I am not an Indian dancer?

An exploration of contemporary and traditional Indian dance.

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Photo: Malcolm Johnson

Premiering at the Sage Gateshead in Autumn 2019, I am not an Indian dancer? boldly depicts one tree with two branches of dance styles.

Commissioned by Eliot Smith Dance, conceptualised and directed by Balbir Singh, dancers Eliot Smith and Sooraj Subramaniam beautifully flow between contemporary techniques and classical Indian dance.  A piece of original music by Jesse Bannister perfectly accompanies the performance.

Eliot’s foundation is in the Martha Graham technique of contemporary dance, having trained at London Contemporary Dance School and at The Martha Graham School in New York.  Whilst Sooraj Subramaniam is trained in three Classical Indian dance styles: Bharata Natyam, Odissi and Kathak as well as contemporary.

Balbir asks us to question – is this a duet, two solos or just one dancer?  And is it possible for contemporary dance to be understood, interpreted and translated through Indian dance?


‘A really fascinating and engrossing piece of dance!’  Peter Lathan for British Theatre Guide

More about I am not an Indian dancer?

‘Can a contemporary dancer go deeper into his or her own identity, body and art form through experiencing how an Indian dancer makes sense of his or her dance?’


Photo: Malcolm Johnson

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