Reflections of an Indian Dancer – a bold new solo show that beautifully blends contemporary western dance and classical Indian Kathak – is coming to Leeds Playhouse next month, encouraging audiences to explore their own sense of identity through movement and memories.
Sooraj Subramaniam will perform his deeply personal and often poetic reflections on his life journey as a dancer in the Courtyard theatre on 1 April.
Reflections of an Indian Dancer is anchored in three exquisite solo pieces in the classic traditions in which Subramaniam is trained: Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak. Bringing the work straight into the 21st century, his astonishing dance performance is accompanied by a bold and, at times, very vulnerable monologue. Through this startling spoken word soundtrack, the audience is taken into the interior world of the performer and invited to explore their own sense of identity.
The show is presented by Leeds-based Balbir Singh Dance Company (BSDC), which makes exciting and original dance theatre, inspired by the creative vision of artistic director Balbir Singh.
Founded in 1998, BSDC has grown to be a leading dance company that specialises in blending contemporary western dance and classical Indian Kathak, presenting work to diverse audiences throughout the UK and internationally. Under Balbir Singh’s artistic leadership, the company stands at the forefront of intercultural dance practice in the UK, telling stories that excite the senses and generate conversations.
The company seeks out innovative ways to connect with audiences and has presented in swimming pools, ice rinks and woodlands as well as on traditional stages. BSDC has performed at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Edinburgh Festival and at the Women’s Rugby League World Cup. More recently, Balbir's work was featured by the BBC in John Curry: Floating on Ice and Dance Passion 2022.
Sooraj Subramaniam grew up in Malaysia, training in the classical dance styles of Bharatanatyam and Odissi, and later in classical ballet and contemporary dance forms. He continued ballet training in Australia and graduated from the Western Australian Academy for Performing Arts. At the same time, he co-directed Mudhra Dance Company, teaching and performing Indian classical and contemporary dance. While in London, Subramaniam began training in Kathak, adding to his rich and vibrant dance vocabulary.
“My work is an organic amalgam of these styles as I aspire to create pieces that are honest, relevant, and enjoyable," said Subramaniam. "I work in the intersection where contemporary dance and classical Indian dance techniques meet, continuously expanding my movement vocabulary and dance practice.”
Subramaniam now lives in Belgium and continues presenting classical Indian dance solo work, as well as collaborating with companies and independent choreographers on dance commissions across Europe, with regular training and performance trips to India.
Balbir Singh Dance Company presents
REFLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN DANCER
Courtyard, Leeds Playhouse
Box office: 0113 213 7700