Photo: Gavin Joynt

I have two children, a girl and a boy with a three and a quarter year gap between them.  When they were younger, we used to be out at the theatre seeing work constantly.  There came a point in their growing when my daughter, as the eldest, became more discerning about the world and wasn’t so sure about magical things anymore.  It then became more difficult to find work that they both liked.  The aim of The Boy with the Rollerblades, is that will appeal to all ages – to have hints of both magic and reality.  It is about connecting with the adult in the child and the child in the adult.  Even though all the ice in the world may have melted, we still have snow!  As we become adults it is about maintaining a child-like wonder with how we marvel at the world.’

– Balbir Singh

‘The Boy with the Rollerblades is an exciting and safe space for children to learn about the climate crisis without fear.  It is a positive, creative response to world events that supports, educates, inspires and nurtures climate awareness in children.’

– Kimberley Hardy

Photo: Gavin Joynt

BSDC’s 2 year partnership with Magna and Children & the Arts (CATA) aided over 700 children across 4 Rotherham primary schools achieve both ‘Discover’ and ‘Explore’ Arts Awards. The Boy with the Rollerblades was an integral part of inspiring the work the children made to attain these fabulous Arts Awards.

Stuart Ballard, Education Manager at Magna, was thrilled with the skating theme of the performance, commenting on Rotherham’s role in the production of ice-skates. When discussing the work he shared: “In decades gone by, Rotherham steel was used to create the many thousands of pairs of ice skates which the city exported to America. As a result of them being manufactured locally, the story goes that many children in the area owned a pair of Rotherham steel ice skates – and yet they had no ice to skate on! That’s just one of the reasons it’s particularly pleasing to have such a major figure from the world of skating coming to our city to give the story new relevance and meaning.”

BSDC is also exploring how community-based workshops for young adults – on ice or on rollerblades – could build wider community involvement: the company’s long experience of making dance and movement accessible to people of all abilities, provides an additional dimension to the piece.

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