Established in 1985 as a way of bringing people across North West England together with a common love for the arts, Milap has grown into the UK’s leading Indian Arts and Culture company, with a remit that continues to focus on performance, learning and development.
We strongly believe in the power of the arts to unite people from all walks of life, hence our motto of ‘Uniting Hearts through Arts’. Producing cultural experiences which are inspiring, soulful and enriching while bringing people together is the essence of our work and purpose. We bring the very best of Indian arts to audiences across the UK via a rich and varied year round programme of concerts, festivals, talks, tours and workshops.
Since 1985, we have been able to present India’s established talents, whilst simultaneously providing a platform for, and championing the next generation of British and Indian talent. Marrying tradition with modernity, Milap’s mission to blend a unique fusion of Indian classical music and contemporary sound has pathed the way for a new appreciation of Indian music.
Music For The Mind and Soul
The Music for the Mind and Soul concert series has become a key benchmark of our work, with these concerts giving audiences across Liverpool, Manchester and London an authentic and immersive Indian classical experience in an intimate setting. These concerts are offered regularly throughout the year and provide a unique opportunity to listen to world renowned Indian classical musicians whilst being transported to another place altogether.
Indika is one of Europe’s largest festivals of Indian classical arts, taking place biennially in Liverpool for an entire week during November. The festival offers something for everyone with an incredible mix of music and dance performance, talks, workshops and film all of which feature both internationally renowned and British talent.
Talk and Discussion
From celebrating treasured icons and Gurus, to diving deep into the nuances of Indian classical arts, Milap also offers a broader portal into Indian music, history and culture through a variety of tributes, lec-dems and discussion-based events.
Since inception, Milap has been fuelled by a desire to sustain the legacy of Indian Arts and Culture by celebrating experienced performers and Gurus; all with the aim of educating and guiding the next generation of talent. The shared knowledge that Milap offers its students is unique in its authenticity, offering all those with an interest in Indian Arts and Culture both a formative and professional experience.
Milap offers a range of inclusive opportunities to budding musicians and performers, with both free and paid workshops and masterclasses for primary, secondary and graduate level students, as well as taster and development programmes for all ages and abilities.
A foundation of this work is Milap’s Arts School; a term-time education programme based in Liverpool. Featuring weekly classes of Indian performing arts, the Arts School allows students to work closely with experienced teachers in a vast range of forms that currently includes Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Folk Dance, Tabla and Hindustani Vocal. Classes take place both face-to-face and virtually, providing students with a professional environment that supports learning and nurtures potential.
Offering students the unique and priceless opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge from the world’s leading Indian music and dance stars, Milap routinely hosts exclusive masterclasses with many of its featured concert performers.
Supported learning from experienced tutors and industry professionals ensures audiences, aspiring artists and inquisitive students all have access to memorable and inspirational experiences of Indian Arts.
Created in 2013 as a collaborative project between Milap and Liverpool Hope University, Instruments INDIA is a rich and varied musical archive that captures the inspirational sounds and histories of instruments from the entire Indian subcontinent, including how they are played and the types of settings they are usually heard in.
The sound archive contains over five hours of sound recordings from 28 different Indian musical instruments. The digital resource was created to support music education initiatives, and to enhance audience development for Indian classical music performers in the UK. The sounds were also integrated into a series of experimental electronic works exploring the position of culturally diverse materials in new contexts.
In 2022, the archive was used further to create a brand new sample pack, in collaboration with Milap and The Open University, alongside Dr Manuella Blackburn. The sample pack was released virtually in March 2022 on Loopmasters, to pave the way for the future of Indian music.
Sannidhi is the Milap Institute for Indian arts, based at Liverpool Hope University. It brings together the worlds of performance, education, artist development and research and includes an extensive archive of rare live music and dance recordings.
Sannidhi was created with the support of the Liverpool City Council and in partnership with Liverpool Hope University.
As a result of Milap’s educational opportunities, we are proud to have supported and propelled the careers of numerous musicians, singers and dancers, and have given a platform to many young and upcoming performers for over 30 years. Innovative education projects, plus our strong ties to the Indian music and dance industry, provide musicians with sustained career development opportunities – right from budding young artists through to becoming seasoned professionals and beyond.
Sabrang is the UK’s Indian music Choir, formed as a result of the many amazingly talented vocalists Milap discovered across the country. Sabrang was formed in 2014 when the Samyo and Tarang choir of solo and duet singers performed the special ‘Charishnu’ inaugural composition. Sabrang is open to all, whether artists have an interest in, are fully trained, or have experience of Indian music.
Founded in 2002 to provide young people with the opportunity to perform, learn and develop as individual artists, SAMYO is Milap’s National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music and is the only one of its kind in the world. SAMYO has in many ways redefined what is possible within what is normally considered quite a ‘strict’ musical tradition with many boundaries. Orchestras are not the norm in Indian classical music, and SAMYO features an array of compositions inspired by North and Sound Indian classical, western and world music, completely breaking away from tradition and paving the way forward for young musicians to explore and push the boundaries of what’s possible with their music while remianing true to their Indian classical training. In 2012, it became one of only nine organisations in England to be awarded National Youth Music Organisation status by Arts Council England. The annual programme of weekend events and a weeklong Summer School culminates in an awards programme.
Artists are recruited and trained in either Hindustani or Carnatic music, with the young people coming from all backgrounds, strengthening the orchestra and choir through its diversity, enabling members to learn from other’s distinctive cultures and religions. Indian Classical music is improvised, based on emotion, moods, literature and devotion, creating roots and meaning within the innovative sounds. The fusion of North and South Indian traditions has led Samyo to form terrific partnerships with other youth orchestras, including The National Youth Jazz Collective and The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
Tarang is the UK’s National Ensemble for Indian Music. Featuring brilliant young musicians, the ensemble’s innovative music making serves as both a fascinating experience for the audience and an intensive artists’ development programme.
Founded in 2004, Tarang identified a gap in the professional development of young musicians, creating a fresh, innovative Indian Classical Sound, while providing a performance platform for professionals. Tarang debuted at the Leicester International Music Festival in 2004 and has since performed at The Lowry, Southbank Centre, Sage Gateshead and many others across the UK. Through blending North and South Indian music traditions, a unique Classical sound is created through the amalgamation of jazz fusion, western classical and folk. Moreover, through the differing backgrounds of the artists, which include traditional Indian Classical training, in the Guru-Shishya style, to Western Classically trained musicians, there is the merging of tradition and modernity.
Tarang facilitates the growth of students and their artistic development into fully-fledged performers. Members are semi-professionals and through the diverse range and experience of members, they have the shared goal of dissemination and development of Indian music both in the UK and internationally.
DANCE India is an internationally renowned intensive training programme in Indian classical dance which began in 2003. As a unique dance movement, the school supports the learning, development and performance of Indian classical dancers at any stage of their development. The school also offers exclusive masterclasses with Guru’s which are aimed at advanced and professional dancers.
National Indian Arts Awards
The National Indian Arts Awards were established by Milap in 2015, to acknowledge the hard work and dedication shown by recipients in promoting and nurturing Indian Arts in Britain, as well as provide recognition and opportunities to expand and strengthen their work in the years to come. The Awards are supported by Arts Council England.