Bradford Art Centre emerges with three performance companies

Kala Sangam, Bradford’s arts centre, has unveiled Company of Others, Jaivant Patel Dance and Mobius Dance as the organisation’s first ever Associate Companies. These three diverse emerging companies create innovative and exciting dance and performance work across a spectrum of styles, and their position as Associate Companies will see each of them returning regularly to the city to create, engage communities and present work.

Recognising the need to provide more than just financial support to help create change and diversify the arts sector, Kala Sangam will work with the Associate Companies in a more holistic way. As well as a commitment to programming their work, practical support in the form of regular rehearsal space, organisational development support and the opportunity to access training opportunities will be provided to each company. The companies will also be given space and support to build relationships with each other as well as other creatives and organisations across Bradford district.

Alex Croft, Kala Sangam’s Creative Director, said, ‘One of our key aims at Kala Sangam is to support the development of high quality, diverse dance, and I can think of no better way of us doing this than welcoming Company of Others, Jaivant Patel Dance and Mobius Dance as Associate Companies. Led by three of the most exciting, dynamic artistic leaders in the country, each of these companies create work that we think is hugely relevant to Bradford’s multicultural audiences. I can’t wait to continue our support for all three on their exciting journey ahead.’ 

North East based Company of Others, led by Artistic Director Nadia Iftkhar, specialises in the co-creation of dance theatre work with people who have experience of being ‘othered’. Crackle.Dust, a powerful piece, sharing stories from women across the North premiered at Kala Sangam in 2019 and recent project Grief Floats has seen them create a piece in the North Sea which honours and witnesses global grief. 

Nadia Iftkhar said, ‘I mostly make work about belonging, how it feels to belong and all the different ways we can find that feeling. Bradford has always felt like a second home for myself and Company of Others, and the invitation to spend more time here, and make our work with communities here feels very right, and I can’t wait to get started.

Kala Sangam has a rich history in contributing to the creation of South Asian art, and as a bi-racial South Asian woman, I hope that through being Associate Company as Kala Sangam, I can contribute to the continuation of that legacy. 

At a time when movement artists need more support than ever before, I’m very grateful to Kala Sangam, for continuing to champion our work and the ways in which we create change.’

A leading voice in Queer South Asian narratives on the UK dance scene and global cultural landscape Jaivant Patel Dance is based in Wolverhampton and blends and incorporates Kathak into a creative practice to compliment a contemporary dance background. Following the success of ground-breaking and award-nominated show YAATRA, Jaivant Patel Dance’s new work, Waltzing the Blue Gods will preview at Kala Sangam in Autumn 2022.

Jaivant Patel said, ‘Jaivant Patel Dance is honored at the invitation to be an Associate Company of Kala Sangam from 2022 onwards. There has always been a real sense of value and artistic integrity in the relationship that has continued to grow between our organisations.

This next step of furthering that investment in an associateship that holistically builds on our shared ambitions for meaningful British-South Asian representation on the UK cultural landscape; will support the embedding of placemaking for JPD in the North of England in addition to its home in The Black Country.

As a seed commissioner, KS previewed our ground-breaking dance theatre production YAATRA in 2019 and will also preview our new work Waltzing The Blue Gods in 2022.’

Gianluca Vincentini’s Mobius Dance are a Bradford and Leeds based contemporary dance company creating work that inspires the public to watch, act or participate with. Their most recent show, Curious Playground, was the first performance at Kala Sangam following the 2020 lockdown and their next piece, Stay, Connected will premiere in March.

Gianluca Vincentini said, ‘Mobius Dance is delighted to continue its journey as an Associate Company at Kala Sangam. I am grateful for the extraordinary support received by Alex Croft and his team so far and thrilled to be able to deepen our working relationship from 2022 onwards.

It is highly valued, in the current climate, to create a partnership in which core values align with ease. Two partners that, together, are willing to embark on a journey to endeavour the balancing of voices within the cultural sector.

This continued support will allow Mobius Dance to carry on its work on a current, innovative, responsive artistic vision, which inspires audiences and continues to make outstanding, impactful contributions to the dance artform in the District and the wider region.’

Support for the Associate Companies begins this week, with Jaivant Patel Dance in residence at Kala Sangam to continue the creation of Waltzing the Blue Gods.

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