dance styles merge for “Married to Canada,” to be staged at Surrey Arts Centre on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Mulye, a Richmond resident who runs her dance academy in that city and also at Newton Cultural Centre in Surrey, calls the show “very vibrant, very colourful” – one that “honours the cultures and contributions of immigrants who have come from around the world, and who now call Canada home.”

When an Indian woman prepares for her wedding day, she is adorned with 16 embellishments known as “solah shringar.” Each of the embellishments symbolizes the bride’s preparation for her transition into womanhood. These are worn from head to toe, and may vary slightly depending on what region of India the bride and her family are from.

Female friends and family engage in numerous rituals of preparing and beautifying the bride-to-be. These rituals lend themselves to celebrations through music, singing, dancing, and other folk and classical traditions of India.

In “Married to Canada,” audiences are invited to witness “solah shringar,” with narration in English.

“That opens this up to every person, including some who might not be familiar with this style of dance,” Mulye said.

The collaborative show will also be performed during a private event on Nov. 12, as part of Sudnya Dance Academy’s anniversary celebration.

The Nov. 11 show at the arts centre will conclude with current and past students of the academy performing two dances in recognition of its anniversary – the first a tribute to Lord Ganesh, one of Hinduism’s most popular deities, the other celebrating Diwali, the Light of Hope.

For more event details, visit surrey.ca/theatre or call 604-501-5566.