Chandalika – The Tale of Trodden – A unique SOLO dance theatrical production by Suchismita Ganguly, 15 Sept 2019, The Bhavan

An innovative portrayal of Chandalika as a solo piece by Suchismita Ganguly, an accomplished Bharatnatyam dancer.

It will powerfully present the intense desire of a marginalised woman named Praktriti (the protagonist) to possess the man who treats her as a social equal. Suchismita will be seen performing the key characters of both Prakriti, the daughter and her mother, in this classic work by Indian Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
The choreography is based on the Indian classical dance form of Bharatnatyam, and incorporates elements of intense dance theatre with creative use of props and dramatic lighting.

Suchismita hopes that through this production she will not only create an unique dance-theatrical experience for her audience but will also inspire varied creative possibilities in the presentation of South Asian Dance.

Revisiting Tagore’s musical play ‘Land of Cards’ – Workshop series presented by Baithak Uk and Sasha Ghoshal, 2018-2019

Rabindranath Tagore’s musical ‘Land of Cards’ is an allegorical play dealing with issues of free will in a totalitarian state, migration, gender rights and the environment.

A prince and his friend are shipwrecked on an island inhabited by cards who work like robots and follow rules. The prince reminds them they have the power of free will, imagination and love and they can break dead rules.

A revolution, led by female cards, happens in the land and the king goes into self-exile.

Last week Sangeeta Datta (director Baithak UK)  faculty and students from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama worked with Sasha Ghoshal,  RCSSD music composer Paul Alan Barker, dramaturge Adam Lenson and two West End actors Molly Lynch and Colin Middleton, to create a short sequence OF TAGORE’S TASHER DESH (LAND OF CARDS) in musical theatre style.

 Trained in musical theatre at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama Sasha led the workshop with his dramatic skill, wonderful vocals and sheer gusto. For the Western trained actors, it was opening up a completely new world to explore. The technical challenge to the music also posed challenges to the acting. But in a few hours they were able to present two sections in an entertaining and provocative manner.

 Last year, Baithak UK conducted a workshop with Sasha for the Senior WacArts students at Hampstead Town Hall.

In October 2018, Baithak UK presented a workshopped edit at the annual cultural festival held by the local community group Hamsptead Durga Puja Committee.  The act featured Sasha Ghoshal, British composer Soumik Datta and filmmaker Souvid Datta in the role of the adventurous prince.

 Director of Baithak UK, Sangeeta Datta says,

“Today’s world is not too far from the context of Tagore’s dystopia.

With Brexit here and right wing politics dominating the Indian elections, we are actually dealing with these live issues of immigration, belonging, censorship and freedom of speech.

At Baithak UK we are revisiting this text in a series of workshops with Sasha Ghoshal who has translated the text in English.

By conducting workshops involving Baithak UK, WAC Arts, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) and my Baithak artists, Sasha Ghoshal will develop this into a full production. The community will be involved in the production as well as learning set design and costume design. This dynamic and diverse collaboration is so exciting and Sasha is uniquely placed for this work.

He holds an unique place today to create exchange and collaboration between the traditions of Western musical theatre and Indian performative traditions. He has translated Land of Cards in English and will work with Baithak UK, Central faculty, West End actors and WAC Arts senior students in a truly collaborative production of the play in Western Musical tradition. “

Baithak UK plan to present a one hour complete edition of the production, during the 4 day annual festival held at the Hampstead Town Hall between 4-8 October 2019.”

Sasha Ghoshal commented:

 “With such a relevant play, you want to make sure that Tagore’s creativity is done full justice.  He wrote it as a musical play but it is always presented as a dance drama. Indians love theatre, music and dance, ‘musical theatre’ has yet to take off in Indian art.

One of the reasons I left India and came to study at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, is because I am so in love with the musical theatre format: actors themselves speak, sing and dance, allowing multiple modes of expression. In musical theatre, everything seems so alive!”

Workshop participants share their unique experience!

Prof. Paul Alan Barker (music composer and Director of MA music theatre, RCSSD): It is an extraordinary privilege to take part in something where I have, from an intellectual viewpoint, very little understanding of the music. All I can go on is how I feel when Sasha sings the songs. I can’t describe how grateful I am for this  “wild” opportunity.

