Team

Roshanak Jaberi

Artistic Director

 

Roshanak Jaberi is an Iranian-Canadian artist, activist and producer. Roshanak holds an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, and currently serves on the Toronto Arts Council Dance Committee and the Board of Directors of the Dance Umbrella of Ontario (DUO).

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Roshanak creates inter-disciplinary dance works that are thought-provoking, emotionally driven and politically charged. The stories and lived experiences of racialized women motivate Roshanak’s artistic inquiry, as do her frequent travels and unique collaborations with artists, scholars and activists. Her practice focuses on the intersection of art and social justice, while re-envisioning traditional dance aesthetics, integrating multiple art forms and experimenting with different avenues to creation. Her work is grounded in a research informed artistic practice that reflects a commitment to ethically and authentically share the stories, experiences and cultures from which she draws inspiration. Roshanak Jaberi’s work has been presented in Canada, US, and Europe.

 

Past credits include:

 

  • Associate Producer, Expect Theatre
  • Committee Member, Canadian Dance Assembly Pluralism Committee
  • Juror, Dora Mavoor Awards and the Toronto Arts Council
  • Guest Lecturer, Historical and Cultural Studies program at the University of Toronto
  • Finalist, Soulpepper Theatre Dance Awards (Community Arts)
  • Resident Artist, Political Prisoners: The Art of Resistance Project
  • Panelist, The Dance Debates-Choreographing Our Future by the Toronto Arts Council
  • Keynote Speaker, the Iranian Alliance for Peace, Freedom and Social Justice (Washington, DC)
  • Panelist, Engaging Arts to Represent Violence Against Women-A Conversation About Ethics at the University of Toronto
  • Moderator, Feminist Art Conference (FAC)
  • Co-host, Evi-Dance Radio

Samyuktha Punthambekar

Administrative Producer

 

Samyuktha Punthambekar is a Bharatanatyam dancer, arts educator and arts administrator. She is an Economics graduate, dance diploma holder from Kalakshetra Foundation, India as well as completed her Arts Administration and Cultural Management program (with Honours) from Humber College.

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Since moving to Canada in 2011, Samyuktha has gained invaluable experience in teaching, performing and working on reputed projects with organizations such as DTRC, Sunny Artist Management, Toronto Arts Foundation, lbs/sq” performance, Tapestry Opera, LeSage Arts Management and most recently, The Musical Stage Company. As part of leadership development and her keen interest in cultural policies, she worked on projects such as the Canadian Arts Summit 2018. She is an artist educator for TDSB, Peel School Regions and conducts community engagement workshops for various festivals across the GTA. Along the way, Samyuktha won several awards and recognitions to her credit. Currently, she works as an Administrative Producer for Jaberi Dance Theatre and has also launched her company ‘Infinite Arts Projects’,  a Dance Arts Management Company.

 

Past Credits Include:

 

  • Fundraising certification from The University of Leeds, UK
  • Understanding Diversity and Inclusion certification from Purdue University, USA
  • Assistant Cultural Secretary at Mount Carmel College
  • VAACT Award for Volunteering in the Arts and Culture community in Toronto
  • OAC Skills and Career Development grant recipient for Arts Administration and Cultural Management program at Humber College
  • Recipient of Dean’s Award for excellence in Arts Administration, Humber College
  • Recipient of the Jerry Smith Scholarship for Arts Administration, Humber College
  • OAC Compass grant recipient for Shadowing Process in Leadership Development
  • Dance diploma from Kalakshetra Foundation in India
Resident Collaborators

Karen Kaeja

Artistic Advisor

 

Karen Kaeja is an award-winning performer for stage and film, choreographer, community builder, project instigator, curator and educator. She thrives on developing performance platforms provoking collaborative relationships between dancers, everyday people and the body.

