Act 1

Birth of the ball

Commence: on stage as shown below. Pre-set musical instruments required for ‘Blessing of the ball’ (Red Star)


Dancer begins kneeling facing downstage left diagonal holding baby ball.
Small movements with fingers & hands to replicate breathing, the intention being a moment of thought as to how the ball will grow from a baby ball.
As ensemble’s movement becomes bigger so does the baby ball’s
Slowly coming to standing ending with baby ball reaching high facing ensemble.


Ensemble of dancers/musicians/narrators begin in a right huddle with golden ball at their feet
Movement echoes breathing, with arms and legs eventually emulating tentacles as movement becomes bigger- at the same time the ball travels from the ground upwards
The ensemble then ends standing, going into a lift with dancer who has the ball
Ensemble travels lift to stage left where dancer is lowered and all ends facing dancer with baby ball, stage right.
Transition: dancer with baby ball places ball stage left. Ensemble walks either off stage or to next places with intent. Big ball left with musical instruments.

Blessing of the ball

Commence; musician kneeling behind pre-set instruments & dancers begin in a line along upstage, behind musician.

1 Musician:

Playing instruments in a ritualistic way around the ball
4 Dancers:

Begin swaying side to side in line
Two dancers kneel either side of musician and replicate musician’s movement with their bodies. Reaching towards the ball as if to take it
Ball is lifted and then ends in musicians hands
Other dancers move closer together and continue to sway in the background

When the ball is in the musicians hands- walk on stage and ask for the ball back (like children that lose their ball in a neighbours garden)
Transition: Golden ball & instruments taken off stage. 1 dancer collects another ball from stage right.

Growth of the ball

Commence: 4 dancers as shown in formation. Dancer 1 begins with the ball.

1 4

3 2

Phase 1 (Waking up)

Dancer 1: movement to describe the making of the ball- rolls the ball to dancer 2
Dancer 2: testing the surfaces of the ball and how it feels- rolls to dancer 3
Dancer 3: draws the pathway of the perfect play, to see how the ball moves- rolls to dancer 4
Dancer 4: testing how the ball spins
Phase 2 (Starting to walk)

The ball begins to move like a baby beginning to walk
2 dancers encourage the ball to keep moving on the ground, while 2 dancers walk the ball the begin to fly and lift from the ground
Maintain eye contact- ‘what have we created’
Keep movement compact
Phase 3 (Hide & Seek)

The ball begins to move more freely like a toddler and begins to play hide a seek
Dancers weave the ball between them, letting the movement begin to travel and lift from the ground
Dancers begin to throw the ball to test its flight while spinning it, gradually grouping together to end back to back in a circle
Ball then passed from dancer to dancer:
Spiral from ground-up
Spiral up-down
Ball weaving between dancers backs
Ball weaving between dancers Legs
Ball weaving everywhere
Phase 4 (Playground)

Like the rides in a playground each dancer has a different way of moving when they have the ball to replicate the different movement of the rides:
Straight lines
The ball the begins to take over. Facilitate the journey of the ball to replicate its trajectory.
Transition: Dancer 1 ends catching the ball which gives a queue to move to places

Phase 5 (Pop-up Drill)

Dancers begin in a small square formation
3 x dancers mimic where the ball will be passed- use eye contact
The ball then begins to be passed between dancers and the square formation becomes bigger and continues to grow
Dancers movement becomes faster to then ensure they can catch the ball in time
Need to throw the ball up in the place that it is caught
Transition: Dancer 1 ends with the ball

Testing the field

Commence: in space where the dancers end the pop-up drill

Move around the space as though retracing steps from a previous match or practicing steps pre-match (i.e side step, spin off, hand off, tackle, kick etc.)
Movement is minimal- not performing full movements
Transition: Dancer 1 leaders dancer to stage right to commence next section