Adam Lenson (dramaturge and musical theatre director): I just had such a fun evening getting to see parts of the show. The music is so beautiful and evocative. The story is both unexpected but very relevant. It kind of feels like it’s metaphorical, that it’s about something we all know…and it’s just lovely to be part of something like this.

Molly Lynch (musical theatre actress):I had the most amazing time. As a vocalist, it’s mind blowing to hear this style of singing and this dramatic difference between what I’m used to singing in Opera and musical theatre and the Bengali style. It’s a whole new aspect for the medium of musical theatre. So it’s very exciting!

Colin Middleton (musical theatre actor): It’s completely unusual to be singing this kind of music for someone like me. When Sasha was teaching me the songs, I was thinking “how am I going to do this?” But the story is beautiful, the music is beautiful…and I think there are touches of Irish folk in there as well! So, it was amazing!

BAITHAKUK tries to make new meaning of a rich Indian cultural legacy to see how this resonates with real life issues here in the UK.

Issues of migration, identity, free will and free speech are being urgently addressed as they affect everyday, lived reality.  Rising intolerance internationally, divisive Brexit politics in Britain and aggressive right wing politics in India threatens the common man’s free speech and free will.

Decades ago, Tagore wrote an allegorical play Tasher Desh (Land of Cards) in 1935 critiquing a dystopian world of rising fascism in Europe. The backdrop was the imminent World War and the nationalist movement in colonial India.

Tagore wrote about a well oiled system crushing free will. The prince, an outsider, reminds the robotlike cards they once had the ability to emote, to speak freely, to love passionately, to sing aloud. The female cards break rules and bring on the revolution.

For more information visit:



This winter, three acclaimed productions from English National Ballet, Nutcracker / Swan Lake / Manon London Coliseum 13 December 2018 – 20 January 2019


Thursday 13 December – Sunday 30 December 2018

Swan Lake

Thursday 03 January – Sunday 13 January 2019


Wednesday 16 January – Sunday 20 January 2019

Box Office: 020 7845 9300 or


Continuing its Christmas tradition of presenting a Nutcracker production every year since 1950, English National Ballet’s Nutcracker returns this festive season, following sold out performances in 2016 and 2017. Over 100 dancers and musicians bring to life the popular Tchaikovsky score featuring the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Waltz of the Flowers, performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

English National Ballet’s hugely successful production of the timeless classic, Swan Lake, choreographed by Derek Deane with music performed live by the English National Ballet Philharmonic, will bring some of the most iconic scenes in ballet, and Tchaikovsky’s glorious score, to London audiences once again.

The final production of English National Ballet’s Winter Season is Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon. Famous for its dramatic, challenging and expressive choreography, Manon features some of the most demanding and fulfilling roles in ballet. Manon is accompanied by Jules Massenet’s haunting music performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Following performances, Swan Lake and Manon on tour in the UK,

Alongside performances, English National Ballet will host a range of workshops and events throughout the Winter, aimed to provide a gateway into the world of ballet. Activities include on-stage workshops for all ages, Live Drawing, Family Events, and behind-the-scenes talks. For more details, see

Photo credit: clockwise



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An exquisite lineup of Indian Classical dance at Darbar Festival, Sadler’s Wells, 23 – 25 November 2018

In its second year at Sadler’s Wells, Darbar Festival welcomes some of the most exciting names in classical Indian dance, curated by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan.

In the first performance of the festival, Renjith Babu and Neha Mondal Chakravarty present An Evening of Bharatanatyam. This exciting duo pushes the borders of bharatanatyam and elevates the art of the jugalbandi (duet) in an unusual new work by the bharatanatyam and contemporary artist Mavin Khoo.

The second evening of the programme, Adventures in Odissi and Kathak, combines two classical Indian dance forms in solo performances by Sujata Mohapatra and Gauri Diwakar.

