Photo by: Karol Wyszynski

In a strong year for performance, over 3000 people saw our work in 2021. We toured Love and Spice to rural venues and The Two Fridas to the North East. We presented work at Sangam Festival, Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance, Newcastle Mela and Edinburgh Mela. We ended our year at Kala Sangam in Bradford with our new show ‘The Wise Ones’, an excerpt of which will be screened on BBC Four and iPlayer next year as part of the Dance Passion series. This show, conceived and directed by Balbir, featured the work of older dancers, including dance legends Guru Pratap Pawar, Bisakha Sarker and Villmore James. 

Creative engagement in communities was supported by grants from Leeds Inspired, the Mohn Westlake Fund and Arts Council England. We danced down memory lane in Leeds care homes; shared storytelling walks with the Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods for Thriving Communities, workshopped in schools and in libraries, as part of children’s Healthy Holidays. Our new project ‘Unmasking Pain’ is taking shape. Our partners PIPA, Living Well with Pain, Thackray Museum and Space2 Leeds continue to inspire us. 

What hasn’t changed is the quality of our artists, so gratitude goes out to the 26 freelance artists we worked with in 2021. To our core dancers, in particular our regular trio of Abi Eswar, Kali Chandrasegaram and Kimberley Hardy, to regular musicians Jesse Bannister and Joe Harris, to our photographers and filmmakers, Malcolm Johnson in particular. 

As 2021 draws to a close, Covid 19 variants are bringing fresh worry and disrupting plans. We are mindful of the impact on artists and communities and face these things together. Despite everything the world throws at us, we continue to be excited for 2022. We’d like to wish you all happiness and health for this festive season and into 2022.

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