Perfect Play: Abstract

Commence: all 4 dancers stage right, facing stage left

Phase 1
Dancer 1 collects ball from stage right and begins small movement of the play
Dancer 2 walks in to then collect ball and perform small movement, so does dancer 3 & 4
When dancer 4 scores, all dancers lean forwards as to observe the try
Dancer 4 then retraces the journey of the ball in reverse, end at the beginning

Phase 2
Repetition of the perfect play but with slight expansion
Dancer lean on try a little less
Dancer 4 then retraces the journey of the ball in reverse, end at the beginning

Phase 3
All as previous- ball starts to take over

Phase 4
All as previous- ball takes over

Phase 5
Perform the sequence passing the ball
End with a reverse pass, rather than dancer 4 retracing the movement
Dancer 1 ends with the ball and places it stage right

Phase 6
Perform movement version of the ‘perfect play’ in accumulation; starting with dancer 1 – 4
After each performance of the movement dancer retreat back to stage right with arms to side- to gather the next player
Ending the try- hold position momentarily
Transition: 2 dancers 4 collect a ball from stage left and all get ready for the next section

Animal Dream Team

Commentary throughout, describing the rugby positions as animals

Indian Dancer:
Shadowing each animal

Fox – Fly Half
3 dancers; 1 without a ball
1 dancer with ball begins downstage left facing upstage, 1 dancer upstage right facing downstage
Another dancer upstage centre watches 2 dances perform sequence twice travelling upstage/downstage
Dancer that travels downstage walks upstage, both dancers spin, walk again to be in line with other dancers, final spin to face downstage (all dancers facing downstage)
Centre dancer moves with Indian dancer alone, 2 dancers join & perform sequence a further 3 times

Rhinos – Hooker
4 dancers; 2 rhinos & 2 with a ball
2 rhinos begin as humans, 2 dancers feed the ball from one rhino to the next (4 times)
2 rhinos turn into rhinos and dancers begin to feed the ball between their legs crossing over as the feed through
Rhino stage left then becomes human again; one dancer feeding the ball through
Rhino stage right stays as a rhino; one dancer feeding ball through legs
Dancer stage right leads rhinos as mummy rhino to Indian dancer, who leads the rhinos off stage
2 dancers stay on stage; 1 dance collects both ball and puts one stage right

Elephants – Front Row Props x2
Every time the material is performed it gets bigger
Dancer 1 begins centre stage & performs elephant material. Dancer with ball observes
Dancer 1 & dancer with ball perform material
Dancer 2 enters and joins, and then dancer 3
All performed once more travelling them material to end in pairs facing each other
Walking rhythm in accumulation 1 – 8 (hands start to lift on number 3 and connect with shoulders on 6)
Singer is places downstage left in seated position and 3 dancers manipulate the singer to get them to standing and walk over to dancer stage right with the ball

Lions – Second Row x2
Singer exits
Dancer with the ball weaves in and out of other dancers
3 dancers create line downstage facing upstage
Dancer with ball weaves in a out of dancers
Movement from human to lion- keep looking back to the audience
Return to standing when reach the back

Hyenas – Flankers x2
Ball is kept hold of and placed behind dancer 1’s back, who becomes the centre person
Dancers 3-4 put their hands on dancer 1’s back
Swaying steps side to side, going from:

Human – animal (upstage – downstage)
Animal – human (downstage – upstage)
Animal placing ball & picking up ball (upstage – downstage)
Dancer 1 spins with ball (downstage), ball placed down
Passing ball to the right, dancers now circle around each other, as if the ball is prey, traveling upstage as they go (ball placed upstage)

Pumas- Back Row
Dancer 1 begins upstage centre with wide slow steps while arms slowly lift to the side
Dancer 2 joins, then 3, then 4- ending all interlinked
As moving downstage, become more puma like
When reach downstage dancers spin to the left away from each other to end upstage
Dancer 1 picks up ball and is then lifted by dancer 2 & 3; small – big (upstage to downstage), while dancer 4 mimics the movement in the background

