Dancers from Sinha Danse meld their different cultural and movement styles during the Sunya performance at the Port Theatre Friday (Nov. 6).

Poetic dance

NANAIMO - Sinha Danse presents Sunya with music performed by Constantinople at the Port Theatre Nov. 6.

Each movement is a word, a phrase, a poem, strung together by the rhythms of the body.

The dancers flow together sharing a cultural conversation.

The discourse sweeps across their flesh, tethered to their own freedom of expression, experiences and heritage.

The discussion is the vision of Sinha Danse’s artistic director Roger Sinha. He melds his cultural heritage into the movements, creating his own language.

He was born in London, his mother was Armenian and father was Indian. When he was eight, his family moved to Saskatoon.

“When I moved to Saskatchewan, I experience racism,” said Sinha.

A few years later his family moved to Toronto and it was there Sinha began to delve into his cultural heritage. This decision Sinha calls his “zero point.” It was the moment when he started anew.

There is a feeling of immigration throughout his piece, Sunya, which shows at the Port Theatre Friday (Nov. 6). The piece explores the experiences of coming from different cultures and how people change when they are exposed to different cultures, said Sinha.

“It’s important for the Canadian public to see art that can be expressed through different cultures,” he said.

He said many immigrants, such as the Syrian refugees coming to Canada, are experiencing a zero hour in their life.

“There are zero hours now because they have to live a new life,” he explained. “There are points in this piece that reflect this kind of discord and confrontation with the migrating experience, but we can come through it.”

Sinha works with the natural cultural movements of his dancers, blending them with his own to expand the conversation.

For example, he works with dancer Ghislaine Dote, who won’t be performing during the Nanaimo show due to an injury, to incorporate her African dance movements.

It’s not about copying a style, but allowing each dancer freedom of expression while melding the differences into a cohesive motion.

“We are way beyond the era where we try to mold the dancers in terms of technique and style,” said Sinha. “They all have my style but they keep their own identity. Their own personality comes into the work.”

He said the only requirement for working with him is people need to adapt to his high energy.

Sunya shows at the Port Theatre Friday, 7:30 p.m. The performance is presented by Crimson Coast Dance.

Tickets are $35, $30 if purchased in groups of four or more. Port Theatre and Crimson Coast Dance society members receive a 10 per cent discount. For tickets, please call 250-754-8550 or go to

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