Heritage Performance Commissions

Akademi has pioneered a new initiative that sits at the intersection of choreography, community and performance.

Selecting six objects from a wide range of past Akademi projects and initiatives, we commissioned three dance artists to choose one archival object each, and use it as a springboard for a new choreographic exploration and to inspire a workshop for Key Stage 2 school pupils.

Hiten Mistry, Jaymini Sahai and Sophie Holland worked together as a new team to develop and deliver these workshops through the digital medium, creating a comprehensive package for primary schools.


If you are interested in booking this free package for your school, please email info@akademi.co.uk.

Watch the documentary

The challenges of pandemic-related restrictions lead to a special journey for this project, with the artists adapting their work from live to digital delivery. You can get a glimpse into the process behind it in this short documentary.

Generously supported by

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

The Artists

head and shoulders protrait

Sophie Holland

Sophie is a Dance Artist based between London and Northamptonshire. She trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and has since worked as a freelance performer, maker and teacher. Alongside teaching Contemporary dance, Sophie works on Akademi’s Dance Well project, delivering South Asian dance sessions to older adults.

head and shoulders portrait

Hiten Mistry

Hiten is a Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher, choreographer and an enthusiastic facilitator, working in education, health and community settings. His teaching focuses on technique, body conditioning and dance history. As a choreographer he explores the versatility of Bharatanatyam form, yet maintains its integrity. He is the Artistic Director of East Midlands company Bharata Natyam Leicester.

head and shoulders portrait

Jaymini Sahai

Combining grace, strength and elegance, Jaymini Sahai began her Kathak training in 1983 with Nilima Devi MBE, she gained her diploma in Kathak in 1995 and since then she has been performing nationally and internationally in both professional productions and community events. She regularly conducts school and community related dance work and continues her Kathak training under the renowned Kathak artist, Padmashree Pratap Pawar MBE.

(Photo: Grewal Twins)

head and shoulders portrait

Mansi Dabral Uniyal

(Trainee Artist)

ansi Dabral Uniyal is a London based kathak dance artist and teacher. She runs her own academy, and and is a faculty member of Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. She has worked with Watford council on various community projects involving young children. Mansi received an Exceptional Achievement Award from Mayor of Ealing for her contribution to dance in the UK. Her recent work ‘Kanyaa – the daughter’ was based on gender equality and the pivotal role of women in the world, and was showcased at Leap Festival 2020 in Leeds, supported by SAA-uk.

Mansi shadowed the three Lead Artists throughout the project.

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