Pagrav Dance will support and enable a new generation of South Asian artists and creatives to be aware of, explore, understand and improve their own practice. We will also work with professionals currently working in this space to offer residencies, shadowing and mentoring opportunities. In turn, this will encourage them to consider expanding the portfolio as performers, teachers and more importantly makers.

This work will build on the existing work that Pagrav Dance Company already provides to individual artists and creatives. For the last five years we have informally supported South Asian creatives with discrete, sensitive and confidential support through ongoing mentoring and coaching. Oxygen enables PDC to both codify and structure this area of our work, as well as expand the offer to more.

Over a 6-month period, we will undertake a series of interventions that will embed this way of working across our long term work. Activities will include:

  • Residencies

    Immersive, personal residencies hosted by Urja Desai Thakore. Focussed on having the time, space and support whilst being immersed in dance.

  • Training and Shadowing

    Urja Desai Thakore will bring different aspects of Indian classical dance, participatory arts knowledge to the studio, giving guidance and supporting artistic curiosity. Shadowing opportunities through Pagrav Dance and other partners will enable artists to experience first-hand their career opportunities in relation to participatory arts.

  • Coaching and Mentoring

    Each person will recieve individually centred bespoke coaching. All coaching and mentoring will be delivered by Eva Martinez.

We selected 5 artists through an open call. Please click on the artists to find out more

Shree Savani

Shree is a 23 year old Bharatantyam dancer and Muskuloskeletal Physiotherapist. Her passion for dance, engaging with people artistically and her interest in physical movement drive her enthusiasm for both dance and physiotherapy. Her love for many forms of dance was been nurtured by Nupur Arts Dance Academy, having been given the opportunity to explore and present a range of different styles from tap and modern to Bollywood. Her love for the disciplined ancient art form, Bharatantyam, has been nourished by her Guru, Bhagya Lakshmi. Her success in BBC Young Dancer 2019, being the first Bharatanatyam dancer to win the South Asian category and dance in the Grand Final, has fueled her ambition to develop as a dancer. Since then, she has gone on to perform and represent South Asian Classical Dance to a wide range of audiences on different platforms, including the world renowned dance theatre, Sadlers Wells and recent tour of Seeta Patel’s ‘Rite of Spring’.

Parbati Chaudhury

Parbati is a choreographer, maker, performer, and teacher. She conceptualises and echoes contemporary and classical narratives using dance rooted in kathak, drawing on aspects of theatre, and in collaboration with musicians and composers. Her piece, Fader, was praised by critics at Resolution 2020, and she is currently developing her first production, Goodgirl. As a teacher, Parbati leads classes for Pagrav Dance Company, as well as independently, and is the Kathak Lead Artist at CAT-Yuva Gati. Alongside developing her own work, Parbati also works with a number of well-known companies and organisations around the UK.

Meera Patel

Meera is a kathak dance artist. Previously training at CICD in Leicester, she now trains and teaches at Pagrav Dance Company (PDC). Meera’s recent work includes ACE-funded ‘Attuning’ - exploring Indian classical dance from a non-visual perspective, co-writer for Peut-Étre Theatre's 'Audiomoves' podcast series, performer in PDC's ‘Kattam Katti', performer in Amina Khayyam Dance Company’s ‘Kantha Katha-k’, Sadler’s Wells Residencies 2021 artist - collaborating with deaf-blind performer, Raji Gopalakrishnan. Meera’s current independent practice is driven by an urgent need to redefine practices across making, facilitation and performance through a lens of disability as a positive resource for mainstream experience of dance; embedding access for disabled groups at the point of conception and countering normative ideologies around marginalised experiences of performance.

Vidya Patel

Vidya Patel is a Birmingham based dance artist, performer, choreographer. Her training background is in the Kathak art form which she continues to develop with guidance of Sujata Banerjee and other practitioners. Since graduating from CAT South Asian Strand, at DanceXchange, Vidya represented the South Asian Category in the Grand Finals of the inaugural BBC Young Dancer 2015 at Sadler’s Wells where she is currently a Young Associate choreographer till 2022. Vidya has worked with a range of artists, touring nationally & internationally. Most recently, Vidya has been choreographing new works on range of dancers which have premiered at Royal Opera House, Sadlers Wells and touring in the UK. Vidya is interested in developing those with interest in the arts and dance. During the pandemic she has developed a community network and is also a Creative Mentor for One Dance UK’s Young Creative programme.

Shyam Dattani

Shyam Dattani is a Kathak dancer who began learning at a very young age and has been fortunate to have trained in all three gharanas of Kathak with his teachers, and his style holds all the influences from the various flavours he has experienced under their tutelage. He is now training professionally under the guidance of his guru Urja Desai Thakore. He won the South Asian Category of BBC Young Dancer 2017, going on to perform in the Grand Finale at Sadler’s Wells and also achieved second place in the Kalaashram Kathak Contest, European Leg that same year. Since then, he has been taking Vocational Level Kathak exams under the ISTD and is now pursuing a career in dance, post-graduation from Cass Business School. Shyam has worked with leading South Asian dance choreographers, in various ensemble works, and has performed as a solo artist extensively, touring both nationally and internationally. He presented his debut solo work, 'Uday' in September 2019, which launched his professional solo performance career. Shyam is a budding choreographer and has since 2017 been nurturing his choreographic voice. He recently received a choreographic commission from Akademi to create an outdoors ensemble work with 4 dancers, accompanied by a specially commissioned score by Alap Desai.