Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW) are delighted to be hosting Adie Dove and Vrushali Harihar as their Women Leaders South West (WLSW) associates over the next eighteen months. Addressing the gender imbalance in the arts and cultural sector, this trailblazing arts leadership programme aims to build a network of diverse talented women who are ready to steer the industry into a fairer, resilient, and innovative future.
Selected for their ambition to make change, to innovate and to inspire, Dove and Harihar will soon begin working with PDSW, one of the nations’ leading dance venues outside London. The Associates will each create a programme or project inspired by their own dance background during the 18-month programme. Having grown her company, KBSK, Adie Dove has seen first-hand how dance and creativity can change lives. She will be championing the value of this artform through a creatively-made documentary. Exploring how people connect through food and dance, Vrushali Harihar will reach out to communities to hear the stories behind the recipes that are passed down through the generations. These will be brought together in a series at PDSW as well as compiled into a delicious recipe book.
Artistic Director and CEO of Pavilion Dance South West, Zannah Chisholm comments, It’s been one of my personal highlights at PDSW to welcome new talent and find ways to encourage that talent to grow and flourish. We are excited to be working with Adie and Vrushali and traveling with them on their leadership journey. They both bring a wealth of new experiences and ways of working for PDSW to learn from and with our support are developing wonderful projects that are introducing new communities to dance.
Adie Dove adds, I couldn’t be more grateful for this next chapter of my journey working, learning and growing with PDSW. The young people I work with deserve the best and I will always continue my learning expanding my knowledge to be the best version of me. As a young woman, I am passionate to learn and to connect with other strong women as I believe no woman is an island!
Vrushali Harihar adds, I came to the UK not knowing anyone 18 years ago. I’ve been looking for a programme to help me connect the community I’ve met over the years with others in the local area. The leadership training from WLSW is going to make this ambition a reality as well as encompass one of my passions – dance – as a way of getting people together.
24-year-old Adie Dove has worked with the likes of Dua Lipa, Ashley Banjo, Written In Kings, Blue River, ITV and Warner Brothers as an actress, dancer and choreographer. Aged just fifteen, she set up KBSK Performing Arts company to share her knowledge of dance with the young people on the council estates where she grew up. Today the project reaches young people from all walks of life who may feel they don’t belong in society and provides access to the arts, building their sense of belonging. Whether they come from financial deprivation, struggle with mental health or low self-esteem, have learning difficulties or are young offenders, Dove provides them with opportunities to redirect, reengage and be inspired.
Vrushali Harihar is a committed community volunteer and advocate for the development of small businesses in UK and India. Her association with charity organisations extends from the Indian Cultural Association of Dorset to the advisory committee for PDSW’s Cultural Friends Equality Group. She founded the community skill-swap festival, Information Skills and Knowledge Festival, and supports the ‘South of England Marathi Parivar’ which connects the community of Marathi people. A passionate artist, Bollywood dancer and writer, Harihar hosts, organises and participates in events across art forms locally and beyond.
Women Leaders South West exists as a knowledge exchange programme for the women Associates and the partner organisations to learn from one other. The programme aims to address specific issues around diversity across leadership, create opportunities for emerging and early career leaders, and support the long-term resilience of the sector.
Women Leaders South West is funded by Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership scheme. More than 350 applications were received for the 16 incredible associate training opportunities at eight arts organisations in the South West: The Point, Activate Performing Arts, Art Asia, Diverse City, Kaleider, Strike a Light, The Arts Development Company and Pavilion Dance South West. The associates will be supported by social entrepreneurship and business training from Southampton Business School and mentoring from Jude Kelly and The WOW (Women of the World) Foundation.