“Abhilekh” Online Heritage Archival Project


“Abhilekh” is an Indian word in the Sanskrit language for Archive. In celebration of 35 years of the Centre for Indian Classical Dance and UK-India 70 Years of Culture we have been creating our own “Abhilekh” in partnership with Leicester Museum Services, Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland's Record Office, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Over the years, CICD collected a vast amount of video, photographic, costume, publicity and media materials which are finally going to be easily accessible for a wider public interested and fascinated by South Asian dance.

It is an extensive record of our exciting pioneering dance productions presented at various professional venues since the 1980s. We have had so many talented groups of young people coming through our doors training in various aspects of Kathak dance. We have also worked with various community groups in Leicester and the East Midlands promoting Indian Classical Dance as well as folk and creative dance styles through the Indian Dance Animateur Project. CICD had various visiting professional dancers, dance gurus and choreographers from India and the UK to work on various projects, giving dance residencies, master-class workshops and summer school training. Nilima Devi MBE, the pioneering Kathak exponent, has also collaborated with various dancers and musicians on dance projects. She has also performed numerous beautiful solo works herself. Most of CICD’s and Nilima Devi’s dance projects were supported by Arts Council England.


“Abhilekh” is a great resource for researchers and dancers to find out more about South Asian Dance and its development in Leicester and the East Midlands region. Nilima Devi MBE, through CICD as an organisation, has been teaching and promoting the roots and culture surrounding the art form since CICD started in 1981. 

Partnership between public and private sectors has helped Indian Dance to develop at various levels and to put Leicester on the cultural map of South Asian Dance in the UK and Internationally. Thus, “Abhilekh” represents this unique public and private partnership of working with Leicester City, County Councils and CICD.

As well as being available digitally online, all the physical artefacts are stored at Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland's Record Office and may be accessed by future researchers.


“Abhilekh” includes: 


  1. Video archive: over 30 hrs worth of videos of CICD work dating back to the 1980s and some of our oldest performances. We have digitized all of our old footage and it is now all available on our Youtube channel (@CICDUK) and CICD website (www.cicd.org.uk)

  2. Photographic archive: CICD’s history documented through various photographs of projects, workshops, residencies, community and school work, and much more.

  3. Publicity and media archive: CICD’s is sharing its publicity posters and media coverage dating back to its opening in 1981.

  4. Costume archive: a library of professional photographs of our beautiful costumes from our dance productions over the years, modeled by past and present CICD dancers. 


To get a glimpse, watch the “Abhilekh” highlights video with CICD’s artistic director Nilima Devi MBE, which is also available on CICD’s official Facebook page and Youtube channel (@CICDUK)

Online Archival Heritage project “Abhilekh” saw a great support from Leicester Museum Services and the numerous volunteers who worked on organising and archiving the extensive materials from CICD’s 35 years of history.

Many thanks to all CICD volunteers and, especially, to Aiste Fedotovaite, Yordan Nikolov and Krupa Patel for their hard work on the project.

This project would not have been possible without the invaluable knowledge and support of CICD’s artistic director Nilima Devi MBE.


For more history in making follow us:


Facebook     http://www.facebook.com/CICDUK

Instagram    http://www.instagram.com/CICDUK

Twitter        http://twitter.com/CICDUK



Loading …
  • Server: web1.webjam.com
  • Total queries:
  • Serialization time: 203ms
  • Execution time: 234ms
  • XSLT time: $$$XSLT$$$ms