Dancers’ Hardship Fund

Aakash Odedra Company are supporting dance artists via a hardship fund, which we’ve created to raise money for dancers who have lost income through Covid-19. With an original target of £1000 we have just reached over £5600, your generosity has smashed our expectations.

Our producer and co-founder Anand Bhatt turned 40 in May and decided he’d like to raise funds to support independent dance artists – watch the video to hear his reasons behind the campaign and if you can donate any amount please do. #DancersForever

Dear Friends,

So many people have lost lives and livelihoods due to COVID-19. I work in an industry which will likely take longer to re-open and recover. But I am ok, I have a job.
After COVID-19, what would we like life to be like? We all live in hope of a prosperous future, one where we can share happy times and for moments which take our breath away. The arts can provide some of this. You experience art everyday – through books, TV, film, music, galleries, museums, libraries and live performance amongst others.

I am fundraising to set up a small relief fund for dance artists who have lost work due to the COVID-19 social distancing measures. So why dance artists? Amongst the Arts, dance is definitely a poor cousin. Dancers are amongst the least paid artists, their careers are relatively short, and throughout prone to injury.

Dancers train from a very young age, and persist through much adversity to teach and perform for us. They bring joy and happiness. Sometimes provocation and reflection. We feel invigorated when we dance. We feel joy.

Right now, dance artists are sometimes caged into small rooms dancing on the spot delivering free dance classes for us all online. They need proper spaces to rehearse, and maintain their bodies. When they are through this, we will want to see them in our classrooms and on stage once again. If you have trained for 20 years to do one thing, and then spent the next 10 years doing it, the current COVID-19 restriction means that some people will be forced to hang up their dancing shoes for more than a year.

As I turn 40 years old today, I am asking for those who can afford to, to consider a donation of £40 to help support an artist. If you think you can afford to miss £40, the equivalent for a meal for two that you will not have been able to enjoy in the past eight weeks, please consider making that available where it can make a difference to a dance artist’s ability to pay rent, to pay a utility bill or buy food.

Many dance artists will fall through the cracks of government support schemes, and some artists in other countries outside of the UK will not have access to anything at all.

There are so many incredible causes to support right now, and I know that you will have been asked to support something, but if you can afford to not notice £40 over the next 3 months, then I would love for you to consider this.

Whatever this campaign raises, with colleagues, we will make available to dance artists for grants up to £240 per person (or 6 people’s donation) through a simple form. This amount will not be enough to get a person through from March to December 2020, but hopefully a little bit of support from many places can ensure that when we do come through this, your cultural services have a workforce that can deliver the best quality for you.

Thank you 🙂

Anand

To help an artist who’s lost income as a result of Covid-19 donate to the Dancers’ Hardship Fund.