Pagrav Company Limited (Pagrav Dance Company)

Pagrav Company Limited (Pagrav Dance Company)

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Black, asian and minority ethnic groups
  • Education
  • Museums / heritage
  • Training / employment support
  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Not for profit
Geographical remit: 


Pagrav Dance Company was founded in 1997 by Artistic Director, Urja Desai Thakore. Originally based in India, the company specialised in promoting Indian Folk Dances and Classical art-forms all over the country. Since 2006, the company has been based in Milton Keynes, UK, and now works with storytelling and human emotions to create an original dance style that originates from Kathak and contemporary dance vocabularies.

Pagrav means ‘the sound of feet’ in Gujarati, a language spoken in northern India. Through the Indian classical dance form of Kathak – which expresses stories through movement, especially footwork and facial gesture – we celebrate an ancient tradition and its potential to empower people and enhance lives.

This approach both preserves the cultural heritage of Kathak as an art form while at the same time provoking new thinking, understanding and appreciation of the discipline.

Our company celebrates, teaches and showcases innovative approaches that both embraces Kathak’s authenticity and history, and reinterprets it for twenty first century audiences.


Our Vision

PDC’s vision is a UK in which cultural careers and creativity are valued by South Asian communities, where Kathak influences and evolves with successive generations of creatives, and the cultural sector is more democratic, accessible and representative of South Asian people.


Our Mission

Pagrav Dance Company is a Person of Colour and women-led organisation, connecting people through world-class South Asian dance and reflecting contemporary British communities. We teach, promote and tour neo-classical Kathak while challenging traditional artistic boundaries. Our inclusive approach supports the next generation of home-grown dance professionals and enthusiasts, inspiring audiences in the UK and internationally.


Our Strategic Aims


  • Production: High-quality performance establishing South Asian dance as a force in contemporary British culture, celebrating and telling under-represented stories. We nurture South Asian dance artists of the future, increasing the diversity of the UK Dance sector.
  • Participation: Dance experiences for performers and audiences. Responding to the needs of communities of people of colour, including British Asian Communities not catered to by the mainstream cultural sector.
  • Profiling: Stimulate debate & develop sustainable touring and audiences for South Asian Dance.
  • Organisational development: Become a beacon of diversity practice; develop our dynamic business model.
  • Resilience & Sustainability: Manage our growth responsibly.


Our Values


  • Paying professional artists and teachers for their work well, promptly and without difficulty.
  • Supporting our artists with timely travel and safe accommodation.


  • A strong commitment to ethnic diversity and inclusive practices.
  • A commitment to enabling older dancers to continue dancing for as long as possible.
  • A commitment, through our Oxygen programme, to support emerging South Asian dancers to explore, understand and develop their own practice.


  • Ethical contracts and sustainable business and working practices.
  • Commitment to environmental sustainability.


  • Care and training when working with participants, including robust training for teachers and dance leaders when working with vulnerable participants of any age.
  • Maintaining good ethical practices across all aspects of the company – teaching, creation, research, touring and partnerships.

Artistic integration and excellence

  • A vision of company integration, clear artistic demands and supporting learning and development.
  • Supporting artists and developing their artistic ambitions to fulfilment as far as possible.


We work in various ways across three main areas of activity:

New feet: Our education programme teaches and trains people of all ages in the art of Kathak. Through skills development and performing opportunities, we challenge the negative perceptions of creative careers within South Asian culture.

New paths: Our talent development work supports emerging Kathak practitioners - those who have mastered the art-form - to pursue and thrive in professional dance careers. Mentoring and nurturing a new generation of talent, we help to create pathways for success.

New ground: with our new productions, on stage and site-specific, we create innovate work rooted in Kathak. Exploring contemporary themes, we bring the artform to a broad public in the UK and internationally, challenging the way it is represented and perceived.

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