Photo: Alamy

The Spice Routes linked diverse cultures from the earliest times. A network of land and sea routes connecting the East with the West, they stretched from the coast of Japan, around India to the lands of the Middle East – and from there, across the Mediterranean to Europe.

Today, it may seem strange that demand for spices was the main reason for such large-scale trade across these long distances. One probably thinks of them simply as flavouring for food. Yet, the word “spice” comes from the Latin species, which means an item of special value, as compared to ordinary articles of trade.

Just as spices once crossed the globe, bringing a knowledge of distant cultures, BSDC’s Love and Spice brings diverse dance and musical traditions to a Western audience. And spices are once again the common thread that binds audience and artist in a shared sense of the special value of the art.