The Sarvavidya Dance Ensemble (SDE), launched in 2016, is a initiative intended to give Bharatanatyam dancers in Gauteng a platform to perform professionally. The aim of the Ensemble is to use traditional dance in a contemporary space that in turn allows engagement beyond cultural, racial or social specificity. Through innovation within tradition, without losing the essence and foundation of the form of Bharatanatyam, SDE hopes to create visual experiences in which the audience starts to understand this style better, thus growing an appreciation for it. In an attempt to continue the broader vision of SVN (the governing body of SDE), that is, the promotion, education and expansion of classical Indian dance in South Africa, the Ensemble will focus on performing outside of SVN’s established geographic locations of engagement i.e. what were formerly known as Indian areas/townships in South Africa. Thus enabling a broader and more diverse audience base, which would encourage further growth, interest and knowledge of the art form.
The eventual goal of the Sarvavidya Dance Ensemble is to be a self-sustaining dance company that is able employ dancers who wish to work as professional performers in the field of classical Indian dance in South Africa – thus ensuring an alternative option for young dancers outside of the current performance ventures that exist in South Africa.