GAURI SHARMA TRIPATHI - Choreographer
Gauri Sharma Tripathi is an exponent of the North Indian Classical Dance form of Kathak. Gauri has also studies and incorporated folk dance influences within her classical genre. She is known for grounding her performance in the traditions of Kathak while giving it a contemporary viewpoint. Gauri has been fundamental in developing the Alchemy festival at the Southbank Centre.
SHIVANI SETHIA - Assistant Choreographer
Shivani is a Kathak dancer who began dance training in India at the age of 7. Shivani has lived in the UK for sixteen years and has trained with a number of artists; at present Shivani is training under renowned Kathak dancer Gauri Sharma Tripathi. Apart from performing individually and with performance group ANKH, Shivani also teaches Kathak to students of varied ages in Swiss Cottage and Wembley.
PRIYADARSINI GOVIND - Bharatanatyam artist
Priyadarsini Govind is arguably one of the foremost Bharatanatyam dancers among the current generation. She is a dancer known for her adherence to tradition while at the same time she effortlessly embraces the contemporary.
Priya gave her maiden performance ('arangetram') in 1974, and since then has been performing in all the major centres in India and abroad. Some of her major performances include the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, MILAP Festival, England, Theatre De La Ville, Paris (2006, 2007 and May 2008).
She has released several DVD's on dance that are critically acclaimed and are a "must have" for every serious Bharatanatyam dance.
Priyadarsini has been awarded several titles including: "Kalaimamani", the highest award conferred by the state of Tamil Nadu, "Vasanthalakshmi & Narasimhachari" Talent Endowment Award by the Narada Gana Sabha, K.V. Mahadevan Award for Excellence in Dancing by Sree.
Priyadarshini Govind, a graduate of commerce with a diploma in mass communication lives in Madras, where she is actively involved in cultural affairs.
REVANTA SARABHAI - Dancer
Revanta is an independent performer, choreographer, multimedia designer and filmmaker. Having made his solo Indian classical dance-debut at age 8, he has been performing professionally and touring internationally with the India-based Darpana Performance Group since 1999. Trained in a variety of folk, contemporary and martial arts forms from India and across the world, he started experimenting with choreography at age 16, and has created work that has been showcased at several prestigious venues and festivals across Asia, Europe, and North America. With a recent MA in Performance & Creative Research from Roehampton University, he continues to live and make work between the UK and India.
In 2011 Revanta created two short works for Akademi (UK) that were featured at the Alchemy festival (Southbank Centre) in London. His first feature length work, LDR, addressed the challenges of long-distance relationships through dance, theatre and multi-media; and will be touring Europe this autumn. Rooted in traditional dance and performance forms, Revanta strives to create cutting-edge work that is relevant to the society and times he lives in.
SEETA PATEL - Dancer
Seeta has trained in Bharatanatyam, initially under the guidance of Kiran Ratna, and furthering her studies with Mavin Khoo. She has performed all over the world both with her own work and with numerous contemporary companies. She has worked with Akademi on several projects including Sapnay, Initium and various one-off and education projects. Seeta has received many awards and bursaries over the years to further her training as well as produce and create her own work, including touring with a full length solo classical work with live music, Shringara. Most recently Seeta has concluded a 15 month contract as a performer with the world renowned DV8 Physical Theatre in the world tour of Can We Talk About This? www.seetapatel.co.uk
YAMUNA DEVI - Dancer
YAMUNA DEVI is a versatile, committed and determined British Asian Artist. Born in London, Yamuna began her training in Shaolin Kung Fu (1989-1997), and completed her dance training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (BA Hons) (2005) and London School of Contemporary Dance (Distinction for South Asian Studies) (2001). She has trained in various styles of dance and Yoga including Indian classical dance, Capoeira & Kalarippayatu. She has been performing and teaching for over 15 years. She has worked for various dance companies and choreographers including Nutkhut Tavaziva, and Shobana Jeyasingh,
She joined Akademi in 2007 and has worked in collaboration on many productions including: Dreaming Now, Initium, the Queens’ Baton relay and Daredevas. Yamuna has also worked as a Freelance Teacher for the Education and Community strand of Akademi’s work.