Winner of the 2017 Sangeet Natak Akademi award for outstanding contribution to odissi and “Indian-dance royalty” (Financial Times), Sujata Mohapatra performs a beautifully crafted work that treads the line between odissi dance and theatre. Multi award-winning kathak dancer Gauri Diwakar performs Hari Ho…Gati Meri (“Let my salvation be in the supreme”), a sublime solo specially choreographed by Aditi Mangaldas.

Now in its 13th year, Darbar Festival 2018 started its journey in a series of Indian classical music showcases and courses at Southbank Centre and the Barbican. The dance programme of the festival returns to Sadler’s Wells from Friday 23 – Sunday 25 November 2018, featuring original lighting design by Aideen Malone.

Choreographer of An Evening of Bharatanatyam, Mavin Khoo, can also be seen in world premiere Man to Monk, choreographed by Carlos Pons Guerra, on 29 and 30 November 2018 at the Lilian Baylis Studio.

In Conversation with Akram Khan: Contemporary to Classical: Friday 23 November at 6pm
Abhinaya Improvisation with Mavin Khoo: Sunday 25 November at 5pm

Sadler’s Wells, EC1R  Friday 23 – Sunday 25 November 2018 Tickets: £12 – £50 Performances: Saturday & Sunday, 7:30pm Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or


Point of Echoes-London Premiere-The Place, 20-22 September 2018

Choreographer Ben Wright’s intimate tale of lighthouse keepers designed especially for village halls tours town and country this Autumn

Choreographed and directed by Ben Wright | Music and text by Stuart Warwick

National Tour 11 Sept – 28 Sept | London premiere: The Place 20 – 22 Sept

Created as a collaboration between choreographer Ben Wright and musician/writer Stuart Warwick, Point of Echoes is a haunting tale of love, death and monsters, set on a lighthouse somewhere off the coast of England. It’s the first commission from the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI), a project designed to boost the amount of contemporary dance on offer in rural communities; specially designed to be performed in village halls, it toured extensively to rural areas all over the UK throughout Spring 2018. Autumn will see the dance theatre show tour again to village halls and more conventional theatre venues including its London premiere at The Place from 20 – 22 September.

 The year is 1978, isolated from the mainland, Eric Valentine and Bernard Humphries have been stationed at Echo Point lighthouse. The unlikely strangers have just begun to lay down foundations for this odd working relationship when the uncanny occurs. Point of Echoes marks the return of bgroup’s Ben Wright to the UK following three years spent in Sweden as Associate Director of Skånes Dansteater.

 The Place, London 17 Duke’s Road, London WC1H 9PY

@broupdance | #PointofEchoes || 

Running Time: 90 minutes plus interval | Suitable for ages 14+


25 Sept   One Church Brighton Gloucester Place, Brighton, BN1 4AA 7.00pm

27 Sept   Edge Hill Arts Centre, Lancashire Edge Hill University, St Helens Road, Ormskirk L39 4QP 7.30pm | 01695 584480

28 Sept  Lazonby Village Hall, Penrith Lazonby, Penrith CA10 1AQ –  7.30pm

Commissioned by the Rural Touring Dance Initiative, Warwick Arts Centre and DanceEast

Queen of Sufi Music, Abida Parveen, Live Onstage in London

London’s Eventim Apollo will play host to one of the greatest Sufi singers of all time, the undisputed Queen of Sufi music, Abida Parveen, on Friday 26thOctober 2018. 

Parveen is one of the foremost exponents of Sufi music from Pakistan. She received her musical training initially from her father Ustad Ghulam Haider and, later, from Ustad Salamat Ali Khan of the Sham Chaurasia Gharana. Her late husband, Ghulam Hussain Sheikh, further mentored her and played a pivotal role in her musical career. Today, she is recognised as one of the greatest Sufi singers of all times.

Parveen performs mainly Ghazals, Urdu love songs, Sufi rock, semi-classical and classical and her forte, Kafis, a solo genre accompanied by percussion and other instruments including the harmonium. She has a wide-ranging repertoire of songs originally composed by Sufi poets, singing in Urdu, Sindhi, Seraiki, Punjabi, Farsi and Arabic.