Meerkats – Scrum Half
Dancer 3 collects ball from dancer 1
Dancer 3 then becomes the Meerkat- directing the other dancers where to go and what to do:
Move ball left and right: spread out
Push ball forwards: move back
Shake ball high/low: run with loud/quiet steps
Spin ball: turn
Figure of 8 with ball: weave side to side
Lift ball up: jump
Dancer 3 then throws a ball to each dancer

Armadillos – Centres x2
2 dancers begin stage left; 2 stage right
Perform stomp sequence crossing sides of the stage twice
Repeat movement in a circle; getting faster
Until dancer break off with same movement to create a diagonal line from downstage left t- upstage right

Cheetahs – Wingers x 2
Begin in diagonal line begin bouncing side to side, until movement becomes bigger and figure of 8 with the ball
Dancers ¼ turn to face downstage and the line then shifts to downstage right – upstage left
Dancers pause when singer become vocal, and then watch dancer 4 perform kite like movement with the ball
Dancers then pass balls to dancer furthest stage right to put to the side- dancer keeps one ball

Eagles – Full Back
Dancer furthest stage right keeps the ball and begins to throw one at a time to each dancer as they jump up to catch the ball
Once all dancers have had a turn, the ball is placed down and eagle movement then is performed gradually elevating the movement
Dancers 1 & 3 gradually perform movement at the same time, while dancers 2 & 4 do the same
Dancers continue hand movement while walking to stage right

Animal Play

Dancers begin lined up stage right
Dancers improvise their animal movement until reaching centre stage
The animal play is then performed, using the animal dream team:

Dancer 1: Elephant & Eagle
Dancer 2: Fox & Lion
Dancer 3 Rhino & Puma
Dancer 4: Meerkat

Order of who receives imaginary ball: Fox, Rhino, Elephant, Meerkat, Meerkat, Eagle (ending in a try from the eagle)

Transition: one dancer doesn’t perform the Animal play and goes off stage to prepare for next section

Coaching Loop

Commence: Dancer who was off stage for last section is set with bum bag, speaker, phone and headphones. Dancer enters stage and stands facing stage right. Remaining 3 dancers begins off stage left.

Dancer with equipment is stood as if making her journey home from a training session, reflecting on everything that has happened.
Singers enter stage and begin to enter and loop sounds into the phone that is played through the speakers.
Singers act as the voice in the players head as they then layer in commands:
High knees
1 singer then shouts discouraging things and the other encouraging.
Dancers offstage enter the space one at a time and begin reacting to the commands
When dancers move forwards with arms to side, they run to join dancer with headphones and encourage them to keep moving forward
Layers on the phone are then reduced and dancer with equipment exits
Transition: Indian dancer enters with a ball and begin with vocalised rhythm (12.123) and dancers replicate the rhythm with stamps

Rhythm Section

Commence: Indian dancer and 1 dancer upstage right. 2 dancers walk to downstage left and collect a ball

Dancers stage right

12.123 (turn & throw ball)
(needs clarification with video)

When dancers finish, actively watch other dancers

Dancers stage left
Begin when dancer joins the duet stage right
All rhythms are a descending counts from 8 to 1 e.g. dancer 1 vocalises 1-8, dancer 2 vocalises 1-8, dancer 1 vocalises 1-7, dancer 2 vocalises 1-7, and so on:
Ball pathway as if travelling during a kick
1-8 blow, 1-7 straight line, 1-6 twisting movement, 1-5 blow, 1-4 straight line, 1-3 twisting movement, 1-2 blow, 1-1 throw to each other
Twisting movement
Transition: Dancers that begin stage left finish the section. Everyone give eye contact and exit stage

Flag Section

Commence: 1 singer/dancer enters upstage right with golden ball. 1 dancer enters upstage left to meet other dancer. Indian dancer begins kneeling downstage left.

