South Asian Dance Equity (SADE)

The Arts That British South Asian Dance Ignores

Project Partners: Akademi (London), Baithak UK (London), Balbir Singh Dance Company (Leeds), Nupur Arts (Leicester), Sampad (Birmingham) and The Place Theatre (London).

SADE will examine systemic inequities within British South Asian dance, focusing on five key areas of minorisation: the dominance of Indian/Hindu dance forms and artists; LGBTQI+ artists; caste-oppressed artists; disabled artists; and folk and Adivasi (indigenous) arts and artists. Working with five British South Asian arts organisations (Akademi, Baithak UK, Balbir Singh Dance Company, Nupur Arts, and Sampad) and The Place Theatre as project partners, the network aims to build a more equitable dance sector through exchanges between artists and scholars from South Asia and the UK.

The network is led by Prarthana Purkayastha (Royal Holloway University of London), Royona Mitra (Brunel University London), and Anusha Kedhar (University of California, Riverside). British South Asian dance has historically tended to be the domain of dominant caste, class privileged, able-bodied, heterosexual and cis-gender women of Indian heritage. The three lead researchers are positioned within each of these categories. The network will also be guided by a Steering Committee comprised of our project partners (listed above) as well as Priyanka Basu (King’s College London, UK), Aishika Chakraborty (Jadavpur University, India), Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee and its cultural wing Komal Gandhar (India), Jaivant Patel (Jaivant Patel Company, Wolverhampton, UK), Brahma Prakash (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India), Huma Riaz Khan (The Rights Collective, UK), and Biju Topo of Akhra-Ranchi (India).

Schedule of Networking Activities

January, 2024: Online Project Launch. “South Asian Dance in Britain: Decentering India/Hinducentrism.”
Coordinated by: Akademi

April 2024“South Asian Dance and LGBTQi+ Identities” Coordinated by Baithak UK, London

September 2024“South Asian Dance and Caste” Coordinated by Sampad Arts, Birmingham

December 2024“South Asian Dance and Ableism” Coordinated by Balbir Singh Dance Company, Leeds

February 2025“South Asian Dance and Adivasi & Folk Identities” Coordinated by Nupur Arts, Leicester

March 2025: SADE 2-day Conference at the University of London and The Place Theatre, London.

South Asian Dance Equity (SADE): The Arts That British South Asian Dance Ignores (AH/Y002172/1, 2023-2025) is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Dance Research Matters network grant.