Photo: Malcolm Johnson

The process in making this work used the bold concept of the statement I am not an Indian dancer? and a single tree with branches growing out from it. It is a useful starting point to investigate what this means in the context of these two dancers:

Eliot Smith, grounded in the Martha Graham technique is a contemporary dancer, where a strong emphasis is placed on breath, contraction and the spine.

The other dancer Sooraj Subramaniam, trained in three Classical Indian dance styles: Bharata Natyam, Odissi and Kathak as well as contemporary.

And the questions which emerge from bringing the two together are:

Is it possible for contemporary dance to be understood, interpreted and translated through Indian dance?

Can a contemporary dancer go deeper into his or her own identity, body and art form through experiencing how an Indian dancer makes sense of his or her dance?

What do they share in common? – is this a duet, two solos or just one dancer?

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