Dancers with golden ball

Both dancers meet and hold ball. Then slowly lower the ball to the ground and anchor it securely between their feet, getting into a scrum like position
They then move the ball securely and slow from stage right to stage left
Upon reaching stage left, release scrum position and both pick the ball up, slowly twist and turn the ball, walking forward toward the other dancer
Ending with the golden ball in hand above head
Flag dancers & Indian Dancers

Dancer with flag enters and begin solo (flag is an extension of the body as if a dragon with fire)
Dancer 2 enters and they take turns moving the flag
Dancer 3 enters and the flag then begins to manipulate the other dancers movements
Dancers 2 & 3 chase the flag
Indian dancer performs dragon movement sequence and collects the flag, ending with a spin and abrupt bang on the floor with the end of the flag
All dancers create a picture with open flag, Indian dancer placed at the tip of the flag
Transition: Lights fade to black out

Act 2

Indian Gods Duet

Commence: Indian dancer begins on stage

Narration: Telling the story of the gods to replicate the movement


Indian dancer begins movement without spoken word or other dancer
Dancer joins with the ball, and replicates the Indian dancers movement during the story
Finishing the story with a try, this begins the Turka: [insert the rhythm]
The rhythm is vocalised and danced by Indian dancer and then expressed by dancer and movement


Once sequence is finished, male narrator is interviewed by female narrators with questions from the interview with Kuldeep Singh Bist, coach of the number 1 female rugby team in India – Delhi Hurricanes (as shown below)
While the interview takes place, dancers improvise different passes and playfulness

How the game has developed the relationship between you and your daughter?
We were always very close to each other but due to my long working hours it was difficult for us to spend time together so first thing Rugby did to us that it brought us together for at least 8-10 hours per week.  Though I am a coach first on the field and every player is same for me but initially it was very difficult for my daughters to accept it..  Being a father of two rugby players (I have 2 daughters both playing rugby) it was tough for me too as I have to make sure that I am not more or less critical towards them.  They have great understanding now and now they have become my close friends too.  I can see them growing very confidently now.

How you view the game from a female perspective?
I knew from the beginning that it’s not going to be easy in India to get female rugby players as most of the families are conservative and specially middle and lower class but even rich girls don’t play as it’s a contact sport and parents fear of serious injuries to their daughters and other say is very famous in India that Girls are made for kitchen not to get into education and sports which is slowly changing with time.  Initially game used to be suspended if any girl get injury during but girls were very keen to change that and with their grit today they are as fearless as male rugby players.  I have seen many changes in these girls very closely.  They have become much more confidant now.  I did few things deliberately like ask them to give speech in a large gathering, make them laugh, dance, give them freedom to express them and I have not seen girls as expressive as our girls, they forget about everything else when they are on the field and people who come to see our training or matches come to us and congratulate us to bring this culture in these girls.

Where you see the female game going?
As far as Rugby is concerned, game could move further very well.  When we started female rugby in Delhi we had hardly 7-8 players and they all were from a Physical
Education College but now we have a pool of 200 female rugby players of different age group and standard of their play is improving day by day as most of them now starting to take this game at early age.

Its challenges and successes?
You can club answer 2 with this

As far as Rugby is concerned, game could move further very well only thing is that we need to give them atmosphere where they can feel safe as women and child safety are two big issues India is facing right now and exploitation of female players by coaches and managements in every game is a concerned so if we can provide them a platform where they can do whatever they want with a self discipline then nobody can stop them.  Hurricanes is no. 1 club in India right now in both men’s and women’s categories.

What makes a good team?
Team culture (enjoying success together feel pain of losing the game together), Senior players setting the examples for juniors, harmony among players, working together towards a goal, working in individual skills and working towards betterment, giving players freedom, encourage them to have following virtues creativity, awareness, resilient, decisions making, self organisation and collectively they will wonder for their teams.

