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Akademi is a regional dance development agency that promotes the practice and appreciation of South Asian dance through site specific work, continuous professional development, education and community programmes and a resource and public information service. Our funding supports core costs.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £252,170
  • 2013-2014: £257,970
  • 2014-2015: £264,677

Video feed

Lakshmi Viswanathan: The Devadasi Heritage

In October 2014, Akademi in partnership with the Nehru Centre was delighted to welcome artist ansd scholoar, Lakshmi Vishwanatahn for an intriguing talk on the Devadasi Heritage. Often maligned with prostitution and sex trafficking, the practice of Devadasi, meaning 'a woman who serves god', is an ancient Indian custom by which a girl is ceremoniously dedicated or married to a deity. Lakshmi gives an in depth insight into the true nature of of this dwindling community and delights with tales from her research. Don't miss the surprise performance at the end!

Ascension Trailer

Akademi invite you to experience Ascension – an outdoor Indian dance performance, inspired by Dante’s ascension to heaven as described in Paradiso, the third part of Dante's poem Divine Comedy, while drawing on Hindu astrology and the nine planets of Navagraha.

Shane Shambhu

On 16th November 2014, we had the pleasure of welcoming Shane Shambhu to our Artist Meeting at WAC Arts. Shane gave an insight into his journey in South Asian dance along with some great tips. The talk was followed by an interesting discussion. What are your thoughts on what Shane has said or any of the issues raised? Leave your comments below.

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Daredevas Showreel

Akademi's Daredevas Programme An Evening of Kuchipudi Dancers: Sarvani Yadavalli & Arunima Kumar Twitter: @akademi or #daredevas Facebook: /AkademiSouthAsianDance

Akademi Ice Bucket Challenge

Akademi brings the Ice Bucket Challenge to the Dance Sector. We nominate Dance UK, Sampad and The Place. You have 24 hours! The Ice Bucket Challenge was created by the ALS Association, who are working to fight Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or Motor Neurone Disease in the UK.

Kelucharan Mahapatra Masterclass in Odissi

Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra (January 8, 1926 – April 7, 2004) was an Indian classical dancer, guru, and proponent of Odissi dance, who is credited for the revival of the classical dance form in the 20th century. He is the first person to get Padma Vibhushan from Odisha. In 1995, Akademi had the pleasure to invite him to The Place for a special masterclass.

Daredevas: We Missed You

Daredevas 2014 was a night to remember with Arunima Kumar and Sarvani bringing Kuchipudi to London. Did you miss us? Check out our website for Akademi's upcoming programme:

Daredevas 2014: Meet Arunima Kumar and Sarvani

See what Arunima Kumar and Sarvani have to say about their upcoming show. Get your ticket to an event like no other... Akademi invites you to an evening of Kuchipudi: an art form rarely seen in London, transported to the cultural quarters of Shoreditch. This season's Daredevas combines a melody of strength and delicacy, control and release, portrayed by a unique dance vocabulary. Arunima Kumar and Sarvani will bring urban excellence to this raw art form and show why they are regarded as some of the brightest stars of South Asian dance in the UK. Daredevas July 18 @ 7:30 pm - 8:45 pm | £10 Buy tickets here: Or Call: 0207 613 7498

Navodit: An Interview With The Artists

Leading up to the show we find out more about our stars of the upcoming... NAVODIT April 11 @ 7:30 pm - 8:45 pm Akademi proudly launches: NAVODIT, an enriching showcase of emerging dancers from across the UK. We encourage the brightest upcoming South Asian artists to perform bold and adventurous takes on the grass root styles of classical Indian Dance. NAVODIT showcases classical Indian dance and supports emerging artists as they rise and establish themselves as part the cultural landscape of the UK. This year's artists are Natalie Rout and Parbati Chaudhury who will provide a fresh take on classical Indian dance. The evening jointly presents the sculpturesque form of Odissi alongside the hypnotic spins and intricate footwork of Kathak. This performance, set in cultural bedrock of Shoreditch, shifts the ancient art forms to the forefront of dance in the UK. Buy tickets from the link here:

First Light & Choreogata Teaser 3

There's not long left and tickets are selling fast for First Light and Choreogata 2014! Book your tickets at Southbank Centre: Visit: for more information.

Kathakali Masterclass with Guru Balakrishnan

A respected performer and guru, Balakrishnan is rated as one of the best teachers of this complicated dance form and teaches in many national and international institutions including ARTA of France. Balakrishnan has won many national and international awards in his long and distinguished performing career. He was the student of Thekkinkattil Ramunni Nair at the Gandhi Seva Sadanam Kathakali Academy and Kizhupadam Kumaran Nari. Akademi were honoured to welcome him for an exclusive masterclass of Kathakali.

First Light & Choreogata Teaser 2

First Light & Choreogata 2014...Have you got your ticket? Book your tickets at Southbank Centre: Visit: for more information.

First Light & Choreogata Teaser 1

Got 10 seconds? Check this out! Want to know more? Visit: for more information. Book your tickets at Southbank Centre:

Dance, Pumpkin, Dance!

Here's our short film Dance, Pumpkin, Dance! This is a clever film which is part of our Ageing Artfully project, promoting healthy living for older adults.

Dance, Pumpkin, Dance! Trailer

The trailer for our short film Dance, Pumpkin, Dance! This film is part of our Ageing Artfully project, promoting healthy living for older adults.

