Stories from women across the north inspire new dance show at Kala Sangam

Crackle. Dust. credit Alicia Clarke

North East based Company of Others are listening to real life experiences from women across the North to create a new dance production which will premiere at Kala Sangam and tour in Spring 2019.

Crackle. Dust. is a Co-Created dance theatre production with women from across the North of England. The production positively represents women by sharing their experiences of endings that have had a life changing impact through movement, live sound and spoken word. The show is a poetic unveiling of women’s resilience, a call to action for us all to listen more carefully and a sharing of power. Performed by an exquisitely diverse ensemble of 6 female performers Crackle. Dust. witnesses and celebrates the silence breakers, survivors and the hopeful in our region whilst remaining universal.

‘Beautiful & Urgent’ Audience Member

‘Brilliant Representation and Integrity’ Audience Member

Crackle. Dust. is a love letter to women everywhere who have survival stories that may have never been told, and is a celebration of their strength, intuition and courage.

Newcastle based, Artistic Director Nadia Iftkhar, has been inspired by the women in her life to make this work. Nadia says:

‘In today’s world we are surrounded by stories in the media of experiences from women who already have a platform yet we can overlook the stories of those closest to us; grandmothers, mothers, sisters, colleagues and friends. These stories often go untold, even though there are so many lessons in those experiences and so many women who want to feel heard and witnessed. Crackle. Dust. is my way of readdressing the balance and sharing stories of women from across the North and celebrating their resilience’.

 As part of the research Nadia will be listening and collecting stories from women until February 2019 and then inviting the women into rehearsals to help her shape how their experience is performed on stage.

‘So many women have contacted me with complete honesty in their words and I feel an incredible responsibility to represent their stories with care and empathy. I want women from all walks of life to see themselves reflected in the show, to share with us a celebration of the great things women can achieve and their resilience to overcoming the impossible’.

Crackle. Dust. is Company of Others’ first full length production in collaboration with Sound Designer Caro C, Set and Costume Designer Nicolai Hart Hansen, Lighting Designer Lucy Hansom and Performers Sophie Hutchinson, Susan Betts, Alicia Meehan, Emma Holt and Jenna Ann Nathan.

Company of Others is a story of success in itself. Artistic Director, Nadia Iftkhar, has been working with communities in the North East for over 10 years before founding Company of Others in 2016. During its inaugural year, the company was selected by Arts Council England to be awarded Elevate Funds in order to strengthen the organisation in recognition of Nadia’s important contribution to diversity and equality within the arts in the North.

Alex Croft, Creative Director at Kala Sangam said:

‘Bringing communities together, and ensuring people’s voices are heard, is central to everything we do at Kala Sangam so I’m delighted we’re presenting the premiere of this important new work here in Bradford. We’ve supported Company of Others throughout the project and it’s been incredible to see the words, experiences and memories of women from throughout Bradford’s communities brought to life. I think it’s going to be a moving, thought provoking, must-see piece of theatre.’

Do you have a story to tell? Nadia will be at Kala Sangam to listen to stories from women in Yorkshire who want to tell their stories in person, between 11am and 3pm on Friday 20th December 2018.  To book a slot or find out more about how to tell your story – email: nadia@companyofothers.org.uk or to share your experience anonymously, please post it to: Nadia Iftkhar (Company of Others), Kala Sangam Arts Centre, St Peter’s House, 1 Forster Square, Bradford, BD1 4TY.

 

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Celebrate a year of cultural creativity with Kala Sangam’s Pick & Mix

Pick MIx

A showcase of the best music, dance, theatre and spoken word created in Bradford in 2018.

On Saturday 15 December at 7.30pm, Kala Sangam presents Bradford Pick & Mix. The evening features work created at Kala Sangam over the last 12 months, alongside performances from fellow Bradford arts organisations Freedom Studios, Dance United Yorkshire, Mind the Gap and many more of the great arts organisations that call Bradford their home. Bradford Pick & Mix will give audiences the chance to experience a whole range of artforms – from rap to contemporary dance, hard-hitting theatre to moving poetry.

