India Visit Marks Start of International Arts Project

A group from Derby will visit Vadodara in India next week to discuss how artists in the two cities can work together to produce new and innovative work.

Representatives from regional dance house Déda, Normanton-based visual arts charity Artcore and the University of Derby will head to India on Saturday October 17 for a ten-day visit with counterparts in Vadodara.

They aim to link together visual and dance artists in Derby and India’s fastest growing city to create work that would be exhibited and performed in both cities.

The exploratory stage of the project entitled ‘Derby to Vadodara and Back’ has been supported by £30,000 Arts Council England (ACE) funding.

Further funding will then be applied for in order to support a range of exhibitions, residencies and performances in both cities throughout 2016.

The project will culminate in new work created through the international collaboration which will take centre stage at Derby Festé in September 2017, followed by the Navratri Festival in Vadodara in October 2017 which will mark 70 years of Indian independence.

Artcore’s building in Charnwood Street, University of Derby premises in the city and Déda’s expanded studio and exhibition space on Chapel Street will be the main hubs for the Derby-based exhibitions and performances. The partners will be working with other organisations in the city to share and expand the scope of the work created.

Déda Director Stephen Munn explained: “We are a local organisation with a growing international profile and this project will create something that Derby will be proud of.

“The visit to Vadodara is the first part of this exciting journey which will bring together dance and visual artists, producers and curators to collaborate on a number of exhibitions and performances in both cities.

“We are particularly looking forward to developing opportunities to involve young people in the work, particularly the BA Dance degree students from the University of Derby who are based here at Déda.”

Ruchita Shaikh, Artistic Director at Artcore and a graduate of the University of Vadodara, explained: “Derby and Vodadora have a lot in common.

“Both have a strong industrial heritage, are well connected and have been built around rivers.  They also have strong traditions of festivals and there is therefore a great deal of common ground to build on for some exciting partnership work.

“As an organisation that was born in India and grew up in Derby, we aim to work even more closely with the art community in both cities to provide a platform for young and talented artists and merge both cultures to create some innovative and exciting work.”

Professor Huw Davies Dean of College of Art at the University of Derby concluded: “The University of Vododara is well respected internationally and has produced some renowned artists and it will therefore be a wonderful opportunity for our staff and students to work together on this project.”

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