Akademi Seed Commission Recipients

In response to the current demands on the arts, Akademi invited applications from artists practicing South Asian Dance in the UK for five seed commissions of £500 each to test a new creative idea for a dance work in unusual settings or context.

We are now pleased to announce the recipients of these micro-commissions. We look forward to following the development of these five projects and supporting the artists along the way.

Elena Catalano

Elena is an odissi artist and scholar, engaged in dance performance, teaching, choreography and academic research. Founder of Bhumi Dance Academy and core member of the Odissi Ensemble and ReRooted Dance Collective, Elena is committed to artistic excellence, as she is to community building and wellbeing through dance.

Kirsten Newell &
Oxana Banshikova

Kirsten and Oxana are both Kalakshetra graduates living in Edinburgh where they teach, dance and create together through their dance company Cosmic Dance (founded by Oxana in Hong Kong in 2007). Merging years of performing and teaching experience, they are both passionate about bringing exciting, innovative and high-quality South Asian dance to Scotland.

Meera Patel

Meera is a kathak dance artist. Previously training at CICD in Leicester, she now trains and teaches at Pagrav Dance Company (PDC). She performs regularly with PDC and as an independent artist. Meera’s recent work includes: performer in PDC’s ‘Kattam Katti’, performer in ‘Hanuman Tales’, choreographer/performer in ReRooted Dance Collective’s ‘Geometer’ and residency at Chisenhale Dance Space.

Kesha Raithatha

Kesha is a dancer and choreographer who embodies Kathak and Contemporary movement. She creates work that is rich in detail and experimentally reconsiders contemporary South Asian dance. Her curiousity and exposure to alternative movement training informs and invigorates her dance-making vocabulary. Kesha trains and freelances between India and the UK.

Krishna Zivraj-Nair

“I search for dance that connects me to my soul”

Artistic director of Sanskruti Cambridge. Winner of Akademi’s UTKARSH runner up in 2016, two ACE grants, One Dance Teaching Mentoring programme and ISTD Bursary Award. Formally trained as a research scientist with a PhD in Neuroscience, Krishna is also a stage 2 breast cancer survivor. With the experience of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and two surgeries in a span of 14 months, her new mantra is #LifeIsGood!

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