Independence Gala to celebrate British and Indian performing arts

Independence Gala to celebrate British and Indian performing arts

Acclaimed musicians, dancers and singers from across Britain and India will take to the stage at London’s Southbank Centre next month for a celebration of artistic collaboration.

More than 150 artistes are set to join together for October’s Independence Gala, a highlight of the India@UK 2017 year of culture programme. The show is being held at the Royal Festival Hall at London’s South Bank Centre on Wednesday, October 4 and will feature a lineup of performers from both countries. Its aim is to promote the dynamic and culturally animated relationship shared between the UK and India.

Israeli composer-musician Shye Ben Tzur, Radiohead guitarist and composer Jonny Greenwood, and Indian band Rajasthan Express will headline the evening by performing songs from their critically acclaimed album Junun. Recorded in 2015 in a makeshift studio within Rajasthan’s 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, the album comprises a collection of Sufi qawwals in Urdu and Hebrew.

Independence Gala 2A wide range of styles and genres will be on display during the evening, with the main focus on collaboration. The audience will get to enjoy a number of traditional Indian dances forms including Gotipua and Bharatnatyam.

According to organisers, the show will “herald a coming together of British and Indian performing art forms, highlighting their distinct movements, rhythms, and inherent similarities”.

“The gala will be a rich, eclectic and a symbolic coming together of India and UK through dance and music from diverse regions and repertoires of each country, which characterise their cultural legacy, showcased in seamless fusion.”

The evening will also feature performances from London-based Kuchipudi dancer Arunima Kumar, British-Indian composer and virtuoso sarod player Soumik Datta and British opera soprano Patricia Rozario. Conductor Sharat Chandra Srivastava will lead the event’s “foot-stomping finale”.

Speaking at the launch of India@UK 2017, Indian high commissioner Mr Y K Sinha said: “The Year of Culture assumes special significance in light of the 70th anniversary of India’s independence.

“These celebrations indeed offer our two countries a unique opportunity of renewing and revitalising the common threads of our cultural heritage and to enhance our engagement at the people to people level. I am hopeful that the partnerships forged during the year between people and organisations in both countries will serve us well in the years to come.”

The Independence Gala starts at 8pm on Wednesday, October 4 and tickets are available to buy now through the Southbank Centre’s website www.southbankcentre.co.uk

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