AquaKathak is an exciting new introduction to water fitness, developed by Balbir Singh as part of BSDC’s tour of pool-based show Synchronised in 2014.

What is AquaKathak?

If you’ve tried water fitness classes before, you will know that water allows for a greater range of movement than on land, and supports your body, putting less strain on your joints and muscles. Water pressure also helps your heart move blood around your body, and puts less strain on your heart. AquaKathak is similar to Tai Chi, and groups were led by an instructor through a fun, energising class to revive body and mind.

Inspired by Indian Kathak dance and music, where the arms feature strongly, the classes combine simple movement from Kathak with introductory techniques from synchronised swimming – without needing to hold your breath underwater. AquaKathak is a perfect way to increase confidence and connect with the water, your body, and have fun with other people taking part.

Participants don’t need previous experience in dance – or even to be able to swim. AquaKathak will allow you to develop skills and fitness at your own pace.

Aquakathak in action

In 2014 BSDC toured Synchronised around England to so-called ‘arts cold spots’ – areas of the country where people are less likely to engage in or attend arts events. The company toured to Blackburn, Burnley, Leicester, and Barking and Dagenham. In each town, Aquakathak classes were advertised and proved highly popular and effective as a way of bringing new perope in the leisure centres where they were held. Audiences for Synchronised itself were likewise built through the classes; many people who came to Aquakathak sessions subsequently came to watch the show.

Explore the process

A lost art?
A bridge to India
Immersed in music
When Worlds Collide
The Idea (learning to dance)
Natural curiosity and questions (learning to dance)
Composer thoughts on Learning to Dance
In the presence of geniuses
The story (love and spice)
A dancer reflects on The Strategists (1)
Overview of The Strategists
Breakdown of The Strategists
Roundness of 12: a breakdown of the piece
Breakdown of the piece (love and spice)
Script (12)
Painter research
A dancer reflects on Love and Spice
Full Contact – highlights from the script
Dancer notes performance (flatlands)
Peacock Lake – genesis of the concept
Firing up the Mehfil Machine
The Collaborators
Creative Case – challenges along the way
The Guru-Shishya relationship
What is Kathak?
Life blood
Collaboration: Balbir & Gary
Colouring your emotions
Covid-19 Update on Monday, April 6th, 2020
Creative Case in action – July to September 2019
Finding my way in The Creative Spirit of John Curry
Talent Development – Abirami Eshwar
Talent Development – Kimberley Hardy
Collaborators: Lorna Brown and Gary Beacom
The Work: Act 1
The Work: Act 2
Planning the show
The 8 Dances
Performance
Who was Hans Krebs?
The Citric 
 Acid cycle
Accessibility
Balbir’s thoughts behind the work
Balbir on developing the work
Amrita Sher-Gil & Frida Kahlo
My favourite painting is. . .
Balbir reflects on The Two Fridas
Cast one
Devising in lockdown
Las dos Fridas
‘Alas Para Volar (Wings to Fly)’
Amrita – a story that lives in Art