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Karman Book




Karman Press Release





‘Karman’, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund is A Living Archive project exhibiting performances and personalities behind forty years of groundbreaking Indian classical dance in the East Midlands.

‘Karman’ began its’ journey in 2011, when the Centre for Indian Classical Dance (CICD) based in Leicester, trained and worked with a team of twenty-five volunteer historians who between them recorded over seventy hours of oral history interviews. To accompany this, volunteers worked through an impressive and comprehensive archive of leaflets, posters and newspaper cuttings held by CICD. This innovative research and unique collection has led to a fascinating touring exhibition and accompanying book called ‘Karman’.

‘Karman’ not only documents the achievements of the past but explores how these have affected South Asian dance and arts in the UK over the last forty years. ‘Karman’ also describes the social changes related to these developments and therefore presents a unique piece of history that has never been exhibited in Leicester before.

‘Karman’ is not only designed for those interested in the history of Indian classical dance but also offers a rare insight for those wanting to learn more about the diverse arts and cultural heritages of the UK.

"Working in Leicester for the past 30 years makes 'Karman' project very special for me as it explores the living history of Indian classical dance in the UK. It exhibits the roots of Indian classical dance and music through contribution by early pioneers, professional dancers, musicians, members of the community and art lovers.” Nilima Devi - Artistic Director, CICD.

The exhibition is free and includes:

  • Narrative panels: exploring the origins and features of Indian classical dance and the impact and influence of other dance forms on its development
  • Quotation panels: quotes drawn from seventy hours of interviews recorded specifically for this project
  • Flyer collages: showcasing some of the thousands of period posters, flyers and leaflets from the CICD’s archive

‘Karman’ will officially launch on Thursday 14th June 2012 at the LCB Depot in the heart of Leicester’s Cultural Quarter, as part of the Indian Summer festival. This will be followed by a tour of the exhibition to various venues across Leicester reaching out to a diverse range of audiences.

2012 Tour Venues/ Dates:

  • Embrace Arts, 11 – 27 May                
  • Peepul Centre, 28 May – 08 June       
  • LCB Depot, 11 – 22 June                   
  • Hamilton Library, 03 – 17 July
  • St Barnabas Library, 17 – 30 July
  • South Fields Library, 31 July – 15 August
  • Belgrave Library, 03 – 17 September
  • BBC Radio Leicester, 01 – 17 October
  • Curve Theatre, 08 – 19 November       
  • Highfields Library, 19 – 30 November

Information on the libraries is available at:

For further information, please contact Dawinder Bansal.

Tel: 0116 255 2862       Email:     Website:




Press and Media Contact

Hardish Virk

Email:    Mobile: +44 (0)7957 423786

Invitation to Karman - A Living Archive - Book Launch and Exhibition on Thursday 14th June 2012

Join us to explore the art and aspirations behind the development of Indian classical dance in the UK over the past forty years. Featuring specially commissioned oral history interviews and unique photography that helps uncover key personalities and performances from the East Midlands.

Times: 6.00pm – 8.00pm     Venue: LCB Depot, 31 Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1RE       RSVP: or 0116 2552862 by 31st May 2012


‘Karman’ is a Sanskrit word for “works”, “deeds” or “actions” and is the root of the famous Indian concept of cause and effect, as well as the English word “ceremony”.

East Midlands Oral History Archive

The seventy hour oral history interview recordings are stored at the East Midlands Oral History Archive.

Indian Summer

An Indian Summer takes place in Leicester on the 16th and 17th June 2012. Through a mixture of film, food, music, dance, literature, talks and exhibitions, the festival will offer a variety of activities to keep visitors busy throughout the weekend.

There will be exhibitions, workshops, talks and decorations across the Cultural Quarter. The return of the Leicester Indian Film Festival will feature the best in Indian cinema. The transformation of Orton Square into the mad streets of India and the largest Carrom tournament in the East Midlands are only a handful of activities and events taking place. Audiences will also have the opportunity to visit the ‘Karman’ exhibition at the LCB Depot during the Indian Summer weekend.

Centre for Indian Classical Dance

Centre for Indian Classical Dance (CICD) is a charity organisation established in 1981, with its main aim to promote South Asian dance and music at local, regional and national levels through workshops, regular weekly classes, performances, lecture demonstrations, festivals, conferences, touring programmes and a resource centre.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Valuing our heritage, investing in our future

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund gives grants to sustain and transform our heritage. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.



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