Lopa Sakar is renowned for her fusion choreography.
Having lived in both England and the Bahamas, she has choreographed for film in New York City, performed in London, taught in France, and runs her dance company in Toronto.
Her instructional DVD set has sold in over 55 countries. Lopa has taken Bollywood dance to new heights. She has performed in LUMINATO in Toronto, WOMAD in London, and the International Music Festival in Wales.
In 2010, she was invited to Raqs Britannia to join the world famous Bellydance Superstars. In 2012, she choreographed Canada’s National Ballet School’s International Dance Day flash mob and was featured by CTV in their commercial series “My Toronto is…” as an ambassador for the city of Toronto.
Lopa is the founder of Divine Heritage Artistry. DHA is a company committed to excellence in the performing arts. It showcases the fusion of diversities found within its creative team of artists and performers and promotes unity through music and dance. DHA has performed for Toronto’s largest events and venues including the Princess of Wales Theatre and the Air Canada Centre.
Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
I have a very diverse background in both the corporate world and the arts. For the past ten years I have run my dance company, Divine Heritage Artistry, located in Toronto, Canada. I also took on other projects related to the performing arts including building the Education and Outreach Program for the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts which is Canada’s largest theatre. I also helped design the new Dance Performance Diploma Program for Centennial College and was a member of the faculty as a Professor of Culture and World Trends. Recently, I moved back to London, England and work for the Mayor of London’s offices on a program that brings together the world of business and the education system to build career strategies for schools.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
Whenever I am back home I still teach workshops for conferences and my dance classes in downtown Toronto. My classes are such a joyful experience. When I look out at the diverse range of students in my class all dancing and laughing together it warms my heart. There is no judgement in my classes. It is a safe space for people of all walks of life to come together and celebrate movement and music and life.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
On a personal level I found my family does not understand why I didn’t graduate from my MBA and follow a common career path for someone with my education background. I chose to pursue dance and also worked as a Makeup Artist for MAC and as a Life Coach. My family wanted to see me choose a more common career path and work up the corporate ladder. Instead, I have dabbled in many industries and many jobs making my career choices based on joy and curiosity.
As an entrepreneur I found the biggest challenge was helping clients understand that professional artists spend a lifetime building their skill set and they need to be compensated for that. Many of my dancers have post-secondary dance degrees. They deserve to be paid in the same way any person in the corporate world would be paid for their skills.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
When I look at the body of work my dance company has done – when I look at all the projects I have worked on and all the barriers I broke through – I am amazed. At the heart of it – I am a classical Indian dancer – and through all my training and experiences I developed my own style of Indian dance. The breadth of work my career has spanned is more than I ever could have planned for myself. I feel blessed to have worked with so many incredibly talented and visionary people.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
My career choices have always been very authentic to who I am. I have a wide array of interests and I think I would still be in a job that tied into one of those various passions.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My family and friends are an incredible group of people. They are not only exceptionally talented but also hardworking and committed to their jobs and families and making the world a positive place. My close circle of friends inspire me all the time.
What does the future hold for you?
I truly don’t know! I have reached a point in my life where I have had the opportunity to check off most of the items on my life’s “bucket list”. For the first time I feel I am completely open to whatever experiences and opportunities present themselves and inspire me.