Alex has been a member of the DanceXchange team since 2015 and as Head of Learning and Participation, her role is to oversee the learning and participation programmes including the Centre for Advanced Dance Training (CAT), Generate Feeder Route, Class Programme, DX Summer School, Education Work, Community Projects and U.Dance West Midlands.
Alex began dancing at the age of 3 at her grandmother’s dance school and her passion for dance has continued to grow ever since. Alex gained a BA (Hons) Dance Studies at Middlesex University, London and then joined DanceXchange on graduation for Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF) as Performance Intern before progressing to her current role. Alex has also worked at a variety of other dance festivals including Dance Umbrella, More! Dance and MY Dance Festival.
Alex is currently studying at the University of Wolverhampton and on completion in 2021, will receive an MBA, Senior Leaders MA Degree Apprenticeship and Chartered Management Institute Level 7 Extended Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership.
I have been working on the Outreach & Talent Identification strand of the Centre for Advanced Training (CADT) programme for South Asian dance since 2009. I am very keen to identify young talents who have potential to develop. It motivates me to see our students develop into a confident young dancers as a result of their training with CADT programme.
I have worked in education and arts sector over 20 years and have gained specialist knowledge in South Asian Dance which is underpinned by my deep and broad interest across the dance sector. As a Freelance Project Manager, I work with strategic South Asian dance organisations in creating and delivering projects of regional and national significance. Currently I manage SADAA South Asian Dance National Network which consists of Akademi, Bhavan, CICD, Chaturangan, Gem Arts, Kadam, Kala Sangam, Milapfest, SAA-uk and Sampad Arts.
Working on projects connected with development of young dancers such as CADT, U.Dance, BBC Young Dancer and increasing their connectivity within the South Asian dance community and successfully engaging participants for these programme, is especially fulfilling for me.
A recent highlight of my work has been producing Navadisha 2016, a trailblazing conference which took place in May 2016 at mac Birmingham, which celebrated the achievements, success & contemporary diversity of South Asian dance sector and most importantly brought the sector together to discuss future challenges & opportunities. The conference was co-produced by Sampad Arts and was a part of the hugely successful IDFB 2016.
Anna began her career as an artistic gymnast, before transitioning into contemporary dance, completing her professional training at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance. After graduating Anna joined Verve’16 touring works across the UK & Europe before embarking on a freelance performance career.
Anna has worked with a wide range of companies including circus theatre companies allowing her to train as an aerialist and hand balancer. Alongside her work as a performer, Anna is also a yoga teacher and personal trainer.
Anuradha Chaturvedi is a Reading based Dancemaker and teacher. She has studied Kathak under late Pundit Arjun Mishra in Lucknow India and is a recipient of Sringaarmani from Sur Sringaar Samsad, Mumbai, India. Anuradha has been a performing artist for nearly 15 years and she works as dancer, choreographer and teacher in Reading and surrounding areas. She has done Sangeet Praveen from Prayag Sangit Samiti and also holds ISTD’s level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy. She is the founder and artistic director of Drishti Dance, performing arts organization known for its Vibrant Youth Dance wing, which has represented Southeast Region in National U Dance in 2018 and 2019.
Archana is a Bharatanatyam and Contemporary dancer. She began learning Bharatanatyam at the age of six, she trained in this dance form as well as Contemporary dance through her teenage years, and went on to train professionally.
Since graduating from London Contemporary Dance School in 2008, she has toured nationally and internationally with companies including Theatre Hullabaloo, ATMA Dance, Pagrav, Sadhana Dance, and has performed with companies such as Opera Holland Park, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company and The Chimera Network.
As well as undertaking her own choreographic projects and teaching, Archana facilitates movement workshops with elderly people and those living with dementia and is a qualified Dance Movement Psychotherapist working in Forensic Mental Health.
Archita is on Maternity Leave until Autumn 2021
Archita Kumar is a London-based dancer, choreographer, musician and composer. In 2018, she has been a resident artist at artsdepot (London) and recipient of the Bonnie Bird Marion North Choreographic Mentoring Award. Archita’s work is deeply influenced by her formal training in Kathak, Hindustani vocal and sitar. She began her training at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London, and later pursued Kathak training at the Kadamb Institute in Ahmedabad, as well as sitar rendering from maestro Gaurav Mazumdar. She is committed to supporting dancers at various points in their Kathak dance journey, be it her Principal Artist role for the young dancers from CAT-Yuva Gati to Kathak coaching for Jose Agudo’s Silk Road.
Archita performs as a freelance soloist, as well as for dance companies/institutions. Her dance highlights include:
As a composer, Archita has released 3 singles commercially, under the label Music Mandi, which have been featured on BBC Asian Network. She is often found balancing her passion for dance and music, having been engaged in some equally exciting music projects such as:
Archita also holds an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences from University College London.
