Archita Kumar is an independent dance artist and composer.
Archita's dance training began under her mother Gopana Kumar. She then attended London's Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan from 1992, training in kathak (under Jayshree Acharya and Abhay Shakar Mishra), sitar (under Vijaykumar Jagtap and Gaurav Mazumdar) and Hindustani vocal (under Pandit Vishwa Prakash). During this time she also studied the dance style of odissi under guru Shankar Behera. After a brief period of study under Pratap Pawar and Urja Thakore, she furthered her kathak training at the Kadamb Institute in Ahmedabad, India under the guidance of pioneering kathak choreographer and guru Kumudini Lakhia. She has also regularly attended masterclasses taught by Saswati Sen, Geetanjali Lal, Aditi Mangaldas, and Pandit Birju Maharaj.
The start of her journey as a professional dancer can be traced back to 2001, when she was selected by Pandit Birju Maharaj to perform with him as an ensemle dancer in Triveni Dance Company's Legacy of Tradition, performed at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. The ensemble consisted of several eminent kathak artists including Saswati Sen, Pratap Pawar, Akram Khan, Sujata Banerjee and Gauri Sharma Tripati. Since then, Archita has performed extensively as a soloist and has worked with various choreographers and companies including Pagrav Dance Company, Sujata Banerjee Dance Company, Drishti Dance and Agudo Dance. She has featured in productions by Akademi including Waterscapes, Ekatra (choreographed by Kumudini Lakhia), Bells, Daredevas (choreographed by Urja Thakore), Sufi Zen (choreographed by Gauri Sharma Tripati and Mavin Khoo) and Paradiso (choreographed by Jose Agudo).
Archita is committed to supporting dancers at various stages of their career through mentoring, rehearsal direction and professional coaching. As a kathak teacher, Archita is presently a tutor for the national youth dance programme CAT (Centre for Advanced Dance Training) and Morley College London. She was invited as a judge for the 2017 and 2019 national South Asian dance competition Navadal, and has led dance workshops in schools, community and healthcare settings including specialised workshops for older adults, intergenerational, women-only groups and adults living with dementia. She is a recipient of the Bonnie Bird Fund's Marion North Choreographic Mentoring Award, and has been Artist in Residence at the ArtsDepot, London.
Archita has composed original music for dance and theatre, including commissions by Spin Arts, Sonia Sabri, Sampad Arts, Ellandar Productions, Emergency Exit Arts, Akademi and Phizzical Productions. Archita has performed with Bollywood composer Pritam Chakraborty and toured with Kasabian as a backing vocalist. Her vocals have also been featured on BBC's Indian Railway series, and her commercial music releases have received BBC radio airplay.