South Asian dance company Akademi has been given nearly £100,000 to create an archive of its 40 years of work.
The archive is being developed in partnership with the V&A museum in London, where it will be installed once completed.
The material will also be used for some of the V&A’s education and engagement work, starting with two oral history projects next spring.
Akademi has been awarded £98,700 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to archive its 40 years of dance work. The company will archive the material it already has in storage, as well as produce a resource book and online materials, and a series of films celebrating its history.
In order to carry out the work, a project manager and trainee archivists – including volunteers from older age groups – will be recruited to catalogue and digitise the archive.
Founded in 1979, the north London-based Akademi produces South Asian touring dance, in addition to learning and participation work and artist development programmes.
Kirsten Burrows, executive director and chief executive of Akademi, said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. It will enable Akademi to preserve its 40 years of history at the V&A for future generations.
“Alongside the archive, we hope that our community workshops will provide local communities with the inspiration to record and transfer their own cultural heritage through oral history traditions.”
The oral history projects will use Akademi’s archive material as a starting point, and will take place next year with Sai School in Harrow and Pagrav Dance Company in Milton Keynes.
Performances made as part of the project will be staged as part of the V&A’s annual Performance Festival later in the year.
Head of collections management at the V&A’s department of theatre and performance, Ramona Riedzewski, said: “We are privileged to be the permanent home of the Akademi archive, documenting the evolution of this inspiring organisation’s and its wide-ranging work.
“This collection is particularly important not only as a record of the process and work presented by Akademi but also as a source of primary materials for use in our education and engagement work.”