What is the perfect play to execute?
Anybody can make plan but executive them under pressure is a different ball of the game.  Team work very hard on their moves and they are tested in trying conditions even in training even then there is not guarantee to execute them in a game but keep trying is a mantra and sooner or later a situation come when everything fall in a place and you execute your plan perfectly.

What cultural background do the players bring and take from the game in terms of dance and music?
One must play a Team sport as it helps an individual to have a feel of different behaviour, set of mind, culture, language, size, weight, speed, agility, skills and adapting all of them is make them wise and it helps them ultimately in their lives and these players bring that diversity with them and take a team culture where they consider themselves one, work in harmony and synchronization   even being an individual with different virtues.

Other interesting things
Once these girls are in their comfort zone, feel safe; know that they will not be judged they are fantastic to work with.  They could be as competitive as boys but they are more friendly towards their opposition and make friends very easily/quickly, take care of each other very well and very obedient hence working with them gets very easy.

Transition: interview ends and the narrators are thanked for their time. Both dancers exit

Referee Rules

Commence: 1 dancer already on stays onstage. 3 dancers set facing stage right, each with a ball, creating a zigzag pattern.

Spin off
1 dancer runs with ball and spins of each of the other dancers.
Dancers react by turning on the spot
Formation begins wide, gets closer, then wider
1 dancer is then passed the balls to place off stage and keeps 1 ball
3 dancers lay in zigzag pattern
1 dancer runs up and down as if ladders in training x 4
3 dancers then roll upstage while other dancer continues to run
Hand off
Dancers stand up and run, circling from upstage to downstage towards dancers with the ball
Dancer with the ball hands off each player that comes towards them
To end the sequence, all 3 dancers tackle dancer with the ball
Pass Ball Back
Dancer with ball stands centre stage, while other dancers run around her
Dancer with ball stops spinning and looks around, only throwing the ball to another dancer that is behind her or adjusting her position if needed
Repeated 4 times
Diagonal Line
Dancer with ball commences up stage right, while other 3 dancers create a diagonal line from upstage right to downstage left
Dancer 1 weaves in and out of dancers performing certain movements:
Hand off: upstage – downstage
Spin off: downstage – upstage
Side step: upstage – downstage
Alternating, hand off, spin off, side step: downstage – upstage
Repeat alternating movements ending with a high tackle: upstage – downstage
Repeat alternating movements ending with a trip over: downstage to upstage
Narration: Informing of the different steps. When a foul is made, whistle is blown by one ‘referee’ and correct instructions given. While other is a ‘fan’ who disagrees with referees decision.

Transition: dancer who ends with the ball keeps is and exits the space. Dancers get in place for next section.

Western Super League

Commence: duet dancers begin on stage

Narration: commentary given for each game

Skipton Sharks V Swooping Eagles (Duet)

Performed small
Performed big and full out
Jon’s Commentary: This is a ferocious game, played at a ferocious tempo. Not sure who will win. (Need rest of the notes)

Tegan Tentacles V Stinger Wasps (Duet)

Without the ball
Performed with the ball
Morden Monkeys V Spinely Snakes (Duet)

Only snake performs
Richby Rhinos V Cunning Foxes (Trio; 2 rhinos/1 fox)

Perform with reverse after lift
Perform all the way through
Twirling Twisters V Woody Tigers (Solo)

Performed once
Jon’s Commentary: The twisters are trying hard to pick holes in the defence. Some nice forward play, and good passing. That’s a great tackle by the tigers. Really good rooking. Nice attacking play, good ball. Oh but the twisters have stolen it back and it the twisters that are going to snatch the victory.

Prompton Panthers C The Vicious Vultures (Solo)

Performed alone
Performed with narrator
Jon’s Commentary: Good work by the panthers; they’re attacking the vulture’s line. This has been a close game. Another really good attack by the panthers. That’s great defence by the vultures.

Hurly Hurricanes V Eager Elephants (Solo)

Performed alone
Performed with dancer & ball
Commentary of a game with no dancers but just the music.

