Mira Balchandran Gokul

Mira Balchandran Gokul had a rigorous full time training at the Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts participating in their world renowned dance dramas, festivals and lecture demonstrations. As a child she trained in Kathakali and Mohiniattam and have been exposed to a wide variety of dance and theatre forms of Kerala. These combined experiences have laid a strong foundation and appreciation of all art forms of performance and a passion to share her knowledge and experience with young people.

Mira has worked with pioneering tutors and choreographers in India and England. She is Co-Founder and CoArtistic Director of SANKALPAM, an international touring dance company that has created and toured over 14 new works and presented an annual programme of classical work with accompanying education and training programmes.

In the UK she has collaborated, as well as attended residencies, with a wide range of artists such as choreographers Luca Silvestrini, Lea Anderson, Stephanie Schober, jazz saxophonist Iain Ballamy, Yoruban Dancer Peter Badejo, lighting designer Lee Curran and Theatre Director and scholar Philip Zarrilli amongst many others. She brings to this role a wide network of contacts both in India and England, as well as a wide understanding.

In addition, Mira has worked with MDI, a leading national dance agency in Liverpool, as Youth Dance Development Officer to roll out the national programme for Children and Young People in Merseyside and as Big Dance 2012 Coordinator to lead on developing the dance programme in the North West, as part of the London Olympics Festival 2012. The flagship project brought together over 1000 participants aged 8 – 86 years from across the North West to create the largest dance performance in the country.

Mira was part of Kaleidoscope Arts, a combined-arts collective in Sefton that was nominated in 2008 and 2009 for the Cultural Champions of Merseyside award. Through a recent master’s programme from University of Manchester she has focused on the role of the dance artist in conflict situations. She has continued this research and in 2016, along with dance researcher Debbie Fionn Barr, presented work at conferences in Stockholm, Lincoln, Leeds and Oxford University. She was selected for the Dance UK mentoring programme 2015/2016. She has performed and taught extensively and has been a dance research consultant, mentor and judge on youth dance panels in India and England.

Mira was a Judge for the category finals of BBC Young Dancer 2015 and Mentor for the BBC Young Dancer 2017.