South Asian Dance Hub Residency

Sampad are delighted to be supporting four dance artists in a new collaborative South Asian Dance Hub Residency in Birmingham.

Sampad is supporting four South Asian dancers who have been awarded commissioning funds by Dance Hub Birmingham to undertake a residency which will develop their choreographic practice. Anaya Bolar, Lakshmi Srinivasan, Sonia Chandaria Tillu and Vidya Patel will each work with an artist-mentor whom they have not worked with previously.

Sampad is an active Dance Hub Birmingham partner.

Anaya Bolar

Anaya Bolar is a Birmingham-based dancer who trained under the tutelage of her Mother and Guru, Smt. Chitraleka Bolar in Bharatanatyam. Having been the youngest to attend Dance Intense Toronto 2010, she then went on to complete her solo debut performance (Arangetram) in 2012. Following this, she received a training bursary from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) in 2016 and was a two time Category Finalist on BBC Young Dancer (2015 and 2017).

Her experiences allowed her to train under great exponents and choreographers such as Nirupama Rajendra, Preethi Bharadwaj, Parshwanath Upadhye, Kiran Subramaniam, Subhash Viman Gorania, Aakash Odedra & Laura Vanhulle. Anaya performed in EKA, a contemporary piece choreographed by Subhash Viman Gorania, which toured across various venues including Resolutions 2019 at The Place, London.

The Residency:

Through the Dance Hub commission Anaya has created DHAS, which explores the concept of self-sabotage and inner turmoil. Through Laura Vanhulle’s evocative choreography, Anaya delves into the struggle many of us face with our inner demons. The darkest depths of the heart and mind are often our greatest points of self-reflection, DHAS invites the viewer to a cathartic journey where fear locks the heart into darkness, and courage is the key.

Lakshmi Srinivasan

Lakshmi Srinivasan is a highly passionate and accomplished performer, tutor and choreographer pursuing excellence in the Bharatanatyam form of Indian Classical Dance. She initially received training in the Pandanallur tradition by her Guru Dr.Shubharani Bolar, India and has also attained a Master’s Degree in Dance.

Since moving to the United Kingdom in 2012, Lakshmi has an excellent track record of being engaged with South Asian dance in Britain, having been involved in the sector as a tutor, performer, workshop leader and administrator. Work as a tutor and workshop leader has included work with ISTD, DanceXchange, Sampad, Coventry University and Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. As a performer working with other artists, recent work has included being involved in Magdalen Gorringe’s If I Could Reach Home project (2015-16). As a performer presenting her own choreography work, performances have included presenting work at Margam, IDFB, Coventry University ( Romani Arts Festival),Coventry Big Lottery Fund Event.

Lakshmi is currently training with Dr.Shobha Shashikumar, one of the most sort after research scholars and an acclaimed Bharatanaya danseuse from India, Bangalore. Through this training Lakshmi is enhancing her skills on the technique of the 108 KARANAS – The temple sculptures from ancient temples of India.

The Residency:

Through the Dance Hub commission Lakshmi has worked with choreographers Kamala Devam and Shane Shambu to create ‘Dance of the Past and Present’: an exploration that blends a unique movement technique known as KARANAS of Natyashastra with the present form of Classical Bharatanatayam.

Karanas are the 108 key transitions prescribed in the 4th Chapter of Natyashastra, a Sanskrit Dramaturgical text. This is an extensive research work by outstanding exponent Dr.Padma Subramanyam, who has practically reconstructed the Karanas by examining the temple sculptures of India. Lakshmi draws on her creative practise to choreograph a new dance piece exploring the theme of Kalinga Nartanam (the popular mythological story in which Krishna’s dance subdues the serpent Kalinga), by incorporating the Karanas and Charis of Natyashastra.

Sonia Chandaria Tillu

Growing up, Sonia pursued ballet, Indian folk dance and competitive ballroom dancing before commencing formal Kathak training with Guru Sujata Banerjee in 2010. Accountant by head, dancer by heart, Sonia runs her own dance company and is a trustee for UK Young Artists.

The Residency:

Sonia chose to work with choreographer Jose Agudo and dramaturg Lou Cope to challenge herself with new range of movement and experience their approach to dance creation process. This opportunity has given rise to Āgraha, with music composed by Bernhard Schimpelsberger. Āgraha is a contemporary dance piece, with Kathak and flamenco influences, inspired by the personality of Aruna Asaf Ali (an Indian freedom fighter) about breaking free from society’s expectations. She has also received valuable producer mentoring from Anand Bhatt (Aakash Odedra Company).

Vidya Patel

Vidya Patel’s background is in Kathak, training under the guidance of Sujata Banerjee. After graduating from the Centre of Advanced Training at DanceXchange and Sampad, Vidya took part in the inaugural BBC Young Dancer 2015, where she was selected as the finalist for the South Asian category. She has since performed in international touring works created by critically acclaimed artists Sir Richard Alston, Gary Clarke, Thick & Tight, The Space, Akademi and a Co-comission with Sampad and Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa, India.

The Residency:

Through the Dance Hub commission, Vidya has worked with choreographer Hetain Patel to explore cultural and gender identity, spirituality and magic, all through the lenses of Kathak, popular culture, and Japanese martial arts. Using movement, music and text they have been testing different strategies to present Vidya’s identity in a fluid manner by questioning cultural expectations and adding to her widening performance pallet. This includes the use of text, humour, direct address, and intersecting Kathak with cultural practices outside of India. They are interested in possibilities of presenting their findings in both performing and visual arts contexts.

This project was supported by: