Aakash Odedra Company was founded in Leicester in 2011 by Anand Bhatt and Aakash Odedra. Named after our Artistic Director Aakash Odedra, a choreographer and one of the most talented British South Asian dancers. Born in Birmingham, Aakash trained in bharatanatyam and kathak, then moved to India as a student of the renowned Bollywood choreographer Shiamak Davar. This was the start of our relationship with Shiamak Davar International which has culminated in the dance classes we now teach to over 600 participants. Aakash is a globally recognised and award winning artist, he has performed over 300 full length performances in 40 countries.
In 2018 we became part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. As a not-for-profit organisation we are governed by a voluntary board of trustees and any surplus funds from our work are invested directly back into our mission of creating a happier and healthier society through dance and the arts.
Nestled within Leicester’s international communities, we are committed to improving the local environment by removing barriers to ensure dance education opportunities are available more widely. We are based in Belgrave, with two dance studios alongside our offices; we are a hub for South Asian dance artists and local participants.
We work with world-class practitioners to bring the best dance experiences to Leicester, across the Midlands and London. We believe that art and culture should be accessible and available to all, so we aim to provide a nurturing, safe environment for learning and self-expression. With our education team Moving Together, we deliver high quality dance experiences to local schools and community groups to improve their health and wellbeing. We engage over 1000 people weekly through our learning and participation programme.
We use the voice of British-Asian experience to tell new stories about modern life. We create boundary pushing and award winning dance works, partnering with organisations such as the Royal Ballet and Sadler’s Wells. We have commissioned and collaborated with world-class artists including choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (Belgium), Damien Jalet (France), Akram Khan (UK), Aditi Mangaldas (India), Russell Maliphant (UK), and lighting designers Michael Hulls (UK), Fabiana Piccioli (Italy) and media art institution Ars Electronica Futurelab (Australia). Our work tours internationally, with our live audiences exceeding 250, 000 and over 1 million views online. To learn more about our work, please browse the Productions and What’s On sections of our website.
As a Leicester based creative organization, Leicester Dance Theatre (Aakash Odedra Company & Shiamak Midlands) aim to improve the environment in and around our studios on Belgrave Road to contribute to making the area a better place to live, work and dance. Through our touring and international work we aim to reduce impact on the environment by taking a measured and mindful approach to planning and executing our work. Through our artistic and civic leadership we aim to advocate and influence attitudes to environmental responsibility wherever we can.
"Aakash Odedra’s first dance collective piece is stunning and unforgettable”
“Fresh, exciting and truly amazing”
“Murmur is the opposite of opaque: a revelation of a world of wonder inside the mind”