India-UK Year of Culture: Kathak, tap dancers tango in London

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on October 05, 2017

A performance by a wheelchair-bound artist, represented by UK’s Step Change Studios. - Photo: DAVID JENSEN

Among the performers were the British opera singer Patricia Rozario, sarod player Soumik Datta and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood

Kathak and tap dancers, sarod and organ players came together in a gala in central London on Wednesday night, as the Southbank Centre hosted over 150 artists from across Britain and India for an event pegged as the highlight of the 2017 India-UK Year of Culture.

Among the performers were the British opera singer Patricia Rozario, sarod player Soumik Datta and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.

Year-long celebrations

The push for a year-long celebration of Indian and British culture was agreed during Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s visit to Britain in 2015. Since the launch earlier this year, events have been taking place across the country, with many museums and institutions using the opportunity to create India-related events, beginning with Kew Garden’s annual orchid festival focussed around the Indian orchid, while the science museum is currently running an exhibition examining the place of India in the development of science and technology over the past 5,000 years.

“It is the arts that celebrate differences and bring us all together,” said Sanjoy K Roy, the director of the gala. “The gala was a shining example of that.”

Wednesday’s event began with a series of musical and dance performances – at times running in sequence – from India and Britain, some traditional, some modern, including one that combined tap-dancing by Old Kent Road and Kathak group, Ankh.

Other attractions

Others included a performance by an artist in a wheel chair, part of Step Change Studios, which aims to be an accessible dance platform.

The evening concluded with a performance of Junun, an album of Sufi qawwalis in Urdu and Hebrew, a collaboration between Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, Shye Ben Tzur, an Israeli composer, and Rajastan Express.

Published on October 05, 2017

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