Academy of Indian Dance Seminar – The Contribution of Indian Dance to British Culture – Document

Series nameBeginnings

This is a report from a two-day seminar entitled ‘The Contribution of Indian Dance to British Culture’, organised by the founder of the Academy of Indian Dance, Tara Rajkumar. The seminar was held on 29-30 June 1982, at the Commonwealth Institute, London, and was part of the academy’s ten-day ‘Nrittya Sammelan’ , translated on the report as Dance Festival, which also took place at the Commonwealth Institute. The report consists of a summary of the conference compiled by Dr Bharti Kansara, then a Trustee of the Academy of Indian Dance. The main theme of the seminar was the influence of Indian classical dance on the evolution of Western dance forms and its continuous impact on Western contemporary dance. Three main issues were discussed: the presentation of Indian dance in western theatre and the difference from dance in India; the dance content and relationship with the audience; the educational value of Indian dance in a multi-cultural society and the need for a range of courses and studies in Indian dance. The report summarises the main aspects of the presentations made by four high-profile speakers, as well as presents the findings of three discussion groups led by Nahid Siddiqui, Chitra Sundaram, Jhaved Gaya, Dr Frances Sheppard and Dr Bharti Kansara. The seminar programme featured an opening address by Robin Howards, a talk by Fernau Hall, dance critic at the ‘The Daily Telegraph’, a talk by Reginal Massey, a dance critic at ‘The Dancing Times’ and a talk by Peter Brinsin, Director of the Gulbenkian Foundation in London.

Date of Creation / Publication1982
CreatorAcademy of Indian Dance
Associated Person/ OrganisationRajkumar, Tara
Collection and Reference NumberAkademi Collection (GB 2661 AK)
Catalogue NumberAK/BEG/ED/3
CopyrightThe Creator and/ or associated person or organisation where applicable
Access to originalsThe originals belong to Akademi.
Series notesAkademi: South Asian Dance was known as The Academy of Indian Dance for over 10 years since its establishment in 1979. This grouping, Beginnings, focuses on the first ten years of the organisation (1979-1989) and traces its pioneering work in increasing accessibility to Indian dance and creating a space for Indian dance in contemporary British culture.
Collection notesThe digitised material from the Akademi: South Asian Dance Collection consists of documents and images from the establishment of the company,when it was called the Academy of Indian Dance up to the present time. Also included are flyers,photographs and education material pertaining to various productions,workhshops and seminars.
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