This dance school in Leicestershire has spent more than 25 years educating young people in the artistic heritage of South Asia and bringing joy to diverse audiences
Dance is a powerful medium which does everything from bringing people together and spreading joy to giving communities a means of expressing their feelings and culture.
Napur Arts Dance Academy was founded by artistic director Smita Vadnerkar in 1991 to enrich communities in Leicestershire with classes in Bharatanatyam, a form of classical Indian dance.
Today it has more than 200 students who study this traditional art along with more contemporary Asian dance styles.
They attend weekly classes throughout term time and stage popular productions several times a year, which attract diverse audiences.
Not only that, but academy dancers grow into team leaders, helping to script, teach and administrate productions.
National Lottery funding supported Nupur 25, a project that ran between 2015 and 2017 to commemorate the academy’s 25 years of developing, promoting and supporting South Asian dance in Leicestershire, the East Midlands and beyond.
Young participants were able to develop their understanding of their heritage through researching and archiving Nupur’s journey, using workshops and performances.
They received training in interview skills, story boarding, scriptwriting, web page maintenance and documentary making – all important media skills to help them in future.
Volunteers also planned and organised an exhibition on Indian classical and folk dance costumes, jewellery and props, using items collected by the company over a quarter of a century.
The project culminated in a 30-minute documentary called Napur 25: the Journey, which captures stories of past pupils, tutors, community leaders and festivals organisers, and can be viewed online.
To find out more about Nupur Arts Dance Academy visit the website
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