Bells Showtime 2012

BELLS by Akademi in partnership with Theatre Tol Presented as part of Showtime Festival, Mayor of London 2012 Host City Original Choreography Kumudini Lakhia Dancer and Co- choreographer Urja Thakore Dancer and Co- choreographer Amina Khayyam Stage Manager Beth Barnes Hoare Lighting Designer Prema Mehta Production Manager Simon Robertson Dancers: Manuela Benini Hanna Manila Amina Khayyam Archita Kumar Quincy Kendell Charles Kakoli Mishra Iris Chan Parbati Chaudhry Kavya Kaushik

Priyadarsini Govind Finale of Maaya

Acclaimed Bharatanatyam artist Priydarsini Govind performs the final of Akademi's Maaya presented in Westminster Hall as part of Arts in Parliament. Maaya is a creative journey encompassing the richness of a vivid sensory experience, presenting a piece that projects the aesthetic values of contemporary Indian culture into this distinguished space in the heart of Westminster. The whole site was transformed, achieving a unique spectacle of South Asian dance using contemporary and classical performers. Directed by renowned choreographer Gauri Sharma Tripathi together with Shivani Sethia, the Hall was animated through a live cast creating a magical dream like experience in which the audience was immersed for 20 minutes. This culminated in a finale performed by eminent Indian dancer Priyadarsini Govind.

Akademi presents Maaya- Arts in Parliament

MAAYA was a creative journey encompassing the richness of a vivid sensory experience, Akademi presented a piece that projects the aesthetic values of contemporary Indian culture into the distinguished space in the heart of Westminster Hall. Directed by renowned choreographer Gauri Sharma Tripathi together with Shivani Sethia, Seeta Patel and Yamuna Devi, Maaya was a magical dream- like experience. Section one: An undulating wave of colour - A vibrant avalanche of dance forms burst forth, gradually settling into an undulating wave of colour. Section two: Inner tranquility - The wave of colour subsides and each dancer serenely explores the space. A processional tableaux portrays the inner tranquility of a calm mind. We are friends with ourselves. Section three: Intimate rapture - An intimate rapture arises out of a circulating mêlée of blurred motion. Experience harmony, swirling into a blissful trance of colour. FINALE by Priyadarsini Govind Stage performance Maaya culminated in a finale performed by eminent, visiting Indian dancer Priyadarsini Govind. Priyadarsini performed pieces in the traditional style of Bharatanatyam that celebrates movement, the art of lyrical expression, the performance space and life itself. Starting with movement, the final dance seeks the bliss of oneness with creation.

Akademi @ KushiFeet Festival Faversham

Ash Mukherjee & Arunima Kumar leading a Bollywood workshop at Faversham Kushifeet Festival 14/07/12

Looking for the Invisible- The Abstract in South Asian Arts

With Christopher Bannerman, Sheba ChhaChhi, Shobana Jeyasingh, Gautam Malkani, Sadanand Menon, Anita Ratnam, Sonia Sabri, Alaknanda Samarth, Anusha Subramanyam, Chitra Sundaram and Tim Supple. Looking for the Invisible - The 'Abstract' in South Asian Arts Akademi in collaboration with The Place presented an opportunity to engage in a cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary dialogue between eminent artists across the world of South Asian arts. The symposium investigated where abstract lies in the South Asian arts through the work of six prominent creators. Invited artists narrated and presented their work through informal conversations with their peers and took participating audiences through a personal journey of artistic/creative discovery. This event was an uplifting and inspiring afternoon for all curious creators, thinkers, artists and audiences. Looking for the Invisible follows an established history of groundbreaking symposiums such as South Asian Aesthetics - Unwrapped! (Royal Opera House), No Man's Land - Exploring South Asianness (ICA), and Frame by Frame - A Symposium on the Dance of Indian Cinema and its Transition into Bollywood Dancing (Royal Opera House).

Akademi Choreographic Development Fund supported by ACE

This film documents the outcome of the ACE Choreographic Development Fund for three artists, Kali Chandrasegaram, Aakash Odedra and Sub Subramaniam. The artists were mentored by Theresa Beattie. Visit for more information

Akademi Productions 2012

All of Akademi's main productions from 2000 onwards, re published in 2012 to include 2011's performance 'song of the city'.

Akademi Dhol Drummers at Press Launch of Showtime

Akademi Dhol drummers at the Greater London Authority Press Launch of 'Showtime' 28/2/12

Akademi Frame by Frame symposium

Bollywood glamour met salon sophistication in this half-day symposium charting the history and evolution of the dance of Indian cinema. The audiences found out what drives this booming global industry at Frame by Frame; a symposium covering key themes, including: The globalisation of Indian cinema; what defines Indian cinema and how is it different to world cinema; a history and tribute section on the dance of Indian cinema throughout the ages; the economy of Bollywood dance and a personal perspective of an eminent filmmaker. Featured guests included: Gurinder Chadha (OBE), Prof. Lord Desai, Prof. Rachel Dwyer, Nasreen Munni Kabir, Keith Khan, Nina Nannar,Dr. Sangita Shresthova, Parminder Vir (OBE) and performances from many eminent dance artists.

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Contact details

Hampstead Town Hall, 213
Haverstock Hill

51.550499, -0.16498

  • 51.550499 -0.16498

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