An academy built on principle, trust, and most importantly; heritage
heritage and rich community history.
The Academy is where it is today through years of hardship and teamwork. Through our dedication to the Bharatanatyam art form we have built a long-lasting impression in the UK Bharatanatyam history, and even as we look to the future, we always remind ourselves of our humble beginnings.
Dancing for over 30 years
Founded in 1990, Chitraleka Dance Academy has trained many dancers who have now gone on to developing and enriching the dance scene throughout the United Kingdom. We see our work as an investment for the future of the country’s cultural prosperity. The company is a remarkably one of the first Youth Dance companies in Britain to be founded on a strong repertoire of classical Indian dance and dance-drama work.
Chitraleka Bolar
Chitraleka Bolar, Artistic Director of Chitraleka Dance Company, trained in Bharatanatyam in Kerala, India. Her professional career as an artist, teacher and choreographer has spanned over thirty five years of performance work in theaters, schools and community venues. Chitraleka has been Artistic Director of Chitraleka Dance Company since 1996. Her pioneering ability for creative adaptation of the classical art form to enhance the sharing and understanding of cultural diversity through dance in schools led to a special place for Chitraleka as an artist in education, paralleling a prestigious career as a teacher, performer and choreographer.
Our Mission
flexible chitraleka dance academy students in class stretching
​Education is integrated into the core of our Academy. We have a long history of imaginative and unique models of education work based on the creative resource of the rich dance vocabulary in Bharatanatyam. Chitraleka strongly believed that Bharatanatyam, more than a medium for storytelling, can also be extended to expressing a whole range of ideas in science, mathematics, geography etc., that can be linked to the curriculum.
Educate, engage & enrich people's lives creatively through Classical Indian Dance
Chitraleka Dance Company’s performance work started in 1990 with Chitraleka’s quest for exploring the power and precision of Bharatanatyam, interpretations of its vocabulary and percussive rhythms, the portrayal of its inherent masculine and feminine elements and the fragilities of the eight heroines based on the Hindu manuscript, ‘Natyashastra’. The quest for linking classical dance with science resulted in ‘The Story of Carbon’ which toured UK and thereafter India, where it engaged with over 7,000 audiences, mainly from education. The Academy continues to explore social and political themes through the context of performance to this day.
chitraleka dance academy performance group
chitraleka dance academy performance group in costume
Perform not for the audience, but for yourself. Dance enables you to find yourself and lose yourself all in tandem.
very emotive chitraleka studentchitraleka dance academy dancer emotes on stageyoung chitraleka dancer on stage
Under the guidance of its artistic director, choreographer and teacher, Chitraleka Bolar, celebrates its unique successes in promoting the growth and popularity of South Asian dance by making Bharatanatyam more accessible through their programme of education, training, professional development and touring productions.
Helping students see the value of following what they love as a passion, and how it can become a part-time or full-time profession
anaya bolar discussing ideaschitraleka bolar, sharad bolar and jaya khazaeiyoung chitraleka students smiling
Our Team
a headshot of chitraleka bolar
Chitraleka Bolar
Artistic Director & Teacher
Artistic Director since its inception, Chitraleka's fire and passion for sharing knowledge is stronger than ever, and she is ever commited to training and developing young dancers.
a headshot of sharad bolar
Sharad Bolar
Operations Director
With a background in engineering, Sharad joined the dance company in 1999 as Operations Director to assist with the running of the company as a funded organisation.
a headshot of jaya khazaei
Jayalakshmi Khazaei
Jayalakshmi graduated from the University of Bombay with a BFA in Performing Arts. She trained under Guru Shri Krishna Panicker and has been teaching in UK since 2002 and also conducting schools workshops.
a headshot of anayavasudha bolar
Anaya Bolar
Completing her Arangetram under the tutelage of Smt. Chitraleka Bolar, Anaya has worked towards her artistic development as a full-time dancer. An ISTD training bursary award in 2016 provided her a unique opportunity to train with world renowned exponents of dance. She has a degree in Sports Therapy from Coventry University.
a headshot of purvaja rajesh
Purvaja Rajesh
Studying Bharatanatyam since the age of 4 under the tutelage of  Smt. Chitraleka Bolar, Purvaja completed her ISTD Advanced 1 Bharatanatyam with distinction and is currently preparing for Advanced 2. Purvaja completed her Arangetram in 2017. She aspires to study medicine and continue with her Bharatanatyam. 
Sampad Arts
Morphed Dance Company
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