Parveen started performing in the early 1970s and came to global prominence in the 1990s. Since 1993, she has toured globally, performing her first international concert at Buena Vista Park, California. Among her many, sell-out concerts since have been performances in Union Square, Manhattan; London’s Royal Albert Hall and Southbank Centre; as well as performances in Holland, Norway and Canada among other countries. The multi award-winning artist also collaborated with international composer, John Taverner, for Werner Herzog’s documentary film, Pilgrimage.

Among her many music TV appearances, Parveen features in Pakistan’s popular musical show Coke Studio, the international music franchise featuring live, studio-recorded music performances by established and emerging artists. As a global, mystic Sufi Ambassador, she is among the top most influential Muslims of the world.

Parveen’s passion for music exceeds all norms of mystical experience. She engages the listeners to transcend temporal space and sinks into a trance-like intensity. Her music is an overwhelming experience, combining passion and devotion. Just like a Sufi, submission and surrender are an important part of her practice. For Abida Parveen, the lyrics and the music are her prayer and a form of worship. Her emotional commitment and humility come from understanding the message that her music conveys, which is that of love and compassion. UK audiences will, once again, have a chance to witness the magic that she invokes onstage, enraptured in what is set to be one of the most emotive world music concerts of 2018.

For tickets, visit:

UK Asian Film Festival Celebrates 20 Years – with F-Rated Theme and Feminist Content Film Curation marking 100 years of Women’s Right to Vote in the UK

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI says, “We are pleased to support the 20th anniversary of the festival, enabling it to expand to reach more people across the UK and to engage audiences with a broad range of South Asian cinema.”

Illuminating unsung female hero of UK Suffragette Movement, Sophia Duleep Singh

Opening gala dinner on 14th March at The May Fair Hotel to welcome pioneering Indian cinema veteran and talk show hostess, Simi Garewal and Pakistan’s biggest superstar, actress Mahira Khan. The evening will feature an awards presentation honouring heroines that have challenged stereotypes, pushed boundaries and broken barriers to make a difference. It will also feature an In Conversation with actress Mahira Khan. tickets for the Opening Gala are available on:

Mahira Khan will be conducting a Q&A with audiences at Phoenix Cinema, Leicester on 15th March and at Regent Street Cinema, London on 16th March, following the screening of Verna, a film based on social issues.

Filmhouse, Edinburgh (22nd – 25th March); HOME, Manchester (25th March); Phoenix Cinema, Leicester (15th March extended to 31st March); and various venues across London (14th – 25th March) will play host to a carefully curated season of film screenings and events that celebrate female stories, talent and creatives on celluloid. The festival will also be honouring Anita Anand, broadcaster, journalist and author of Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary, for shining light on the story of Sophia Duleep Singh, a prominent figure and activist of the UK Suffragatte movement although largely absent from popular narrative.

Full Festival Programme and Bookings via:


Germán Cornejo,Tango After Dark, World Premiere-The Peacock, 28 February -17 March 2018

Sadler’s Wells welcomes international tango star Germán Cornejo back to London with his company for the world premiere of his latest production Tango After Dark at The Peacock, which features some of the best dancers from the tango houses of Buenos Aires.

As the night falls, the music of the great Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player and arranger, Astor Piazzolla, merges with the sophisticated and sensual performance of world-class Argentinean dancers to reveal tango in its most authentic and pure form. Tango superstar Cornejo, who is widely acclaimed by critics and audiences all over the world as one of the most distinguished tango artists working today, leads his outstanding cast of 10 dancers, including his long term dance partner and collaborator Gisela Galeassi in this mesmerising new show. Accompanied by two sensational singers and seven musicians playing tango classics, Tango After Dark keeps the passion of tango burning deep into the night.

Choreographed by Cornejo, Tango After Dark, follows his previous success, Tango Fire, which won Best Theatre Production in the 2015 UK Latin Awards and has been presented to sell-out audiences at The Peacock since 2007. Cornejo and his dance partner, Galeassi, are both World Tango Champions and are widely known for their performances with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Antony.

