Roger Sinha

Roger Sinha studied karate, then came to dance at 23 and devoted himself to it passionately after studying economics at the University of Toronto (BA 1984). A 1983 stint at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's summer school was followed by attendance at Toronto Dance Theatre's school from 1984-86.

Roger Sinha, actor
Roger Sinha's vigorous style is instantly recognizable (photo by Michael Slobodian, courtesy of Roger Sinha).

Roger Sinha

 Roger Sinha, dancer, choreographer, director (born at London, Eng 30 Aug 1959). Roger Sinha was born to an Armenian mother and an Indian father, but grew up in England and Canada (moving to Saskatoon in 1968) with little comprehension of his Indian heritage. He describes himself as better acquainted with fish and chips than curry. Inspired by his own duality, Sinha's career traces cross-cultural tensions in East-West relations. Marrying the angularity, stamping and delicate hand gestures of the South Indian classical dance, bharatanatyam, with martial arts and the fluidity, emotionalism and staging of contemporary dance, his vigorous style is instantly recognizable.

Roger Sinha studied karate, then came to dance at 23 and devoted himself to it passionately after studying economics at the University of Toronto (BA 1984). A 1983 stint at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's summer school was followed by attendance at Toronto Dance Theatre's school from 1984-86. He performed first with Danse Partout in Québec City (1986-88), then moved to Montréal and danced in Jean-Pierre PERREAULT's Joe and Piazza, and created roles for Hélène Blackburn, Bill James and Sylvain Émard, among others.

In 1991 Roger Sinha founded his own company, Misrasena, which became Sinha Danse in 1999. His first important work, the shocking, theatrical solo Burning Skin (1993), raged against cultural intolerance. By 1997, Chai, an entertaining, humorous and ironic sequel, showed Sinha at peace with his ethnicity.

Pehla Safar (1994) marked his first collaboration with bharatanatyam dancer Natasha Bakht; their relationship came to splendid fruition with Loha (2000) and Thread (2008).

Roger Sinha also choreographed group pieces drawn from his own experience. Some of these, like Thok (2002), were broadcast on television.

Tono, choreographed with Sandra Laronde, was presented at Banff, at Beijing's 2008 Olympics, at Vancouver's 2010 Olympiad and at Shanghai's World Expo in 2010. It won a DORA AWARD in 2010 as well.

Sinha's awards include the CanDance Creation Fund in 1995 and 1999 and the Bonnie Bird North American Choreography Award in 1996.

He has made one film, The Barber of Bangalore, and in 2010 his video Haters 'n Baiters: The Culture Collision won the popular vote in the Radio Canada International Roots competition.