Alumni of CICD

Over the last 33 years, CICD has trained hundreds of British-born young people in Kathak dance who have performed for various events and festivals at prestigious venues in the UK and internationally.


Aakash Odedra

Aakash Odedra is one of the hottest rising stars of British Dance. Aakash was born in Birmingham and started his training in the classical Indian dance style of Kathak with the well-known pioneering ​Kathak exponent and Guru​ Nilima Devi (MBE) at CICD in Leicester, and later with Asha Joglekar, India. He has also trained in Bharat Natyam (Chitraleka Bolar, Birmingham and Chhaya Kantaveh, India). He incorporates this training in a unique synthesis with contemporary dance, both in his choreography and his creations with other choreographers. His one-man show Rising (The Place and subsequent world tour) featured new short works created on him by Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Russell Maliphant. As dancer-choreographer his credits include a duet with Sanjukta Sinha at the Southbank Centre’s Alchemy festival, a piece for James Brown: Get on the Good Foot ( Apollo Theater , New York ) and the Bollywood musical God’s Little Soldier (Theater Freiburg). He has also choreographed for the European Network of Performing Arts’ 2010 ChoreoLab, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the closing of the London Cultural Olympiad. Aakash has received numerous awards and bursaries, including a development grant by Arts Council England, a two-year bursary from Akademi, a Danza&Danza award (Italy), a Dora performance award (Canada), Best Perfomance 2013 (Croatia) and a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship.

In  May 2014 Aakash Odedra Company presented Murmur (with Lewis Major and Ars Electronica Futurelab) and Inked (by Damien Jalet) at International Dance Festival Birmingham followed by a world tour.


Kesha Raithatha

The young, dynamic Kesha Raithatha started her training in Kathak with the well-known pioneering Kathak ​exponent and Guru​, Nilima Devi (MBE) at CICD at the age of 8. She has accompanied Nilima Devi and CICD in various productions such as ‘Vyom’, ‘Christmas Gala’, ‘Uttsava Festival’, ‘Nartan’,  ‘South Asian Arts Festival’ and various showcase performances. While training with Nilima Devi, Kesha also achieved her foundation level of ISTD grades in Kathak Dance.

Kesha has since had the opportunity to study with several legendary teachers, including Smt. Daksha Sheth of the Daksha Sheth Dance company in Kerala; Dr. Maya Rao of the Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography in Bangalore; Mayuri Upadhya of the Nritarutya contemporary dance comapny and is currently under the tutelage of renowned dance exponent Smt. Nirupama Rajendra of Abhinava Dance Company in Bangalore. Kesha has also trained in Kalaripayattu with Ranjan Mullarat and Daksha Sheth.

As an artist, Kesha has performed at several prestigious venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, the House of Commons and at events such as Her Majesty’s Royal Diamond Jubilee Pageant and China Arts Festival.

In addition, Kesha has significant teaching and choreographic experience gained in the UK. She has also been the recipient of numerous awards for her contribution to the community through cultural dance performance and activity.

Kesha is an honours graduate of Graphic Design from Notttingham Trent University and in addition to her love for dance also enjoys performing in short films, writing, sourcing costumes and researching design concepts for productions.


Shivani Satya

Initially trained in Kathak dance with the well known pioneering Kathak artist Nilima Devi, MBE, in the UK. She then won a scholarship to study Kathak at the Kadamb Institute in Ahmedabad, India under Smt. Kumudini Lakhia.

Shivani has performed with various dance companies including the Nilima Devi Dance Company, Yuva- National South Asian Dance Company, Nahid Siddique Company and Kadamb (India). She has also performed in various dance productions organised by Sampad in the UK, including 'Dounia' and a silent piece choreographed by Aditi Mangaldas. In addition, she has trained with and performed with Aakash Odedra.
Most recently Shivani has been a member of the Compagnia Teatrale Klesidra Roma, in the all female cast performing Shakespeare's Racconto D'inverno and King Cymbeline directed by Imogen Kusch.


Priti Raithatha

She is the first person in the UK to graduate in South Asian dance from De Montfort University. She enjoys teaching and choreographing and is one of the dedicated teachers of CICD. She has given a lot of contribution for South Asian dance within the community of East Midlands and beyond.


Nayana Whittaker

Nayana received her Diploma in Kathak Dance from CICD. She has toured and performed extensively in Leicester and other parts of the UK. She is a graceful dancer and developed many folk dances with her students and performed at various festivals, community functions all over the UK, Ireland and India.


Vina Ladwa

Vina began her training with Nilima Devi and later with many teachers from the UK and India. She has founded her own company called Manushi and has been teaching, performing and choreographing South Asian dance for the past twenty years. She is an experienced teacher who delivers dance workshops to various groups in the community, schools and colleges. She has performed nationally and internationally with Manushi Dance Company.

CICD also recognizes students who have studied kathak and have since moved on to other main stream professions. To name some of the few are Gita Lakhlani, Nimisha Patel, Shivani Satya, Dimple Zavery, Bhavita Jethwa, Hans Varun, Martin Amresh, Viren Mehta, Jagruti Gohil, Lisa Surti, Shilpa Pancholi, Sheetal & Swati Purohit.


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