Theatre announces new Associate Artist
The Arena Theatre is delighted to announce Wolverhampton-based independent dance artist, choreographer and cultural producer Jaivant Patel as their first Associate Artist.
Jaivant is the Artistic Director of his own company Jaivant Patel Dance (JPD) which exists to communicate his British-Asian identity, voice his experiences and challenge complexities of inherited notions, perceptions and stereotypes. Jaivant is also Artist-In-Residence at MAC Birmingham and a member of the board of directors for Dance4.
Jaivant has produced sell out shows at the Arena Theatre for four years, in turn diversifying the theatre’s audience and providing a platform to welcome patrons who had not attended shows previously. His annual celebrations for the Indian festivals of Diwali and Holi, in particular, have become a firm favourite with local communities in The Black Country. As part of ArtFest 2017, Jaivant also produced the highly successful Samarpan event, an evening that celebrated Indian classical dance in the UK. His next event as cultural producer will be on Saturday 11th November in celebration of Diwali, which also coincides with the UK-India Year of Culture 2017, marking 70 years of Indian Independence.
A graduate of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Jaivant has become widely recognised as a future leader in the arts and was selected in 2015 for both Dance UK's Dancers Mentoring and Choreographers Observerships Programmes, working with Paul Russ and Shobana Jeyasingh.
Jaivant will be sharing research and development entitled YAATRA, working towards a full evening of work that explores his relationship with personal faith and spirituality, in parallel with his own experiential journey in dance. The research is provoked by Jaivant’s experiences as a homosexual man of dual heritage. The sharing will take place at Arena Theatre on Wednesday 29th November.
In the local community, Jaivant runs and is also Artistic Director of a voluntary non-profit organisation called Jai Jashn Dance (JJD). JJD delivers Bollywood-based community dance classes promoting the cultural dance heritage of India. The success of the organisation has seen a youth performance group being formed by its members. Recently Jai Jashn Dance was an official recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service 2017.
Neil Reading, Arena Theatre Manager, said: "We have been working with Jaivant for the past four years and felt it was time to recognise his commitment and support of the venue. Alongside the theatre patrons we felt it appropriate to give Jaivant the title of Associate Artist to recognise our commitment to Jaivant Patel Dance and to support South Asian Dance as part of our programming policy at the Arena Theatre."
Jaivant Patel, Associate Artist, said: "I am extremely pleased to become the first associate artist of Arena Theatre. My partnership with the venue has been significant in my professional growth as a dance artist, producer and cultural leader. I thank the Arena team for the support and recognition they have given me; as I now look forward to the future in further developing and strengthening, both my professional and artistic relationship with Arena Theatre."
About the Arena Theatre
The Arena Theatre is a 150-seater Arts Council and University of Wolverhampton venue situated in the heart of Wolverhampton. The Arena prides itself on featuring the work of culturally diverse artists within its programme, and has gained a growing reputation as one of the leading venues in the country for D/deaf and disabled artists.
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