Ticket Office: 020 7863 8222 or

Mayor praises the footballing talent of Mumbai as he announces young stars will travel to London-Sadiq Khan is on the first day of a trade mission to India,Sunday 3rd Dec 2017 Mumbai,India

Four young players set to train with Queens Park Rangers and Sadiq Khan confirms that for the first time two girls, as well as two boys, will head to the Championship side

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced the names of the successful youngsters on the first day of his trade mission to India. Khan was attending the ninth annual finals day of the Mumbai Soccer Challenge and watched a challenge match to win the inaugural Mayor of London Cup. He confirmed that, for the first time in the scheme’s nine-year history, two girls as well as two boys will be heading to London. The Mayor was joined at the finals day by Bollywood screen legend and the co-owner of Mumbai City football club, Ranbir Kapoor, as well as the Chairman of Queens Park Rangers, Tony Fernandes. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This initiative is another example of the close links between India and London. It has been fantastic to see the passion and skill of these young footballers, and to be able to announce that two girls as well as two boys will be travelling to London to train with Queens Park Rangers. I wish them every success and it is heartening to see how grassroots sport can inspire, thrill and change the lives of young people all over the world. “The power of sport in bringing people together and encouraging healthy competition is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, once you’re on the pitch, on the court, in the ring or on the track how well you do is down to the drive and talent of the individual and their team – and those valuable lessons are transferable to so many other situations in life.” The event is the initiative of local politician and former Minister, Milind Deora, and the children selected to train in London were chosen from the thousands of competitors who took part in the soccer challenge based on their footballing ability. Next year they will spend 10 days training with QPR at their academy in Cranford.

Co-owner of Mumbai City football club, Ranbir Kapoor, said: “This event has given a platform to kids who love football. The professionalism and commitment by the organisers and the vision of Milind Deora is commendable. As owner of ISL Mumbai FC we will explore avenues to partner with QPR Mumbai Soccer Challenge. It’s great to have Mayor Sadiq Khan with us today.”

Milind Deora, patron of the Challenge Event and a former Indian Minister of State, said, “I am grateful to London Mayor Sadiq Khan our chief guest for today. Sadiq’s presence is huge encouragement to us and the kids. In the last 9 years we have strived to create a level playing field for those kids who have keen interest in football. Year after year we have realised the wonderful talent Mumbai kids have in playing football. I deeply appreciate Queen Park Rangers for their continued support and our innumerable sponsors who have been great encouragement.”

Co-Chairman of QPR, Tony Fernandes, said: “QPR is a football club with the community at its heart. While most of our charitable efforts are focussed on our home in West London, we are delighted that the Mayor of London has come to visit one of our fantastic international projects. I’m particularly delighted that next year we will host some Indian girls as well as boys at Loftus Road. Girls’ and women’s football is a big growth area for us, and we look forward to working with the Mayor and the GLA to promote it even further in London in the years ahead.”

Darbar Festival 9th – 12th November 2017- A celebration of classical Indian music & dance Sadler’s Wells & Lilian Baylis Studio

A carefully crafted invitation to delve into the best of current classical Indian music, this year Darbar engages its sister art form by presenting classical dance as well as music.

Akram Khan MBE has curated the dance element and will be making a rare appearance onstage before his imminent retirement from full-length pieces.

Darbar Festival this year unites the finest exponents of Indian classical dance with established, Indian classical music, both revered musical masters and new talents of the Subcontinent, for which the festival has been synonymous since its 2006 inception. Co-curated by Sandeep Virdee OBE and master dancer, choreographer and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan MBE, the festival will offer an immersive experience for audiences across four days of the finest Indian classical music and dance, marking a first in the history of both genres in the UK.

Thursday 9 November, Sadler’s Wells

The programme will open with a UK Premiere, Akram Khan, Tala and Raga Experience, a triple bill concert. Dance impresario, Khan, will perform a short solo focussing on his kathak tradition, the classical dance form of North India. Patri Satish Kumar, a musician from the great Carnatic tradition, will perform with Triplicane Sekar on the Tavil (the first time this South Asian percussion instrument will be featured in the festival) and Amrit Khanjira on khanjira. Pravin Godkhindi and Supreet Deshpande follow with ragas – one of the key structures of Indian music – on basuri (flute) and tabla, India’s iconic percussion drums.

