Nritya: Collecting the Story of Indian Dance in the Black Country focuses on the heritage of Indian dance (classical, traditional and folk styles) and it's development in the region between 1960 and 2000.
The exhibtion shares stories, memories, photographs, films and objects collected from some of the pioneer dancers, teachers, choreographers and members of the local community. The items gathered allow visitors to discover the interwoven threads, connecting place, people and cultural heritage - and look to the future with contemporary artists reinventing Indian dance.
During the second half of the twentieth century, migrants from the Indian subcontinent arrived in the United Kingdom to start a new life. They brought art forms with them that were new to this country and shared them. The first generation of artists were innovators. They brought their classical, folk and traditional dance styles, finding space in temples, community halls and cultural events where they could perform and keep their Indian heritage alive. This embedded an appreciation of Indian dance into the wider cultural fabric of the country. This contributed towards establishing the British South Asian culture, enabling communities to feel proud, place value on and have ownership of their heritage and art forms that had travelled with them.
The Nritya Black Country exhibition is open to the public at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from 19th September to 20th December 2020.
Elements of this heritage project will be held at Wolverhampton City Archives, preserving them for future generations to share.
This project is supported by Heritage Lottery Funding with thanks to National Lottery players.