10th May 2016

Navadisha 2016 Set To Steer British Asian Dance In New Direction

  • Navadisha 2016 will fire up debates around future directions for British Asian dance, its place within the UK’s cultural cosmos and its changing audiences
  • Keynote speakers are internationally-acclaimed British Asian dancers & choreographers Akram Khan MBE, Shobana Jeyasingh MBE and Mavin Khoo
  • The summit will also be significant and topical for artists, agencies, organisations, policymakers & funders from the wider UK arts sector
  • It takes place 20-22 May at mac Birmingham

The UK will host a high-profile summit dedicated to British Asian dance later this May, as one of the largest gatherings of artists, organisations, pundits, policymakers, funders and fans of dance from around the world gather under one roof for Navadisha 2016.

Produced by New Dimensions Arts Management in partnership with Sampad Arts, Navadisha 2016 (meaning ‘new directions’ in Sanskrit) will pose questions that will be crucial for stimulating, steering and securing the future of British Asian dance as part of the UK’s ever growing dance landscape.

It will also celebrate many of the breakthrough achievements and exciting developments in and around the sector during the fifteen years since Sampad Arts’ seminal conference Navadisha 2000, which helped to blaze a trail for a new generation of dancers and practitioners, sparking pivotal insights and actions across a variety of fronts, from artistic to organisational and political to structural.

The event coincides with the 40th anniversary of Naseem Khan’s ground-breaking report The Arts Britain Ignores, touching on the milestone to fire up fresh debates about the state and status of British Asian dance in the UK’s cultural cosmos, including the changing nature of its dance audiences.

The three day programme will cover a range of topics – from artist development to international collaboration and contemporary factors that are shaping South Asian dance creation and distribution. It will also help to highlight models of excellence & innovation and explore new ways of working.

Delegates will benefit from insights into the policy positions and thinking of strategic organisations that will influence the direction for South Asian dance over the next decade, including Arts Council England, British Council and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Alongside a stellar list of industry leaders who will share their knowledge and wisdom through panel discussions and debates, there will be showcases, performances, a market place for pitching opportunities to potential promoters and investors and networking opportunities.

Navadisha 2016 has already attracted a line-up of 65 speakers, presenters and panellists from 25 cities in 12 countries and more than 150 registered delegates. It will be rare and valuable opportunity for dance practitioners, teachers, students, academics, agencies, programmers, venues, promoters, investors and policymakers across the arts sector.

Keynote speakers are Akram Khan MBE, Shobana Jeyasingh MBE and Mavin Khoo – internationally-acclaimed performers/choreographers and instigators of brilliant new dynamics in British dance.

The conference will also celebrate Naseem Khan for her historic contribution to the UK cultural agenda and policy, while honouring dance gurus Pratap Pawar, Nahid Siddiqui and Pushkala Gopal, who have inspired and influenced generations of students, dancers and teachers and helped to shape the story of British Asian dance.

As an additional bonus, as part of its association with Navadisha 2016, International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB2016) has specially programmed a weekend of South Asian dance by international artists.

Navadisha 2016 takes place Friday 20 – Sunday 22 May 2016 at Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham. In the run up to the conference there will be a special event on Tuesday 17 May at London’s Nehru Centre offering an overview of the diversity, relevance and exciting new developments in British Asian dance. The preview features performances of Bharatanatyam, Kathak and contemporary work by rising artists and established performers along with Q&As with some of the speakers at the main conference.

Navadisha 2016 will end with a celebratory finale show at mac Birmingham featuring many of the distinctive South Asian dance styles highlighted during the conference, including rarely seen forms such Mohiniyattam and Odissi as well as high-energy Bollywood.

Shobana Jeyasingh, Artistic Director & Choreographer at Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, says:

“Navadisha is all set to be a trailblazing feast of a conference for all who are interested in and care about the past present and future of dance in the UK”.

David Massingham, Artistic Director of DanceXchange & Co-Artistic Director of IDFB, says:

“We’re delighted to be working with Navadisha 2016 as part of the exciting and diverse programme for International Dance Festival Birmingham 2016. South Asian dance in the UK continues to flourish, as reflected by the prominence of outstanding dancers such as Aakash Odedra and Vidya Patel. This important summit will spark pivotal insights about new directions and possibilities for the sector’s future evolution, as well as celebrating its success to date”.

Peter Knott, Director (Midlands), Arts Council England, comments:

“We’re delighted to be investing in Navadisha as part of International Dance Festival Birmingham. The conference will be a great opportunity to celebrate South Asian dance and its influence in Britain’s contemporary dance scene. It will create a space to present new work, share ideas and seize opportunities for future development”.

Navadisha 2016 takes place Friday 20 – Sunday 22 May 2016 at Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham.

Registration closes on Sunday 15 May 2016.

For further information and to register for the conference, visit http://navadisha2016.co.uk.

For further information about International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) 2016, visit www.idfb.co.uk.