Akademi is the leading organisation working with choreographers and dancers to produce and develop South Asian dance in the UK. For over 30 years Akademi has pioneered new visions of dance, synthesising classical and contemporary influences - and contributing to the cultural exchange that is now part of the creative DNA of the UK. In addition, the organisation s internationally recognised and respected community outreach programme mobilises South Asian dance for learning, creativity and well-being. Akademi innovate a rich year-round programme of work, from large-scale outdoor spectaculars to intimate productions for unusual spaces and venues.
Akademi presents Seeta Patel's First Light, plus two new contemporary commissions created by the recipients of the Choreogata Artist Development Programme. First Light is a creative contemporary experience which transforms Southbank Centre's Purcell Room through a fusion of performance and light, choreographed by Bharatanatyam dancer Seeta Patel and composed by John Metcalfe. First seen on the banks of the Thames, the piece combines the aesthetics of contemporary and Bharatanatyam dance art to create a narrative that nimbly jumps from fear of the unknown to discovery and enlightenment. Taking inspiration from the age old concepts of good overcoming evil, light overcoming darkness, and the divine female energy of the Hindu goddess Durga in her nine incarnations, this work evolves through a myriad of different colours culminating in an interplay between dance, music, light and space. Alongside First Light, Akademi presents two new pieces of work from its exciting platform for emerging choreographers, Choreogata, established by Akademi, Southbank Centre, Kala Sangam and Gem Arts. Supporting up and coming contemporary South Asian choreographers in the UK, these artists provide a fresh take on the South Asian performing arts tradition, and dare to take risks with adventurous choreography. Previous recipients of choreographic artist development programmes include Ankur Bahl, Kamala Devam, Anusha Kedhar and Revanta Sarabhai.