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“The mastermind behind Porch View Dances” Toronto Star, she integrates community and public participation through interactive performance strategies, including her audience inclusive Flock Landing installations. Distinguished in The Canadian Who’s Who, Karen’s awards embrace the CDA “I Love Dance” Community Award, the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship for Innovation and the Moving Pictures Performance Award. Her nominations include seven Dora Mavor Moore nominations for choreography and performance, including quadruple Dora nominations for Crave which won one, the American Choreography and the Banff World Television Awards. She was a finalist for the TAF Muriel Sherrin Award for International achievement in dance, the CDA Innovation Award, NOW Magazine’s Best Local Choreographer and Best Dance Company. Karen is Co-Artistic director of Kaeja d’Dance with Allen Kaeja and Cloud 9 with Claudia Moore. An image maker, Karen’s choreography “paints portraits with moving bodies” Toronto Star. Her work is commissioned and presented by performance series around the world, along with her teaching of improvisation and partnering. She was the first resident dance artist for both MUN/Dance NL and the Guelph Dance Festival. Karenmentors many flourishing dance artists. Upcoming are commissions from Blue Ceiling Dance, Chimera Project, Downtown Dances Moncton; a Banff creation residency, a performance tour in Japan of XTOD: Solo Dance Xchange with a new lifeDUET and ongoing research for a new work to premiere in 2021. www.kaeja.org

Doris Rajan

Community Research Advisor

 

Doris Rajan is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto and the Director of Social Development at the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS) where her focus is on violence against women, access to justice, migrant, Indigenous issues and disability rights.

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Her work involves designing community-based social development and applied research projects with international, national and provincial/territorial organizations. As an educator, Doris has taught community development courses at a variety of post secondary institutions. She has written many training resources and advised national and international NGO’s on how to conduct effective community-based research and development strategies. Doris is also an actress, playwright/screenwriter and filmmaker. She is very proud of her work with director Pierre Tétrault on the films This Beggar’s Description, The ‘R’ Word and the comedy Healing Rani. Favourite theatrical work includes; Gandhi High, Doris Does Damage and most recently, her play A Tender Path.

Dr. Shahrzad Mojab

Research Advisor

 

Shahrzad Mojab, scholar, teacher, and activist, is internationally known for her work on the impact of war, displacement, and violence on women’s learning and education; gender, state, migration and diaspora; Marxist feminism and anti-racism pedagogy. She is Director of Equity Studies at the University of Toronto.

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Dr. Mojab is Professor of Higher and Adult Education in the Department of Leadership at OISE/University of Toronto and the former Director of the Women and Gender Institute. She received the prestigious Royal Society of Canada Award in Gender Studies in 2010. A unique feature of her work is making knowledge accessible to public through the use of arts such as story-telling, dance, drama, painting and film. Her most recent research projects are Youth in Transition: War, Migration, and ‘Regenerative Possibilities’The Pedagogy and Policy of Refugee Youth Resettlement; and No Woman’s Land, which is a dance project to capture the experience of refugee women of sexual violence.

Board of Directors

Ramak Jaberi
President

 

Ramak is a freelance communications specialist with over ten years of experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors.

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  • Bachelor of Arts, York University, majoring in English
  • Previous experience includes: Desjardins Insurance, Share Lawyers, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • Founder and Executive Director of Dine to Donate, a charitable foundation with a mission to bring Canada’s best restaurants and their patrons together in support of hunger and poverty reduction programs in their communities

Lyon Smith
Treasurer

 

Lyon is an award winning, multi-disciplinary artist who works primarily as an actor/sound designer and photographer.

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  • Gemini nominated voice actor
  • Previous experience includes: Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage, Soulpepper Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Obsidian Theatre
  • Over 20 years as advisor and board member of the Laidlaw Foundation, as the great grandson of Robert A. Laidlaw

Barbara Yebuga
Secretary

 

Barbara is a communications and public relations specialist, with a history of advocating for representation and accessibility in the arts.

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  • Bachelor of Arts, Wilfrid Laurier University, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Organizational
    Leadership
  • Previous work experience includes: Sun Life Financial, Dynamic Funds and Intuit Canada.
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