About Anjali

Anjali (Anne-Marie Gaston) is an internationally acclaimed Classical East Indian dancer. She is also a choreographer, teacher, lecturer, ethnographer and photographer. She first went to India with CUSO (Canadian University Service Overseas) and has spent over twenty years there, learning and performing Indian dance and rhythm while participating in the extraordinary social phenomenon that is Classical Indian Dance.


Anjali has studied in India with some of the finest teachers, and has travelled throughout the subcontinent to experience customs and festivals, to study and photograph monuments and to visit great masters.

Anjali can easily be mistaken for an Indian, not only for her stage presence but for the technical quality of her dance... her footwork was flawless, her facial expression eloquent" Madras, Indian Express.

Anjali has been a pioneer in presenting Indian Classical dances across Canada, bringing the art of India to all Canadians. She has also received critical acclaim in India, UK (including Edinburgh Festival Fringe), USA, Mexico, Holland (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam) and France (Paris). She was invited to lecture and perform for the prestigious Madras Music Academy and as a guest of the State Governments of Orissa and Jammu and Kashmir.

Anjali's career is unique as both a dancer and an academic. Her doctoral dissertation for Oxford University concerns the Sociology of the Performing Arts in India and has been published as two books: Bharata Natyam from the Temple to the Theatre and Krishna's Musicians: Musicians and Music-making in the Temples of Nathdvara, Rajasthan. Her earlier book, Siva in Dance, Myth and Iconography, published by Oxford, is in its third edition. She is a Research Associate in the School for Studies in Arts and Culture, Carleton University, and in the Intercultural Research Laboratory, University of Ottawa; also an elected fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, London.

FIELD EXPERIENCE

Intensive training in Bharata Natyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Chhau, also North Indian drumming (pakhavaj).

Extensive field research on the sociology of dancer and musician communities.

Research and photography at all major and many minor archaeological sites in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Exhibitions of these photographs at several museums and galleries.

Comprehensive collection of original 35 mm slides of Indian sculpture and miniature paintings collected from museums throughout India and around the world.

Extensive archive of original music recorded by Anjali in India with some of the finest traditional musicians.

Attendance at numerous major folk art events and religious festivals in India in their urban and non-urban environments.

Memento from Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi to Anjali in appreciation of Anjali's dance recital at the official reception held by the Indian High Commisioner for Canada's Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau.