The Centre for Indian Classical Dance (CICD) was established in Leicester by Nilima Devi on 1st January 1981 to promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation for Indian dance and culture. Hundreds of students have come to learn dance over the years, and a few very dedicated ones have gone the full distance to complete the Diploma in Kathak dance and more recently various levels of ISTD exams.
Apart from consistent teaching at the Centre, much outreach work has been done since the 1980s in schools, colleges and community centres, and with various groups and organisations, to raise awareness and interest in Indian dance forms. As a result, there are now numerous different dance classes in Leicester taught by several dance tutors.
Since its establishment, CICD has produced a string of well-received dance productions, such as The Ugly Duckling, Triangle, Kathak Double Bill, Rainbow, Vyom as well as folk dances of India. All these productions were toured and performed widely in the UK. As well as creating large-scale productions, the Centre has also been involved with many solo and group Kathak performances.
Some of CICD's dancers are now working as freelance dance artists for the community and schools at local, regional and national levels. Two of the most talented students were awarded national scholarships by ADiTi in 1993 and 1995 respectively, allowing them to study Kathak full-time for one year in India.
In addition to its role as an institute of learning, the Centre has an archive of costumes, music, dance books, a rehearsal studio, information on dance artists and centres, extensive collections of leaflets, posters and newspaper cuttings, and much information on the theory and practice of Kathak and other Indian dance forms. CICD aims to engage in research on dance and to continue publishing work on Indian dance forms.