Beth-ann’s love for dance began when she took part in a choreography project led by DanceXchange as a teenager, inspiring her to complete a First Class Dance Studies (Choreography) degree at Middlesex University in London. Since graduating in 2016, Beth-ann has been working as a Customer and Administration Assistant with DanceXchange whilst supporting Birmingham International Dance Festival. Her current role is CAT and Operations Co-ordinator, working closely with the team to support the CAT programme and DX operational development.
Carnette Richardson-Jacquet specialises in the field of Languages and Linguistics. Carnette was born and grew up in Birmingham. Carnette studied languages at Lancaster University and spent a year in Lyon, France, as part of her first degree. After completing a Masters in Linguistics also at Lancaster, Carnette moved to France where she spent several years working in Paris as a Language consultant before spending 12 months in Brazzaville, Congo teaching English to children.
Carnette speaks fluent French and Spanish and is currently working as a Lecturer in Modern Languages at University College Birmingham. Alongside this, Carnette is a qualified Translator from French to English and English to French and a Member of the Charted Institute of Linguists. She is also an external examiner for the Delf/Dalf French language qualifications.
Carnette has experience in tailor-made language courses as well as an expertise in creating vocational language materials. As well as collaborating on European funded projects, Carnette has also contributed to the CiLT Vocational Language Resource bank. Carnette has one daughter.
Dr Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy is a Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher, choreographer, and an academic in copyright and cultural heritage law. She specialises in Abinaya and is a student of Padma Bhushan Guru Kalanidhi Narayanan, a foremost exponent of Abinaya. She has completed her nritta training under Smt. Jagannatha Rao of Pradakshina, Madras and she studied nattuvangam under Smt. Kamalarani from Kalakshetra.
After moving to Britain, Dr Kuppuswamy combined her strengths in classical Bharatanatyam with innovative themes and has experimented the conceptual framework of Bharatanatyam, by pushing it into new themes such as cloning, ageinga, nature and climate change. Her current work focuses on historical and cultural contextualisation of Bharatanatyam and her production Chinnadevi is touring in London in 2019-20. Dr Kuppuswamy has been a tutor on CADT Yuva Gati since 2014, and a lead tutor since 2018. She enjoys teaching students of all age groups and is passionate about research-led practice, imparting the ethos to all age groups. Dr Kuppuswamy has been awarded for her contribution to the cultural life of the UK by her inclusion in the ‘Happy 100’ list by the Independent newspaper, which recognises volunteers who have made a difference to people’s lives.
Picture credit – Jesús Ramírez.
I sit on the DanceXchange Senior Management Team, working on the strategic development and management of the organisation.
Starting out in the visual arts, I completed a Foundation Course in Art and Design at the Blackpool & The Fylde College, a BA(Hons) in Fine Art at Coventry University, and an MA in Art Theory at the University of Warwick, achieving a Distinction.
Following university, I worked in administration, finance and business development for a number of years, including three years in the International Publications commercial team at Guardian Newspapers, based in London. Aiming to use this experience to benefit the arts, in 2002 I combined work with an Arts Management course at Birkbeck College, and subsequently moved to Birmingham in 2003 to take up a position at DanceXchange.
It has been hugely rewarding to be part of DanceXchange’s growth and development over so many years, and to take on the many new and interesting challenges this has offered me – not least in getting Birmingham International Dance Festival off the ground back in 2008, and more recently establishing our schools’ programme which is now going from strength to strength. I’m immensely proud of the work we do to support artists, nurture talented young people, and bring the joys and benefits of dance to thousands of people across the region and beyond.
Clelia was born and raised in North-eastern Italy, where she took ballet classes for ten years as well as practising classical music and theatre alongside her academic studies. She moved to the U.K. in 2013 to study Philosophy at Cambridge and later Philosophy and the Arts at Warwick.
Her professional experience includes a Marketing internship at Warwick Arts Centre, a six-month stint as an Outreach Worker at the Lanchester Interactive Archive at Coventry University, and freelance duty management for Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art.
In addition to her work with DanceXchange, Clelia is a Research Executive at Earthen Lamp, a consultancy which provides analysis, research and evaluation for cultural and artistic organisations across the West Midlands; she also collaborates with Beatfreeks on artistic events and initiatives aimed at young people. Other than that, Clelia spend considerable amounts of time reading, cooking and visiting her friends who live all over the world!
Debbie has worked in the creative sector for over thirty years. She is passionate about empowering people to achieve their full potential and transforming organisations through positive change. She believes firmly in making an active contribution to the evolution of the creative sector.
Debbie holds a BA(Hons.) and an MBA and held a number of senior leadership roles in dance and the film and digital sectors before specialising in mentoring, interim senior leadership, company change management and turn-arounds.
Debbie considers that creativity and imagination apply as much to how a business organises itself as it does to its creative output.
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