Bharatha Natyam event ‘Oviya Shakthi’ for South Asian Autism Centre

Pictures by Saira Easan Photography


Power of Natayam Dance Company hosted Kalaimamani Guru Sri Madurai R. Muralidharan in his Toronto production of Oviya Shakthi at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto.

The performance was a fundraiser in aid of the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre (SAAAC). The SAAC supports Greater Toronto Area’s South Asian families impacted by ASD and other developmental disorders have an increasing need for support.


The center’s founder and executive director, Geetha Moorthy, started off by offering free, specially adapted dancing classes for children on the autistic spectrum out of the basement of her house. With the assistance of committed families, enthusiastic volunteers, and autism specialists over the years, the Centre started to offer more services.

The Power of Natyam Dance Company was formed in Toronto, Canada in 2020 by Ramya Raghavan. The company brings together artistes with the common goal of making dance, specifically Indian Classical Dance, more accessible to the greater community.

The company is involved in local and international presentations that focus on highlighting non-traditional themes. It also offers Bharatha Natyam inspired fitness classes for all ages for both experienced and inexperienced dancers alike.

Ramya Raghavan began training in Bharatha Natyam under the tutelage of ‘Nrithyarani ‘ Lata Kalpalatha and Sarasi Raj of PEALI Arpana Academy of Dance, Montreal, Canada. After completing her Arangetram in 1986, she underwent further training in Bharatha Natya with Sri. T.S. Bhatt of Menaka Nrithya Shala, Bengaluru, India and also took lessons in Kuchipudi with Smt. Sunanda Devi of Chaya Nrithya Niketan, Bengaluru, India. To further her experience in the art of ‘Abhinaya ‘ (expressive dance), she had lessons with Priyadarshini Govind, Chennai, India and Padmini Rao, Bengaluru, India.

Ramya has performed extensively in Canada, the United States, India, the United Kingdom and Poland in both live and televised shows. Through her dance, she has helped raise money for temples in India and for medical organizations and social causes in Canada. She continues to actively pursue the art of dance as a performer and choreographer and is looking for ways to incorporate social issues relevant to society today into her dance choreography.

In 2021, drawing from her expertise as a cardiologist, Ramya began Bharatha Natyam inspired fitness classes aimed at helping people of all ages and all dance backgrounds improve their fitness. These classes have been conducted virtually throughout the pandemic.

Performers: Ramya Raghavan -Teacher, Choreographer, & Dancer, Meera Kanageswaran – Teacher, Choreographer, & Dancer, Thivviya Vairamuthu – Choreographer & Dancer, Radha Jetty – Choreographer & Dancer, Seetha Radhakrishnan -Dancer, Lukshmi Pulle – Dancer, Sinthuja Sriskanthan – Dancer, Vaishnavi Sai Sritharan – Choreographer, Dancer, Swati Chandrashekhar – Dancer, Pujitha Sai Kurukuri – Dancer, Dedeepya Vuppu – Dancer, Punya Gowri Umesh – Dancer, Laya Sri Devan – Dancer, Ranjani Ravichandaran – Dancer, Christine Joseph – Dancer, Dheepthi Gnaneswaran – Dancer, Madhu Sugumaran – Dancer, Jananee Rajkumar – Dancer, Priyanka Meyyappan – Dancer and Kirishan Thananjeyan.