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Independence Gala @London

Independence Gala @ London

Ministry of Culture, Government of India, High Commission of India in the UK and Indian Council for Cultural Relations presented the Independence Gala curated by leading Indian festival producer Teamwork Arts with support from Diageo and BP.

Independence Gala marks the culmination of UK-India 2017 Year of Culture with a joyous celebration of British and Indian music and dance.

High Commissioner Mr. Y. K. Sinha lauded the effort that went into putting together this special evening of multi art form collaborations and performances highlighting unique aspects of a distinct genre as part of a seamless whole. He referred to the enthusiasm that the series of events already organised during the India-UK year of culture has elicited in both countries and hoped that the youth of both the countries would nurture and enhance our deep and rich cultural links. The year long celebrations were announced in 2015 by Prime Ministers of India and the UK mark the deep cultural ties between the two countries and also the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence.

Directed by Sanjoy K. Roy with music composed by Sharat Chandra Srivastava and choreography advisor Gilles Chuyen, the Independence Gala featured two distinct sections with a line-up of over 150 artistes from both countries.

The evening began with a contiguous showcase over a score of music and dance performances including Indian regional and classical dances, tap dance, hip hop, opera and choir and was followed by a thundering headline performance by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and Israeli composer and musician Shye Ben Tzur in collaboration with Indian band Rajasthan Express who enthralled audiences with material from their critically acclaimed album, Junun.

Performances featured remarkable new cross art form collaborations between Indian and UK artists including Kathak performance from internationally renowned dance exponent ANKH alongside one of the UK’s leading forces in tap dance, Old Kent Road, the heady, athletic and martial art-inspired Chhaudance with an added hip-hop dimension from Avant Garde Dance Company who are at the forefront of London’s innovative hip hop/contemporary dance scene and pioneering inclusive dance company Step Change Studiosdelivered a contemporary performance of the classical Indian dance form, Bharatanatyam, alongside renowned Natyasri Dance Company.

Musical performances included British Indian composer and virtuoso sarod player Soumik Datta, Slovenian-born improv guitarist Igor Bezget and British-Austrian genre-defying percussionist Bernhard Schimpelsberger, a strong exponent of Indo-western rhythmic fusion, among many other acclaimed performers from both countries. British opera soprano Patricia Rozarioregaled with her renditions building to a grand foot-stomping finale bringing together all artists including the acclaimed London Contemporary Voices and the Phillip Granell and the Phaedra Ensemble.

The final performance as part of the UK-India 2017 Year of Culture will be the Bharat Symphony (India Symphony) to be performed by Dr L. Subramaniam and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Concert Hall on the 28th November 2017.

Oct 6, 2017
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