Reflections of an Indian Dancer

Reflections of an Indian Dancer moves beyond the purely physical, overlaying the spoken word of the interior monologue with the dance.

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Photo by Malcolm Johnson

The latest collaboration between pioneering theatre maker Balbir Singh and highly sought after dancer Sooraj Subramaniam touches on the universal themes of home and sense of self, whilst remaining focused on the power of the individual performer.

‘I’m very excited to share this latest work with audiences. The delightful combination of autobiographer and performer expressed through both dance and new writing is new territory for both myself and Sooraj. ‘ Balbir Singh

Reflections of an Indian Dancer is anchored in three exquisite solo pieces in the classic traditions in which Subramaniam is trained. Bringing the work straight into the 21st century is the bold and at times very vulnerable monologue that accompanies the performance. Through this startling spoken word soundtrack, the audience is taken into the interior world of the performer and invited to explore their own sense of identity.

World-renowned dancer, Sooraj Subramaniam was born in Malaysia, raised in Australia and now lives in Belgium. Dance came into Subramaniam’s life at the age of 6 and never left. His work spans three of the main schools of classical Indian dance – Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi, and his experiences in Australia led him to further training in contemporary dance and ballet. There is no dancer today so thoroughly versed in what it means to be a modern, multi-cultural performer whilst remaining true to the spirit of traditions honed over centuries.

Subramaniam has delighted audiences around the world throughout his career with the grace he brings to the stage, yet as he so candidly says, “it takes years of practice to do something with ease”. The dancer’s practice and the appearance of ease that come with it are the foundation of any performance, yet the audience is never privy to this daily search for perfection; an artist’s life remains private until only the final, minutely crafted performance is ready.

It is with this sense of a dancer’s interior life that dancer Subramanian approached this new work Reflections of an Indian Dancer. In creative partnership with Balbir Singh, this is his first autobiographical work; weaving together a lifetime of artistic experience, taking perfomative expression beyond the physical to delve into the most human of questions – home, identity, belonging.

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