Photo: Malcolm Johnson

Held throughout October and November 2015 at University of Sheffield, KrebsFest was a celebration of the scientific research of Sir Hans Krebs, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1953 for his pioneering work at the university. The festival explored Krebs’ legacy through a series of public events, talks from other Nobel Prize winners and artistic collaborations.

Balbir Singh was invited to interpret Krebs’ discoveries and explore how art can communicate complex scientific discoveries to the public and stimulate interest in the ‘unseen’ – the molecular level of microbiology that can only be viewed under a microscope.

Balbir presented a short piece for the main stage at the University’s Great Hall as well as a series of pop up interventions as invited guests mingled during the opeing event.

‘I discovered that there is more commonality between the thinking of artists and scientists than one might imagine. The discipline, creative thinking – and even the intuitive leaps of faith were surpisingly similar.’

Balbir Singh

Photo: Malcolm Johnson

The performances were set against a backdrop of artworks and computer simulations of Krebs’ discoveries, to create a subtle layering of artistic and scientific visualisations of the citric acid cycle at the microscopic level.

Balbir collaborated both with the scientists involved and Luke Jerram, an installation artist who created a 12 metre long E. Coli bacterium for the festival.

Who was Sir Hans Krebs? Find out more . . .

Photo: Malcolm Johnson

Dancers and musician interact with Luke Jerram’s giant inflatable E. Coli in the University of Sheffield’s Great Hall

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
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Full Contact – highlights from the script
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The Collaborators
Creative Case – challenges along the way
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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 
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Balbir’s thoughts behind the work
Balbir on developing the work
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‘Alas Para Volar (Wings to Fly)’
Amrita – a story that lives in Art