The definitive information resource for South Asian dance in the UK

Utkarsh Applications Open

Deadline: 31 Oct 2014

Company: Adademi


Phone: 020 7691 3210

eUTKARSH is a CLASSICAL INDIAN DANCE choreographic development opportunity that will support two South Asian dance artists from the UK on their choreographic careers. Successful recipients of UTKARSH will be awarded a commission of £2,000 to present a new short solo for performance in May 2015.

UTKARSH is an open application classical choreographic commission for South Asian dancers and choreographers with a professional background in a classical South Asian dance style. This project provides the opportunity for artists to create new classical Indian dance work. Artists will be shortlisted and interviewed by an independent panel.

UTKARSH will set itself apart from other programmes on offer at Akademi by definitively emphasising artistic understanding of the classical Indian dance canon. Applicants to this project will demonstrate clear understanding of the classical elements in the dance forms, as opposed to merely the traditional.

 The proposed work:

  • must be unmistakably within the classical idiome. including principles of stance, line, idiom, formality, gesture, appropriateness or suitability etc. (ie. mandala, rekha, dharmi, hasta, auchitya, etc.)
  • will be demonstrably innovative. The creator of the piece must be able to convincingly show to the selection panel how the work is ‘new’ or ‘different’. (This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, eg. technically, by uncovering unused or forgotten approaches, creating new architecture or interpretations of old/traditional text or music, or exploring modern stories/texts)
  • The dance maker must demonstrate knowledge of whether such a work has been undertaken before in the last 50 years and detail if their work is a derivative, re-creation, or original. (The applicant must show their awareness of the choreographic history of their form).
  • The proposed piece will ideally embody a dedicated attempt to answer an explicit, form-relevant question. The applicant may propose to the panel something he or she is seeking to find an answer to, and why it is important to the artist or to the art world.

Applicants must have:

  • a professional background in a classical South Asian dance style
  • a provable track record in choreographing work on themselves or on others
  • an advanced ability and understanding of the heritage and traditions of classical Indian dance (as referenced in Abhinaya Darpana, Natya Shastra etc)
  • the ability to be innovative while working within a classical Indian dance form.
  • a willingness to work with a mentor, explore and further their professional development
  • enthusiasm to advocate for Akademi and the UTKARSH programme.

The selected artists will receive:

  • a commission of £2000 to present a new 20 minute solo work at a platform to be arranged by Akademi in May 2015
  • Three 1:1 sessions with a member of Akademi’s artist support & development team and project partners where appropriate to help them create a personalised business plan, budget and detailed exit strategy post project.
  • an artistic mentor
  • marketing & communications support
  • the opportunity to network with promoters, stakeholders, opinion formers and policy makers.

Upon completion of the UTKARSH programme, artists will receive a signed certificate confirming their participation and identifying their achievement and be credited with the UTKARSH Award logo. Akademi aims to offer this UTKARSH opportunity for two different artists on an annual basis.

How to Apply: Fill out the UTKARSH Application form and return it to us by 10am, 31 October 2014.

Akademi in partnership with Gem Arts, Sampad, Kadam, CICD, South East Dance, Yorkshire Dance, and Dance Umbrella. Funded by Arts Council England and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.