Rajpal Pardesi is the Chair of Direcors for Body Politic.
Raj is a dedicated senior arts professional with a highly successful background in Dance, Theatre and Music. Throughout his career, Raj has taken numerous independent artists through to National Portfolio Organisation status and others to new levels of middle/large scale touring.
He has extensive experience working in the hip hop theatre sector, working as Producer and General Manager for companies such as Avant Garde Dance Company, Boy Blue and BirdGang. As someone who was present at the birth of Hip-Hop Theatre in the UK, alongside with Jonzi D and Benji Reid, Raj has a wealth of knowledge which he is keen to bring to his role of Chair at Body Politic.
“It is my pleasure to be joining Body Politic in the role of Chair of Directors. I am delighted to be part of the ongoing growth of Hip Hop Theatre companies in the UK. Body Politic aspire to create exciting and empowering opportunities for children and young people within theatre and dance. We hope to continue and support BP’s values and objectives for reinvesting into the culture and art for current and the next generation of artists, leaders and audiences. I look forward to working closely with Emma-Jane Greig, her wider team and the Board of Directors to continue the successes of Body Politic.”
Emily Winfield has over 14 years of experience working in the arts. Her arts management
career started at Pegasus Theatre in Oxford, as Creative Producer programming the
professional performances and producing the in-house productions.
In 2013 Emily joined Studio Wayne McGregor as their Touring Producer, booking,
negotiating and planning the company’s national and international performances, special
projects and interventions. Since June 2017 Emily has been Company Manager for Tavaziva
Dance, responsible for the day-to-day running of the Company and its delivery of
operations, logistics of the touring productions and the programme of activities.
Between January 2019 and July 2020, Emily was Fabula Collective’s Company Manager,
supporting Creative Director Yukiko Tsukamoto set up the company in its infancy, whose
main objective is to support the work of emerging artists. Emily’s role included putting the
legal and administrative framework in place and developing a unique brand and marketing
strategy, as well as overseeing the day-to-day running of the organisation. Emily joined Body
Politic’s board of Directors in June 2017.
“I’ve been following Body Politic’s success from the very beginning. Over the years I’ve been blown away by the artists, the creativity, and their approach to mental health, both in the important work they do with young people and in the professional work they produce. BP is a bold and dynamic organisation that keeps on going from strength to strength.”
Isaac Ouro-Gnao is a dance artist, multidisciplinary creative, writer, poet, and freelance journalist.
His impact in the dance world has been multifaceted; working as a performer, movement director, scriptwriter, producer and marketer, for esteemed artists and Hip Hop theatre companies.
Credits include Obibini (2018) and award-winning Family Honour (2018) by Kwame Asafo-Adjei’s Spoken Movement; nationally acclaimed Father Figurine (2019) by Body Politic; and Foreign Bodies (2019) by Ella Mesma Dance Company.
Isaac is a member of award-winning choreographer Seeta Patel’s advisory board. He is an active freelance journalist writing reviews and features on dance theatre; and founder of Gender in Dance – an investigative blog formed in 2015 to examine gender inequality in the dance industry.
His mission is to facilitate empowering conversations that aim to heal trauma around issues of identity, mental health, sexism, and racism by creating relatable, educational, and thought-provoking work.
Isaac is excited to work with Body Politic as it continues to grow into an empathetic and passionate organisation. He looks forward to offering his skills, professional and lived experiences to help affect the social change Body Politic aspires to.
Craig is passionate about improving the quality of life for people and communities and
strongly believes in the power that dance has on young people’s personal and social
He is currently employed as a team leader with Oxford City Council’s Communities Team,
and previously managed their youth work team. He is also a trustee helper with My Life My
Craig brings with him a wide range of relevant skills in developing third sector organisations,
widening participation, fundraising, and delivering impactful programmes for young people.
“I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact dance can have on young people’s personal and
social development and that’s why I’m so keen to be a part of Body Politic.”
Annie has spent the past 10 years working in Oxfordshire supporting vulnerable adults and young people. Annie currently works for Oxfordshire Mind, and manages various projects that aim to support people who are struggling with their mental health to engage in sport and physical activity.
Annie is a qualified personal trainer and Boxing coach and a keen believer that exercise is a fantastic way of improving both mental and physical health. Annie is inspired by the amazing work that Body Politic does with young people in Oxfordshire, and their ability to create a safe space for young people to enjoy dance and feel the benefit that exercise can have on wellbeing.
“I am so proud to be a board member for Body Politic. Their passion for supporting others and reducing mental health stigma is truly inspiring. Their sessions are wonderfully inclusive, relaxed and supportive, and allow people to take part without fear of judgment.”
Natasha Anderson is Sadler’s Wells’ Senior Community Engagement Manager, with a focus on young people, low-income households and over 60s, she leads on all engagement work based in Islington and East London as part of the Learning and Engagement Department.
With over twenty years’ experience in the arts and culture, she has spent the last ten years focusing on arts education, community partnerships, audience development and marketing. Her previous employers include Barbican Centre, Bernie Grant Centre and Iniva.
Natasha has spent most of her career working closely with different members of the community to offer the opportunity for people whom the arts are sometimes not accessible. She has championed their needs from within the organisations and flags opportunities to build closer relationships.
Natasha’s experience will be invaluable to the team as she sees arts and education through the lens of groups less engaged with arts institutions and her experience and ensures that activities will be delivered authentically.
“Now more than ever we need the arts to pull us together and form strong untied bonds within communities, Body Politic’s programmes offers so many opportunities for young people to explore dance and self expression in a supportive environment. Their performances continue to provoke debate and like all good cultural experiences help us question who we want to be as a society. I am so excited to be part of their journey and look forward to supporting and working closely with the team.”
GET INVOLVED WITH THE COMPANY
We’re always looking for passionate people who would like to get more involved in the work that we’re doing. If you’re interested in marketing, media or you’re an artist looking for work, we’d love to hear from you!