Friday 10 November, Sadler’s Wells

Ragas, Sarod and Fiery Dance will comprise a triple bill of dynamic new talents, with international star of bharatanatyam, Mythili Prakash, and noted kathak perfomer Dheerandra Tiwari, alongside a music concert by the remarkable Debasmita Bhattacharya on the emotive sarod, joined by Gurdain Rayatt on table.

Friday 10 November, Lilian Baylis Studio

Secret of Midnight Ragas will showcase the inimitable talent of Indrani Mukherjee, one of the finest classical vocalists performing today. In this intimate baithak (traditional floor seated concert), she will perform night-time ragas into the small hours, accompanied by Sanju Sahai on tabla and Milind Kulkarni on the harmonium.

Saturday 11 November, Lilian Baylis Studio

Escape Through Morning Ragas will present Pandit Ram Kumar Mallick and Samit Kumar as they unfold their morning ragas through dhrupad, one of India’s oldest and most evolved art forms, that the Mallick family has evolved over 12 generations of musicians. They will be accompanied by Surdarshan Chana on the jori, a powerful percussion instrument from Punjab.

Afternoon Raga Effect will welcome Arshad Khan, enveloping the audience through afternoon ragas with the esraj, an earthy and soul-stirring string instrument that was revived by the Sikh Gurus and Rabindra Sangeet some 300 years ago. Tabla master, Shabaz Hussain, will accompany.

Benares Rhythm Essentials is a special midnight concert through which stories of the Sikhs’ persecution by Moghul rulers will be evoked by the emerging master, Surdarshan Chana, through the jori and the language of paranth (oral notation). He will be accompanied by Milind Kulkarni on the harmonium.

Saturday 11 November, Sadler’s Wells

Triple bill concert Indian Adventures of Sitar and Dance on  will provide a rare chance to see two, internationally acclaimed dance artists, kathak dancer Aditi Mangaldas, and bharatanatyam soloist, Mavin Khoo, who will perform with vocalist OS Arun, and one of India’s most distinctive sitarists of her generation, Shahana Banerjee, with Supreet Deshpande on tabla.

Sunday 12 November, Lilian Baylis Studio

Spirit of Morning Ragas on  will welcome in the festival’s final day with Indrani Mukherjee’s honeyed, vocal timbre set to envelop the intimate, baithak concert alongside harmonium maestro, Milind Kulkarni, and table performer, Gurdain Rayatt.

Rhythm Unleashed will showcase the talent of Supreet Deshpande, a musician fast emerging as a rhythmic, tabla genius. In his UK debut, he explores traditional rhythmic patterns as he unravels improvised ragas whilst taking inspiration from the audience, accompanied by Milind Kulkarni.

Something Then, Something Now This solo presents classical bharatanatyam repertoire in a contemporary way, through the talent of Seeta Patel. With stunning light design by Guy Hoare, Patel returns with a developed, full evening work, which previewed at Darbar Festival 2016.

Sunday 12 November, Sadler’s Wells

Double bill concert Nishat Khan and the Soul of Khayal will present Pandit Kaivalyakumar interpreting spiritual evening songs from the North Indian khayal tradition, with Gurdain Rayatt on tabla and Milind Kulkarni on harmonium providing resolute accompaniment. The second session will welcome virtuoso sitar player, Nishat Khan, torchbearer of one of India’s most renowned musical families, performing with tabla maestro, Shahbaz Hussain.

Darbar Festval at Sadler’s Wells will also provide masterclass insights into Indian dance, comprising talks and live, one-to-one coaching: Dance Masterclass: Aditi Mangaldas on Friday 10 November, Ashton Studio; and Dance Masterclass: Mavin Khoo on Sunday 12 November, Ashton Studio will provide live coaching and unique insights into Indian dance from these leading artists; while Talk with Akram Khan on Saturday 11 November, Lilian Baylis Studio will present an in conversation with session not to be missed by fans, dance aficionados and performance arts enthusiasts.

Tickets: £12 – £50 Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or