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.

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
Who was Hans Krebs?
The Citric 
 Acid cycle
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