IN THE FURTHER SOIL tells the story of the urban landscapes of India and the UK bringing together the old and new. Atmospheric Jazz and Afro-beats mix with Bengali Baul songs, rhythms fire up Bharatanatyam dance with urban moves, spoken word and human stories bring out the fast-changing globalised identities of young people through the interplay of music, dance and spoken word.
The show is inspired by the text of Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali poet and philosopher once commented on the Indian diaspora; “To study a banyan tree, you not only must know its main stem in its own soil, but also must trace the growth of its greatness in the further soil, for then you can know the true nature of its vitality.”
In The Further Soil explores the emergence of contemporary British Asian dance and music forms in the UK and their relation to their traditional roots in India. It has developed through a collaboration of international artists from the UK and India, through a period of experimentation, skills sharing and artistic exploration. Historical links have been traced and the evolution taking place in dance has been explored-from classical dance forms to more popular genres. The show highlights the notions of cultural memory and social commentary, the dynamics of tradition, challenge and transformation to create new forms narrating the contemporary stories of both countries.
The international cast includes Director Harmage Singh Kalirai, musicians, dancers and actors, Shelley King, Soweto Kinch, Anusha Subramanyam, Ratul Shankar Ghosh, Dibyendu Mukherjee and Sanjukta Ray. It is co-produced by Sanjoy Roy of Teamworks Productions and Piali Ray OBE, Co-Producer and Director of sampad who says:
‘In the Further Soil has brought together young, highly talented artists from the UK and India to share, create and celebrate their personal styles and cultural identities. The tour is a fantastic international platform to raise the profile of British Asian arts and sampad is proud to be flying the flag for the West Midlands Cultural Olympiad in the run up to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.’
In The Further Soil is part of the People Dancing programme, part of the West Midlands’ Culture Programme for London 2012 funded by Legacy Trust UK, Arts Council England West Midlands and Advantage West Midlands. Touring India and the UK, the production links the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad with the Commonwealth Games which take place in Delhi in October this year. In India the show will visit Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmedebad and Mumbai.
The show is supported by Birmingham City Council, British Council, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the University of Birmingham.