KHAVITA KAUR - Dancer
Khavita Kaur has trained in the Indian Classical Dance forms of Bharatanatyam and Odissi and has an extensive performing background going back 20 years in both theatre and dance. Khavita has been working with Akademi for the past 5 years and has taken part in productions such as the Bollywood Symposium, Daredevas and Kalpavriksha. She has also actively worked with Akademi's Arts Education department as a workshop leader. Alongside her career in the performing arts, Khavita has pursued a degree in Chemical Engineering and currently works in Business Consulting.
ARCHANA BALLAL - Dancer
Archana began dancing at six years old when she first discovered Bharatanatyam . Inspired by her training in this dance form, she went on to study Contemporary dance graduating with a BA (hons) from London Contemporary Dance School in 2008. She has performed in numerous venues across the UK and in Europe. The choreographers she has worked with include Kim Brandstrup, Margaret Shawood, Mayuri Boonham, and Shobana Jeyasingh. She has toured with Nina Rajarani’s Shrishti , Theatre Hullaballo, ATMA Dance Company and Sadhana Dance Company.
As well as her position as teaching assistant for the Centre For Advanced Training (CAT) Bharatanatyam programme, she is also exploring her own choreography. In January 2010 she presented ‘The Line of Desire’ at Resolution! at The Place, and in April 2011 she premiered a new work ‘Jhansi’ at the Rich Mix.
Her work with Akademi includes Daredevas (2008), Initium, Paradiso and An Evening with Akademi at the Rich Mix.
ASH MUKHERJEE - Dancer
Born in Kolkata, India, Ash Mukherjee trained in Bharata Natyam. Having been promoted to principal dancer at the age of thirteen, Ash went on to win the Best Male Dancer India (classical) Award. After graduating in classical ballet at London Studio Centre Ash was offered ensemble and understudy to 3rd lead in Bombay Dreams. The 1st Indian national to have been nominated for a Critics' Circle National Dance Award UK, Ash was hand picked to represent India and dance a duet with Michael Jackson for his O2 shows in 2009.
Ash's other choreographic credits include BBC3's move Like Michael Jackson, Resolution! at The Place Theatre 2009-10, BBC 1's So You Think You Can Dance UK, Katie Melua and William Orbit's hit single The Flood, and Aum a solo specially commissioned for the Critics' Circle National Dance Awards UK Ceremony at Sadler's Wells Theatre.
Ash has worked with Akademi for the last five years in various educational and performance projects, most notably as the choreographer for Akademi's Song Of The City for which he was short listed for a London Dance Award.
Ash is based in Upper Norwood under Lambeth Council, and his MP is Tessa Jowell.
ARUNIMA KUMAR - Dancer
Arunima Kumar is one of the most versatile Kuchipudi dancers. She has received several awards (including the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for Kuchipudi in 2008, the Sahitya Kala Parishad Scholarship for Dance in 1998 and the Shringarmani title in 2001) and has performed in international venues and festivals across 35 countries. Trained under eminent teachers including SwapnaSundari, Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao, Arunima is critically acclaimed for her performances. She is an established artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and is an artist of the All India Radio and Doordarshan. Her works provide both spiritual and ambitious themes rooted in classical techniques of nritta (rhythmic footwork) and drama (abhinaya), whilst evolving and integrating international cultures, ideas and disciplines. Kuchipudi continues to be her abiding passion, which she pursues with relentless devotion. Arunima would like to thank Akademi for their support.
JESAL PATEL - Dancer
Jesal is a Kathak dancer who has been studying Indian Classical Dance for the past 15 years. Her Guru and performance credits include Gauri Sharma Tripathi curator of Alchemy, which involved Rahgu Dixit project and Urban Vaani at the Southbank Centre this year. She has toured Denmark and UK in The Bollywood Trip Productionand with Akademi of South Asian Dance in Sufi Zen, Initium, Dreaming Now, Awaz and Sapnay. She has also regularly taken part in The Big Dance, the Kathak Collective by ANKH and various award ceremonies. She has performed for the Queen several times and at the Olympic Torch ceremony. Jesal is also a trained Interior Architect.
JAVED SANANDI- Dancer
Delirious, passionate and a creative dancer. Quintessential and proficient in Indian classical, folk n bollywod dance stlye. His recently worked as a bollywood choreographer for wah wah girls and have contributed in many national and international projects. He is been Ingenious and luxuriant in his career and has worked for many realities shows as a choreographer n been one of the finalist in indian version of dancing with stars, jhalak dikhlajaa.