Piali Ray OBE is the Founder and Director of Sampad South Asian Arts, one of the UK’s leading and most influential agencies for the promotion of arts originating from the Indian sub-continent.
For the past 25 years Piali has been a driving force in promoting and supporting the cultural development of Indian diaspora regionally, nationally and internationally. Her endless energy, creativity and expansive wisdom have led to her becoming a well-known and respected cultural leader and mentor within the UK arts sector and beyond.
Originating from Bengal, India, Piali has been a performer, teacher and choreographer in the UK since 1982, excelling in these fields and touring extensively in India, UK and internationally.
Under Piali’s leadership, Sampad has grown to be an exemplary organisation in supporting and developing the profile of South Asian arts and artists in the UK, allowing audiences and communities to experience high-quality arts through performances, festivals, conferences and education and outreach work.
Piali was honoured with an OBE in 2002 and an Honorary Doctorate by University of Central England in 2006 and in 2009 she was awarded Outstanding Business Person of the Year by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and the British Indian Award for Arts and Culture in 2015.
In addition to her role as Director of Sampad, Piali has worked as a choreographer and dance teacher throughout the UK since 1982, working with world-class organisations such as the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The National Gallery and the National Theatre. In 2012 she was commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival to produce two large scale shows – Moving Earth and Mandala, which were widely recognised as flagship events for South Asian arts in the UK.