Cautious Caterpillars V Flaming Flamingos (Solo)

Performed with singer
Lincoln Giraffes V Pickering Pumas (Solo)

Performed alone
Chesterfield Cats V Ilkley Elephants (Solo)

Performed with singers
Transition: dancer exit stage to collect green bottles

15 Green Bottles

Commence: dancers setting up bottles in rugby union formation (see document: Rugby Union Team Formation 1/2). Bottles are filled with water to play notes.

Vocalise the players position when placing the bottle down in the correct place
Baby ball is brought back on
1 dancer has a whistle (playing the coach), and blows the whistle giving instruction accordingly: reset, not good enough etc.
Dancers the move the bottles as they form a play, using the baby ball to show the direction of the play
Bottles are the arranged in two parallel lines to create a walk way for the baby ball
Bottles are then grouped with baby ball resting on top; each dancer takes away a bottle until the baby ball falls

As the dancers begin to arrange the play with the baby ball, musicians enter stage and begin to pick up a bottle at a time and create music
Musicians exit when dancers begin to arrange bottle in a line
Transition: dancers take green bottles off stage and dancers get ready stage right

The Perfect Play Montage

Commence: 5 dancers lined stage right to perform the perfect play variations

Slow Motion Play
Perfect play performed in slow motion from stage right to stage left
All dancers retreat to stage right with arms to sides
Animal Play

Animal movement is performed from stage right to stage left
All dancers retreat to stage right with arms to sides

Rhythmic Play
1 Dancer vocalises ‘Rhythmic play’ and begins counting the rhythm 123.12.12 and each dancers joins in to vocalise the rhythm
Dancer 1 then performs their animal movement to the rhythm and pauses, while the next dancer performs their animal movement to the rhythm- this carries on until dancer 5 has done their movement
This is all repeated, and dancers remain paused
Dancer 1 then continues movement to end with a try
All dancers retreat to stage right with arms to sides

Octopus Play
1 Dancer vocalises ‘Octopus Play
Dancer get into diagonal line
Then pass the ball back to each player and reset the line so they can pass back again
This is all repeated 4 times

Aerial Play
1 Dancer vocalises ‘Aerial play’
Trying not to let the ball touch the ground the dancers perform floor work from stage right to stage left, passing it between each other to end with a try

Line out
1 Dancer vocalises ‘Line Out’
1 dancer has the ball, other dancers are in a line facing the dancer with the ball
The ball is thrown and second dancer in line is then lifted to catch the ball
The dancer who catches the ball throws the ball to the dancer who initially threw the ball in
This is repeated 4 times to move around the space

Audience Perspective
1 Dancer vocalises ‘Audience Perspective’
Dancers form a group downstage centre, as if watching a match
Eyes scan from left to right and they mimic being disappointed that the players missed the try
Their eyes scan again from left to right, this time performing their reaction to a try
Dancers break off and form a line upstage facing down stage

Perfect Play Improv
Dancers begin performing the perfect play
There are then words that give instruction as to how to react:
Huddle: dancers huddle with the ball
Drunken monkey: dancer throw the ball and move clumsily
Weave: dancers line up and one dancer with the ball weaves in & out of the other dancers. Dancers standing still bounce as if on a train
Selfish: one dancer takes all the balls
Music: dancers stop and listen to the music and begin to dance freely
The aim of this section is to collect all 5 balls, becoming more hectic
A dancer will then shout ‘five’, which is the indication now that all 5 balls will be placed downstage one at a time- to do so, dancers perform a play, passing the ball the score to place the ball down
Once the final ball is placed; all dancers end with one hand on a ball & pause

To end the dancers slowly stand with their ball and turn to face upstage
Walking slowly and one at a time placing the ball down and continuing to walk upstage
One dancer, runs quickly downstage and places the ball abruptly with a laugh and then joins the other dancers
Ending with dancers upstage facing the back

End: Black out

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