Banyan Tree: South Asian Dance 2000-2020
Friday 5 November – Saturday 27 November 2021
Opening event: Thursday 4 November 2021, 5-9pm, with introductions to the exhibition at 5:30pm and 7:30pm, and portraiture sessions 6-7pm.
Banyan Tree celebrates the remarkable dance artists who have contributed their unique vision to South Asian dance in the UK, principally through the lens of photographer Simon Richardson. The exhibition is organized by Luton-based Kadam Dance and will coincide with the premiere of Kadam’s Dance’s new work Songs Of My Heart at Hat Factory Arts Centre on 12 November.
The exhibition includes portraits of the current generation of dancers, mostly captured live in performance, highlighting both movement and inner stillness; the young generations being introduced to dance; and surprises, such as when the lens is turned to the audience in a dementia-friendly performance.
The last two decades have witnessed the diffusion of South Asian forms across multiple spaces. Forms that evolved in Indian temples have found new spaces from theatres to city squares, museums and even swimming pools! The images in this exhibition tell the story of the contemporary makers and performers and those from whom they have inherited the forms.
Simon Richardson has photographed dance and performance for the last twenty-five years, with a particular focus on, and passion for, South Asian classical dance. His involvement with Pulse Magazine, the dedicated magazine for South Asian dance and music, has brought him into contact with that community throughout the UK and he has photographed many dance companies and individual performers.
The exhibition also includes photographs by Vipul Sangoi, Nirvair Singh and Yaron Abulafia.
Banyan Tree is supported by the Heritage Fund and is the first exhibition of South Asian dance of this scale with a national focus. This showing concludes a tour that has included London Bhavan and Curve Leicester.