Philharmonia Orchestra announces Vidya Patel as Artist in Residence for the 24/25 Season

Philharmonia Orchestra announces Vidya Patel as Artist in Residence for the 24/25 Season

The Philharmonia Orchestra has announced that Vidya Patel will be its Artist in Residence for the 2024/25 Season. Now in its fourth year, the Artist in Residence initiative has previously featured House of Absolute (21/22), Love Ssega (22/23) and Soumik Datta (23/34).

Vidya will be working with the Philharmonia and a group of musicians over the next 12 months to develop a new project that blends together her practice of dance, movement and choreography with classical music. Vidya is keen to explore Philharmonia archival material, to bring together original scores with new existing scores, exploring themes of belonging, identity and global humanity, as well as cultural and historical influences. This will all be explored through collaborative creative sessions and performances with Vidya, the musicians and other practitioners.

The aim is to create a work that celebrates the South Asian and global diaspora: to bring to audiences an experience which incorporates music, dance, storytelling, and set design. Through this collaboration Vidya hopes to question and challenge the relationship between audience and performers, exploring the connection between dance artists, musicians, stage design and the space around us.

Vidya Patel said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be able to be on this journey with the Philharmonia Orchestra and begin this residency. Coming from a dance and choreographic background- there are lots that I’m keen to investigate and discover about the music and orchestral industry, especially about collaborative working methods and how we can create something valuable of our own which can continue to inform future creative processes for musicians and dance artists. My goals are to learn as much as possible as well as to have a really generous exchange in order to create something unique for performers and audiences. My work draws upon themes of identity and belonging- I hope to create something which speaks about our interconnected relation to one another, nature and the world around us.”

Thorben Dittes, Chief Executive at the Philharmonia Orchestra said: I’m looking forward to seeing how Vidya and the Philharmonia musicians will work together during her year as Artist in Residence. Building on the experience with Soumik Datta this season, it will be fascinating to experience the coming together of different art forms and cultural traditions – for us, the audience, and for our musicians.”

Vidya Patel is a UK based dance artist, choreographer, performer and collaborator. Her work merges influence of Kathak, one of the major classical Indian dance forms with contemporary dance, whilst working collaboratively with music, poetry and visual arts to draw on social/ political and autobiographical themes relating to identity, belonging, nature, well-being and empowerment.

Vidya has performed nationally and internationally with several companies, artists and organisations, including Sir Richard Alston, Gary Clarke, Thick & Tight, Hetain Patel, Orchestral Qawwali, and Sujata Banerjee. She also performed in the late Pandit Ravi Shankar’s opera “Sukanya” and has collaborated with artists including Shammi Pithia, Connor Scott, Zia Ahmed, Sarathy Korwar, Shankho Chaudhari, Ryan Stafford, and many others. Her performances have received recognition, leading to three National Dance Critics Circle Awards nominations. In 2023 she received The Michele Fox Choreographic Award and the Vic Wells Award which have contributed towards developing future choreographic works.

Since representing the South Asian category in BBC Young Dancer 2015 which was broadcasted live on prime time TV, she has premiered her own choreographic and collaborative work in India and throughout the UK including Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, and Sadler’s Wells Theatre where she was a Young Associate choreographer 2020-22. She has been commissioned to create work for dance conservatories including Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Emergence and Northern School of Contemporary Dance and most recently the Ballet Boyz. Last year, she was commissioned by Tate Modern to create participatory work and live performances for the Turbine Hall in response to visual artist and activist Cecilia Vicuña’s installation, The Brain Forest Quipu, which was shared to over 12,000 members of the public.

She is actively involved in various boards and advisory groups, advocating for accessibility and equality within the arts whilst mentoring young choreographers through programs like One Dance UK’s Young Creatives Programme. Additionally, she founded the community network South Asian Dance Artists UK and is developing her own dance agency.

Find out all about Vidya Patel at her website

​Vidya Patel photographed by Marina Vidor