Winners of CIBC dance competition to take on the IIFA stage

Dance dreams come true for two young Canadians

TORONTO, June 12, 2011 /CNW/ - Today CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) announced that Mississauga's Chase Constantino and North Vancouver's Kalpita Desai were the winners of its nationwide CIBC IIFA Bollywood Moves Dance Competition. Chase and Kalpita now have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform on stage at the 2011 International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Toronto on June 25.

They were selected as the top male and top female dancers from among 10 finalists at a live dance finale held Saturday, June 11 in Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square as part of the 'CIBC Celebrates the IIFAs' Bollywood festival.

"We had a group of very talented dancers from across Canada in the finale and the stakes were very high," said Raza Hasan, CIBC Senior Vice-President. "These two young people will now get to do what very few professional dancers have done - to dance on the world-class IIFA stage. We congratulate Chase and Kalpita, the winners of the CIBC IIFA Bollywood Moves Dance Competition and we wish them the best of luck on June 25 as they join the world-renowned choreographer Shiamak Davar and the IIFA dancers live on stage."

"It's been such a fantastic experience sharing the stage tonight with these other amazing performers," said Chase. "I can't wait to dance on the IIFA stage."

"I'm so excited. This has been unbelievable and I am thrilled to be getting the opportunity to dance in front of the world," said Kalpita.

The winners were named by a judging panel consisting of Deeba Patel, principal dancer from Shiamak Davar Dance Company, IIFA Project Head Noreen Khan, and Miss India-Canada Anchal Sharma.

"This was a very difficult decision," said Noreen Khan. "Canada has lots and lots of talent and these dancers just sizzled on the stage. We wish Chase and Kalpita all the best at the IIFAs. I know they will do Canada proud."

CIBC is presenting sponsor of the 2011 IIFA Celebrations to be held in Toronto, June 23 - 25. The IIFA Awards, also known as the 'Bollywood Oscars', are the annual awards for India's global movie industry. The event, taking place in North America for the first time, is expected to attract over 40,000 visitors to Toronto, as well as a global audience of 600 million viewers.

The CIBC IIFA Bollywood Moves Dance Competition invited Canadians to register for the dance competition by submitting a one-minute video of themselves dancing to select Bollywood music tracks. Details of all of CIBC's IIFA-related events and activities can be found on CIBC's dedicated website, www.cibciifa.ca.

Winners' Biographies

Chase Constantino

Mississauga ON

Chase Constantino's life these days seems to revolve around dance - whether it is performing or choreographing, his work has been showing up in movies, music videos and even in a performance for the Queen.

Chase performed a Bollywood-fusion piece for the Queen on the last Royal Visit to Canada and has been in videos by the likes of K-os, Feist and Ludacris. He also choreographed a scene in the movie Breakaway.

The Mississauga resident started acting and singing when he was four years old and really got serious about dance while in university. He joined the school's South Asian dance team and before he knew it he was organizing multi-university competitions.

Chase has a BA in humanities and writing from York University and a diploma in creative advertising and marketing from Seneca College.

Kalpita Desai

North Vancouver, BC

Kalpita Desai describes herself as a shy person who used dance to help her build confidence, finally working up the nerve to perform in front of an audience during her college years.

"While dance has always been my passion, I was always too shy to perform on stage," said Kalpita. "But seeing the movie Taal and hearing the song Kahin Aag Lage inspired me to break from my shyness."

Once on stage, there was no stopping her. Kalpita actually won the first dance competition she entered at her college in India, where she performed before about 1,000 people. With that success she has continued to perform and continued to take chances.

Kalipta has an MBA from Vancouver Island University and works as a claims coordinator for BC Hydro.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at cibc.com.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: Photos accompanying this release are available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE CIBC

For further information: contact Kevin Dove, Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs, 416-980-8835 or Kevin.dove@cibc.com


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