About Us

Our Story
Aakash Odedra Company tells stories through movement. Inspired by South Asian classical dance, contemporary dance and collaborative partnerships, the work always seeks to enliven audiences and find new ways to engage with people. Aakash Odedra is one of the most sought after dancers in the UK. With a growing international reputation for making and commissioning beautifully crafted dance works.

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.

Our Present
Based in Leicester, Aakash Odedra Company exists to deliver exceptional creative experiences for audiences and participants and to help create a society that is happier and healthier through dance and the arts. Central to this is our belief that art’s potential transformational powers for both individuals and communities should mean that access to the arts and in particular dance, is a fundamental right of every citizen. We will take positive steps to ensure that our dance work reflects excellence, removing barriers to access excellent dance and art and ensuring art and dance education opportunities are available more widely. Through dance and art, we build community cohesion and place-making.

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.

Leicester Dance Theatre

Aakash Odedra
Artistic Director

Anand Bhatt

Aoife Daniels
General Manager

Lucy White

Michelle Osorio

Camille De Groote

Moving Together

Shiamak Midlands
Bollywood & Indo Jazz Classes

Salvatore Scollo
Technical Director

The Board

Anu Giri – Chair

Alyssa Bonic

Robert Lee

Mahendra Mistry

Rik Pancholi