Papers of Akademi dance company

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains materials on the performances, educational work, publications and history of Akademi.

Administrative / Biographical History

Akademi is a London based South Asian dance company, with a particular interest in dance education and community work. The Academy of Indian Dance, as it was then known, was founded in 1979 by Tara Rajkumar with the aim of moving Indian dance out of the home and into a more public space. Originally much of their activity centred on in-house evening classes and regional performances but as the company grew and gained funding the Academy of Indian Dance became a more extensive arts organisation with several departments supporting the work of performers out in the wider Arts community.

In 1997 the company was rechristened Akademi: South Asian Dance and began to spend more time working on larger scale productions. Key amongst these was ‘Coming of Age’ a performance in celebration of Akademi’s 21st birthday, which took place at the Southbank in 2000. Alongside the performance, from the early 80’s Akademi also hosted conferences and symposia examining various aspects of dance, worked on national and community projects and diversified their dance portfolio. The company continues to operate today, currently based in Hampstead.


The collection comprises of five number folders, three are arranged chronologically covering the periods 1979-89, 1990-1994 and 1995-2002. The remaining folders contain biographical materials, conference items and acquisitions in other media forms, DVDs, slides and CDROM.

Conditions Governing Access

Available to researchers, by appointment. Please email:, giving at least two working days notice.

Further details about access to our collections are available on our website.

Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

The collection was deposited as part of the SADAA (formerly SALIDAA) archive.

Other Finding Aids

A finding aid is available for the manuscript material on the collection webpage.

Alternative Form Available

Digitised copies of some of his material are available on VADS (Visual Arts Data Service)

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The collection is mainly in good condition. It comprises chiefly of paper and card items, but also has several photographs of performers and a CD of images. Likewise, included are several DVDs of performances and a selection of slides, both of which will require special equipment to view them. The DVDs are of variable condition, with most having poor sound quality and some of inconsistent picture quality.

Archivist's Note

Described by Joanne McPhie.

Conditions Governing Use

The material, unless otherwise indicated, is protected by copyright. You are unable to publish, in full or in part, without the permission of the copyright holder. However, you may use the material as permitted under statutory exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, e.g. quote for purposes of scholarship within the limits of fair dealing.


Collection is complete.