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DANCE NEWS: Aakash Odedra Company Appoints Ri Chakraborty as Chair

DANCE NEWS: Aakash Odedra Company Appoints Ri Chakraborty as Chair

Published on September 7, 2023
Ri Chakraborty; photo by Darren Agius

Based in Leicester, Aakash Odedra Company creates dance works through a synthesis of Kathak, Bharatanatyam, contemporary and Bollywood-jazz which push boundaries, responding to and drawing inspiration from contemporary issues. Bilingual in classical and contemporary dance, it uses the voice of British-Asian experience to translate ancient and contemporary movement languages to tell new stories relevant to today. Its location within Leicester’s international communities has allowed it 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.

In recent news, the company has announced the appointment of Ri Chakraborty as the new Chair of its Board, taking over from Lucy Phillips. An award-winning executive producer, Chakraborty has over 28 years of experience in documentary, film and global arts strategy. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Board member at Norwich University of the Arts, she is an advocate for wider inclusive representation across creative and educational sectors.

Ri Chakraborty, new Chair of the Board of Aakash Odedra Company; photo courtesy of the company.

Chakraborty says: “It is an immense honour to take up the role of Chair at Aakash Odedra Company. The company is at an exciting stage in its development with fascinating new performances in the pipeline as well as a range of community activities that will benefit all ages. I am looking forward to supporting Aakash and his fantastic team and to leading the Board, working closely with my fellow Board members, Bhuvan Sharma, Hema Chhaniyara and Mita Pujara, over the coming years.”

Aakash Odedra says:  "I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for Lucy Phillips’ unwavering leadership and that of Anu Giri before her. Both have navigated Aakash Odedra Company through the challenges and triumphs of the last few years. Their tenacity, principled stewardship and support of the work that we do at home and abroad have been the bedrock of our successes. As we welcome Ri to our team, I look forward with anticipation to the fresh perspective and continued growth her leadership will undoubtedly bring to our company. Our path remains steadfast, our principles unaltered, our passion for art and our community stronger than ever."

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Ali Robertson, the company’s executive director says: “Anu and Lucy steered the company through our first years as a National Portfolio Organisation, major executive leadership changes, the turbulent Covid period and the changed touring and art-making landscape that emerged from the pandemic. They were at the helm as we were awarded our second three-year period as an NPO and always kept the principles that undergird our work at the forefront of their decision making and stewardship. We are immensely grateful for the dedication and strong leadership that they demonstrated to Aakash Odedra Company over their tenure as co-chairs.”
Aakash Odedra Company was founded in in Leicester in 2011. Its artistic director Aakash Odedra is a globally recognised and award-winning choreographer and one of UK’s most talented British South Asian dancers. The company is committed to creating a happier and healthier society through dance and the arts and looks forward to Ri Chakraborty contributing significantly to this mission.

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