Month: October 2016

Choreography commission applications open

Akademi Choreography Commissions


Closing date: 18 November 2016, 12:00pm

We’re delighted to bring news of a choreographic development opportunity that will support four South Asian dance projects created by professional artists, from our partners Akademi. The applications will be divided as follows:

  • Two projects will be awarded with £5,000 to present a group choreography.
  • Two projects will be awarded with £2,000 to present a solo.

The choreography commissions are open to artists with a professional background in any Indian dance style.  Akademi will accept applications from the entire Indian dance canon; including all varieties of Indian dance from classical to contemporary, and everything in between.  These commissions will not support commercial work created specifically for an entertainment context.  The choreographer must be able to clearly articulate the project and the creative process that will be taken with this commission.

For more information on the commission visit


‘The Art of Giving’ exhibition and fundraiser

AOG 2016 Signature painting.jpg

GemArts is delighted to be working with North East based artist Dhananjay Kelkar to promote his art exhibition ‘The Art of Giving’ which goes on display in Darlington this November in aid of St Teresa’s Hospice, Darlington and two charities in India.

Darlington resident and artist Dhananjay Kelkar (Danny), a naval architect by profession, inherited his love and talent for painting from his late father, the renowned artist Madhusudan Kelkar. While studying at IIT Kharagpur for his degree in Naval architecture, Dhananjay pursued his passion in art slowly and steadily, moving around the world with a curious eye for local characteristics of nature and human life.

After leaving India 35 years ago, Dhananjay and his wife Mohini lived in the Middle East, Singapore, London and now Darlington. The two have created ‘The Art of Giving’ to combine their love for Art and commitment to humanitarian work .  30 paintings in water colour and oil by Dhananjay feature in the exhibition at Crown Street Art Gallery, Darlington. The delicate water colour paintings present vivid variety in nature ranging from ‘The river Ganges’ to a ‘sunny morning in Preston Park’.  The use of pallet knife techniques in oil painting give distinct effect to his work, including ‘Wet Sydney Harbour’,  ‘The Dancing Shiva’ in Ajantha caves. Over the years Dhananjay has developed his own unique recognisable style, and has exhibited his work in India, Singapore and the UK.

The paintings will be available for sale and proceeds will go to local charity St Teresa’s Hospice, as well as Indian charities Quest and Lok Biradari Prakalpa which provide free healthcare and education in rural areas.

Dhananjay, who works as a senior project manager for Darlington-based Deep Ocean Ltd., said: “I have spent a long time in the corporate world in different countries. However, an insight into the world of voluntary work across the world is simply a humbling experience. ‘Art of Giving’ is a gesture of appreciation of the selfless dedication of many.”

The exhibition has been organised by Dhananjay, his wife Mohini and their friends, with the support of Creative Darlington and GemArts, and will be launched on Saturday 5 November at an invitation-only unveiling at Crown Street Art Gallery.

The paintings will then be on display at Crown Street Art Gallery from Saturday 5th November until Saturday 19 November. All of Dhananjay’s paintings will also be available for viewing and purchase online at from 1 October.

Presented with Creative Darlington and GemArts.

Image: Touch of Waves,  Dhananjay Kelkar