diversity at our core

Photo: Nick Greenwood

BSDC is a busy company well known for bringing together disparate themes or styles, and working in non traditional ways.

As it has matured as an National Portfolio of Arts Council England, the company has embraced these strengths by enthusiastically pushing into new territory, creating a repertoire of innovative pieces that brings high quality work to new audiences.
Exciting new partnerships led to an explosion of performances, with new work and existing repertoire both gaining exposure at a pace rarely seen, even for BSDC.
With a stunning performance of the company’s well-known Decreasing Infinity at British Dance Edition in Cardiff, the company was soon hard at work developing an important new piece for Southbank’s Alchemy. This entailed bringing together two of Balbir’s major creative influences – his guru and his contemporary dancer teacher – to create Learning to Dance, an exciting intergenerational and intercultural work that speaks to contemporary audiences on a number of levels.

 

Photo: Nick Greenwood

Photo: Gavin Joynt

Exciting times ahead

It may seem self evident that BSDC’s work exemplifies diverse cultural influences. However the underlying dynamic that informs the work is worth examining in more detail. For Balbir Singh, cultural categories in themselves have no real meaning. The idea of combining, for example, the traditionally white working class sport of Rugby League with Kathak dance traditions emphatically does not spring from a programmatic desire to bridge cultural divides. Rather it is the company’s willingness to embrace all cultures, to approach and engage with any potential partner, and its quasinaïve refusal to even countenance any reason not to do so, that make BSDC ‘diverse’ in its most profound sense.
Of course you can look to the cultural heritage of its Artistic Director and his collaborators and find diversity. But look more closely at its modus operandi and you will find more: the rich interculturality that is the true wellspring of BSDC’s artistic quality.