Akademi to Transform Historic Westminster Hall in South Asian Dance Spectacular as Part of Arts in Parliament

  • South Asian dance organisation Akademi only dance organisation invited to take part in Arts in Parliament programme
  • Details announced for 5 July headline performance (6.30pm, Westminster Hall)
  • Arts in Parliament - an innovative and unique programme which brings art, music, dance and poetry into the iconic setting of the Houses of Parliament - will take place throughout June - September 2012
  • Tickets (FREE) now available: http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/arts-in-parliament/planning-your-visit/

IMAGES: Please note: Arts in Parliament press images are free to use but subject to copyright rules (see notes to editors)

London-based South Asian dance organisation Akademi will be transforming the historic 900-year-old interior of Westminster Hall in a performance spectacular this July as part of Arts in Parliament - a programme of unique performances and exhibitions celebrating artistic talent from across the UK in 2012. Akademi have been selected to create new work to contribute to this prestigious event, which will see a unique cultural programme take place in and around Westminster Hall from June to September 2012, fusing arts, heritage and media projects.

On 5 July Westminster Hall will be brought to life as Akademi unveil a site-specific dancework created for the occasion. Choreographed by Gauri Tripathi, Southbank artist-in-residence whose previous roles include working alongside Akram Khan, together with Nathaniel Parchment and Shivani Sethia, ‘Maaya’ will feature 12 artists from a variety of genres including two circus performers. The finale will be performed by Priyadarsini Govind, one of India's most talented and acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancers.

Westminster Hall is the oldest building in the Palace of Westminster. Since the 11thcentury, it has played a central role in the life of the nation – lending it a unique significance as the location for Parliament’s celebrations in 2012. In this Olympic year, this is a fantastic opportunity for Londoners and visitors alike to participate in a historic event.

The 5 July performance will be followed by a second community dance event on 10 August, celebrating the South Asian dance which exists in British communities and highlighting the use of dance for social benefit. The second performance, also in Westminster Hall will involve many participants from community organisations from London and the UK.

Tickets for both events are FREE. For more information and booking details, go to www.parliament.uk/get-involved/arts-in-parliament/

Frank Doran, Special MP for British Dance and Member of the Arts in Parliament Advisory Board, said: We wanted a dance company which could optimise the opportunity of dancing in Westminster Hall – and Akademi already has an outstanding pedigree of producing work in inspiring and iconic spaces around London, including Somerset House and Trafalgar Square. But Akademi’s participation at Arts in Parliament is also an important representation for British dance during the Olympic year – and a chance to showcase a British-South Asian cultural fusion in such a historically important location.

Mira Kaushik, Artistic Director of Akademi said: ‘It is a tremendous honour to be representing UK dance at this wonderful initiative. In 2012 London will become the focal point for a great cultural exchange, and it is these values that are central to the ethos of Akademi. The two new pieces we will be devising will have at their heart Akademi’s commitment to pioneering new visions of dance performance in new spaces, celebrating the cultural variety of London and using dance as a vehicle for social change.’

Akademi in 2012

Akademi (www.akademi.co.uk) is the leading organisation working with choreographers and dancers to produce and develop South Asian dance in the UK. The organisation innovate a rich year-round programme of work, from large-scale outdoor spectaculars to intimate productions for unusual spaces and venues.


Akademi piece one of Mayor of London Presents events during Summer 2012

In partnership with Theatre Tol, Akademi will be staging acclaimed production ‘Bells’ in different locations during July and August as part of Showtime, presented by Mayor of London and London 2012 Festival. Showtime is a free outdoor arts festival giving all Londoners the chance to enjoy world class entertainment and culture on their doorstep. For more information visit www.molpresents.com/showtime.

Further 2012 Highlights:

‘Big Dance’ performance in Granary Square, Kings Cross (7 July)

Camden Olympic Torch Relay event in Granary Square, Kings Cross (26 July)

Odissi Ensemble ‘Kalpavriskha’ at Kings Place (15 September)

Akademi presents Srishti at Kings Place (16 September)

For further details of all Akademi events visit www.akademi.co.uk

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Press contacts:
Susannah Glynn - susannah.glynn@kallaway.com; 020 7221 7883
Nazneen Nawaz – nazneen.nawaz@kallaway.com; 020 7221 7883

Images:
Akademi: Susannah Glynn, Kallaway susannah.glynn@kallaway.com; 020 7221 7883

Arts in Parliament: Anikka Weerasinghe WEERASINGHEA@parliament.uk; 020 7219 0849

Please note: Arts in Parliament press images are free to use but subject to copyright rules:  You should not adapt, alter or manipulate any of the images

- You should not use the images so as to bring Parliament into disrepute or use them in a deliberately misleading context
- You should not authorise others to re-use the images
- Photographs should not be used for marketing purposes or used for commercial gain.

Images for Arts in Parliament should be credited Pete Schiazza ©Parliamentary Copyright

Notes to Editors

About Akademi
Akademi (www.akademi.co.uk) 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. 

Twitter: @akademi
Facebook: akademidance

Mira Kaushik, Director, Akademi
Mira Kaushik was appointed Director of Akademi (formerly known as the Academy of Indian Dance) in 1987, since then the organisation has excelled as a strategic arts development body of global importance through its work with audiences reaching millions. Born in Yugoslavia, Mira was educated at Delhi University and has lived in London since 1982. In 2007 she was awarded an Honorary Order of the British Empire for services to dance.

About Arts in Parliament
Arts in Parliament is an innovative and unique programme which brings art, music, dance and poetry into the iconic setting of the Houses of Parliament from June to September 2012. Working with artistic partners and individuals from across the UK, Parliament has devised a programme presenting new and existing performances and exhibitions. The programme represents and celebrates the diverse cultural fabric of the UK.

Arts in Parliament is free to attend and open to the public. To find out more about Arts in Parliament, including a full programme of events, information on how to book tickets, films and photographs, go to www.parliament.uk/get-involved/arts-in-parliament/

Twitter: @UKParlArts (#artsinparl)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/UK-Parliament/16553417732

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