board of trustees

RAJPAL PARDESI

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.”

Lucy Bellingham

Lucy Bellingham is a teacher and freelance drama consultant, based in Warwickshire. Since studying Drama at Manchester University and pursuing a PGCE in Secondary Drama, she has worked within the field of drama education for over twenty years, from the rural midlands to inner city London academies.

She has written educational resources for West End shows such as Back to the Future The Musical and Witness for the Prosecution. She has previously worked with Avant Garde Dance to develop and implement their educational programme.

She founded We Teach Drama in 2021 and now creates resources & CPD for drama teachers internationally.

 

Rohini Jhally

Rohini has worked in the charity sector for 7 years and has focussed on charity finance for the past 5. She began her career as an intern at a human rights organisation and is currently a finance assistant at Paul Hamlyn Foundation. She has also held roles at other grant making foundations, focussing particularly on protecting and improving girls’ and women’s rights.

Rohini holds a BA in English and French from the University of Leicester, and spent a year studying in Paris at the Sorbonne Nouvelle as part of the Erasmus exchange programme.

She is currently studying for a CIMA qualification and joined the Board of Directors as Treasurer for Body Politic in 2022. She is an avid reader and even runs her office book club.

Gemma Cannon

Gemma began her career in arts sector marketing before moving into academic publishing over 15 years ago. She has held positions within both marketing and editorial functions, and currently works at Oxford University Press as a Senior Publisher specialising in managing mission based, society publishing portfolios.  She runs a strategic development course for publishing industry professionals. 

Gemma holds a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Gender and Culture from Swansea University.

She joined Body Politic as a Trustee in 2024 and brings her skills in strategic development, reporting, and relationship management to the organization. 

Natasha Anderson

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!

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