Basingstoke MP, Maria Miller had a “virtual” meeting and catch up with Kala the Arts.

Kala The Arts is a leading dance organisation that specialises in the Odissi South Asian dance form. Based in Basingstoke and operating since 1999, the organisation was founded by Sushmita Pati, an international Odissi artist, choreographer and Artistic Director of Kala The Arts. 

For more than decade we have been working with local, national and international artists to create innovative artistically high quality South Asian dance and music. Kala The Arts has a number of strands to its work. The company creates new professional pieces of work for touring to arts venues, outdoor spaces and festivals. The organisation is also an established Arts in Education charity and we work with professional artists to provide a powerhouse of knowledge and expertise that we are keen to share widely in our educational workshops, residencies and classes. We run an active community programme in Hampshire and beyond. Kala The Arts is working together with local partners to create a programme of work that promotes diversity, integration and encourages community cohesion.

Maria met with founder Sushmita Pati and trained Heritage volunteer Jini Cherian. They discussed a wide range of topics including an education program designed to introduce children and adults to different cultures, promoting integration and community cohesion.

Maria commented; “It was great to catch up with Sushmita and Jini. Dance has a great ability to break down barriers and introduce the community to different cultures. It is vital that children learn about different cultures at an early age and I was particularly interested to hear about Kala The Arts involvement in schools. Sushmita and Jini have a clear passion for the community and a desire to promote inclusivity.”