Photo: Malcolm Johnson

Artistic Director Balbir Singh his originally from Punjab, India. He moved with his parents to the UK as a child, growing up in Bradford, West Yorkshire, where he still lives.

Balbir Singh studied dance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) after a stint in Law School. Balbir’s restlessness found expression in sport; particularly long-distance running, swimming and cycling, coupled with a passion for literature, language and an inherent urge to move. On graduating from NSCD, another chance encounter led Balbir to discover Kathak, the classical North Indian Dance form, which until that point had been a closed book for the young contemporary-trained dancer.

Balbir’s discovery of Kathak immediately felt like coming home – though not for the expected reasons. In fact, it was not Kathak’s cultural provenance, but its precise and mathematical use of numerically defined rhythms that entranced him. Balbir had always had a tendency, sometimes bordering on an obsession, with numbers and letters. Here, at last, was an outlet for his seemingly limitless capacity for finding patterns in the shapes and numbers of everyday life.

Balbir delved further into Kathak choreography as a way of making sense of the myriad thoughts and ideas spontaneously suggesting themselves to him. Ancient as the Kathak tradition is, the art form is nothing if not dynamic. Throughout his career, Balbir has been encouraged by his guru, leading Kathak pioneer and powerhouse Padmashri Guru Pratap Pawar MBE to explore new ways of combining  Kathak and contemporary sensibilities to express his emerging artistic vision. The result is a distinguished body of work that combines Balbir’s artistic interests with his love of collaboration.