Gayathri Devi Vijayakumar
Nominated for the award: Arts and Culture
Company: Nupura School of Music and Dance, Toronto
Position: Principal, Choreographer and Artistic Director
Biography: Gayathri Devi Vijayakumar -the principal and Artistic Director of Nupura school of Music and Dance, Toronto - has been involved with South Indian classical music and dance for more than 20 years. She is recognized as a highly creative artiste whose work is deeply rooted in the traditional framework of Bharathnatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi dance forms tightly interwoven with contemporary thoughts, ideas and metaphors, creating a unique style that interacts meaningfully with international audiences. She is also a Carnatic ( Indian Classical Music ) music teacher, student and singer having studied under revered and astute musicians and this experience enhances her dance enthusing a deep rooted rhythm and enchanting fervor. She also indulges in dance explorations with other main frame artists from various other frameworks of culture and backgrounds through collaborations. She has carved quite the niche among her audiences in India, Canada and U.S.A . Her dedication to the arts is very easily seen in her willingness to drive thousands of kilometers in teaching music and dance at her various school branches in London, Cambridge, Brampton and Scarborough. She has received numerous accolades and awards as a tribute to her creative artistic performance and choreography skills. She conducts auditions and waives fees for talented , qualified students who are interested in the arts but cannot afford the tuition fees. As a vibrant and enthusiastic artist last year she got the woman hero award from Indo - Canadian Cultural Initiative for her outstanding work in the performing arts. She performed at the Toronto International Dance Festival too. This year she did a musical concert in February and is already committed to conduct many dance projects and workshops in the coming months in addition to dance Arangetrams ( dance graduation Ceremonies ). She manages all this in-spite of being a wife and mother of two wonderful children – a daughter studying at the University of Waterloo and son who is a grade 10 student.