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Kadam Pulse Presents

Webinar on Banyan Tree Films – Circle of Dance – The Blossom

Webinar to discuss the films in the series Banyan Tree – Circle of Dance: The Blossom. 

Thursday 29 September 6.30 – 8 pm

Join a panel from the dance world to discuss the impact of the Banyan Tree films and what the films reveal about the state of South Asian dance in the UK. 

The films feature seven key artists currently practising in the UK: Amina Khayyam, Aakash Odedra, Seeta Patel, Sonia Sabri, Shane Shambhu, Nina Rajarani, Urja Desai Thakore

Joining artists on the panel will be Alex Croft (Kala Sangam), Eddie Nixon (The Place), Avanthi Meduri (Roehampton University) and Elena Catalano (odissi artist).

The films are available on YouTube to watch in your own time ahead of the discussion. Each film is under 20 mins long

If you would like to attend the webinar, please email You will be sent a link to join shortly before the start time.


Each film in The Blossom focuses on an individual dancer: seven artists who are currently at the forefront of making and touring work:. 

The interviews show the dance artists as socially engaged practitioners responding to the challenges they witness in society, from domestic abuse to Black Lives Matter, race and identity to the legacy of colonisation. If this sounds dry and drum-beating, this is not the case. The issues are dealt with humour and intelligence. Seeta Patel’s Not Today’s Yesterday is a fable of the coloniser drawn to the fabulousness of the east until the story turns and the victim becomes a perpetrator; in Amina Khayyam’s moving dance film Catch the Bird, the spirit of the abused women turns into a bird that rises above its circumstance.

We learn from some artists how dance has given them an opening from difficult life circumstances to finding the release through a creative outlet, and the nurturing role played by gurus and teachers, including the waiving of tuition fees. 

The films also show how the classical dance styles are being influenced by current trends from street, hip hop to contact and physical theatre (Sonia Sabri’s Urban Kathak and Aakash Odedra’s fluid style incorporating kathak and contemporary). The use of text and film to create a three-dimensional rounded experience for audiences also follows the dissolving of art form boundaries that one observes in mainstream dance.

The context of the films

The Banyan Tree Heritage Lottery funded project offered Kadam Pulse Dance an opportunity to have multiple conversations with dance artists. The interviews by Sanjeevini Dutta of more than twenty individuals making careers in dance focussed on the artists’ backgrounds, influences and inspirations, values and philosophy. These have formed the basis of a series of ‘talking-heads’ style films, which will be available for viewing on Kadam/Pulse You-Tube Channel.

The Banyan Tree films under the title Circle of Dance are divided into four parts: 

    The Seed – Why Dance?
    The Shoot – Routes to Learning
    The Blossom – Commitment to Dance
    The Fruit – Dance and Wellbeing.
 The films will be available to view on the Pulseconnects YouTube channel

The following podcasts have also been created as part of the Banyan Tree project:

In the Mind of the Dancemaker – Shobana Jeyasingh
‘As I breathe, I dance’ – Aakash Odedra
‘I am in it because it’s beautiful’ – Sooraj Subramaniam