Aakash Odedra Company has firm roots in its home town, Leicester. Aakash says, ‘for all the global touring and success, it would be futile if we could not share our journey in dance and provide high-quality opportunities at home’.
The Desi Masti Studio, founded by Producer Anand Bhatt in 2003, is a home for learning Dance in Leicester in a richly diverse community. The belief is that social, economic and physical regeneration can be inspired if we deeply invest in cultural learning. The three-thousand square-feet facility is used by some 200 learners per week. In 2014, the company partnered with Aakash’s alma mater Shiamak to deliver Indo Jazz, Indo Contemporary and Bollywood style dance classes across the Midlands.
Leicester Dance Theatre Limited is the legal entity and name of the not for profit organization which delivers all our activity. On an everyday basis, we refer to ourselves as Aakash Odedra Company. Aakash Odedra Company, Shiamak Midlands and Desi Masti are the brand names we use and work with for work with our respective audiences. Each crucially and distinctly contributes to the organization’s objects and is critical to the delivery of the organization’s planned work and our public mission. Any surplus we make is invested in furthering the mission and vision of the organization, and thereby to benefit the public at large.
We create dance works expressed through a unique synthesis of Kathak, contemporary and Bollywood-Jazz which push boundaries, responding to and drawing inspiration from contemporary issues. Bilingual in classical and contemporary dance we use the voice of British-Asian experience to translate ancient and contemporary movement languages to tell new stories relevant to today. This specialism in South Asian dance has enabled us to conceive new ways of engaging communities, telling stories and to bring more art to more people. Our location, nestled within Leicester’s international communities has allowed LDT to be more aware of and pro-active about the opportunities of plural heritage and the importance of a culture of accessibility, social justice, messaging and making people feel welcome.
Anu Giri – Chair