Kala Sangam’s Creative Director Alex Croft said:

“We take our role as being a hub for the arts really seriously at Kala Sangam so I’m absolutely delighted we’re finishing our season with a celebration of the amazing year we’ve all had in 2018. It feels like the arts sector is stronger than it’s ever been in Bradford at the moment, I think anyone joining us on the 15th will see why – it’s all the great work everyone has been creating!”

As well as high quality professional work, the evening also features two curtain raisers from local community groups. Phoenix Dance Theatre’s NO BOUNDS works with boys from across the city to develop new skills through contemporary dance. Working in partnership, Balbir Singh Dance Company and Kala Sangam run a weekly session at Community Works Centre in Barkerend, engaging young people through South Asian influenced dance.

Bradford Pick & Mix is the perfect introduction to the exciting creative scene in Bradford. Don’t miss your last chance to see some of the cultural highlights of 2018, share a glass of mulled wine or a mince pie, and join in the celebrations for what has been a fantastic year. Tickets for Bradford Pick & Mix at Kala Sangam on Saturday 15 December are on sale now at www.kalasangam.org/pick-and-mix or call 01274 303340.

The Cbeebies Christmas Show to UK Cinemas Thumbelina Live

For the first time ever UK audiences are invited to enjoy the popular Cbeebies Christmas show in cinemas this holiday season, laugh and sing along with your favourite Cbeebies stars and be part of a fabulous interactive show for all the family.

SA904517The much-anticipated annual CBeebies Christmas Show is coming to the big screen for a family friendly Christmas cinema experience in 2018. CBeebies’ favourite personalities are lined up to star in this unique adaptation of the original Hans Christian Andersen tale, Thumbelina, available in UK cinemas from the 15 December 2018.

The makers of Alice in Wonderland, A Christmas Carol and Snow Queen will delight audiences this year with the classic tale of Thumbelina and in addition cinema-goers will see an exclusive show, “Justin’s Countdown to Christmas” starring the much-loved Justin Fletcher (Something Special).

Produced by awarding winning BBC Children’s In House Productions, the show is set to deliver a colourful spectacle of music, dance and action packed comedy with a generous smattering of goodies and baddies. Thumbelina follows the adventures of a thumb-sized girl in an oversized world of woodland creatures and giant plants as she tries to find out the truth about her identity.

Born inside a flower, she marvels at the world around her but quickly realises she doesn’t know what, where or who she is. She has no name and is lost and alone, with only a dream to fly like a butterfly. She is drawn to the warmth and excitement of a nearby animal party where bugs, spiders, toads, and mice are celebrating the End of Summer and Start of Winter, but the party is not what it seems. Can Thumbelina find the strength to stand up for herself as the animals bicker over her and will she discover the truth about who she really is?

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The 60s influenced music will bring the whole show to life with new songs guaranteed to get the audience singing and dancing enough to raise the roof. The 2018 cast features many of CBeebies’ most popular actors and presenters including Justin Fletcher, Ben Faulks and Andy Day.

The UK premiere of Thumbelina in cinemas will be on December 9 and will be released in cinemas across the UK from the 15 December.

For tickets and more information visit www.cbeebieschristmasshow.com

 

 

In the City #IlluminateBradford

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We welcome Illuminate Bradford this weekend, experience three days of magical acts amazing performances, interactive installations and colourful street theatre.    See our amazing 3D video show projected onto City Hall then wander out and discover surprising happenings around the city centre. (30 Nov – 2 Dec: Fri 5-8.45pm, Sat 4-8.45pm, Sun 4-8.15pm.)

Make a day of it, explore the city, go shopping, have a bite to eat…. create wonderful memories,  illuminated brilliantly.

Our top highlights

wur bradford‏ – Join us @BradfordMarkets Oastler this Saturday 1st December for a Meet The Traders guided walk for #SmallBizSatUK. Places free but limited, email to book!

‘Made Bradford’ is delighted to be hosting its first arts and crafts night market at the Illuminate Bradford 2018! Stalls of handmade goodies produced by local artists, crafters, designers and producers.  The creative traders offer a wide variety of products including art, fashion, jewellery, accessories and homewares as well as a great range of food.

CreativeEye2018‏ – Hey, photographers a meetup and chat all things creative, images, photography at Bread and Roses, North Parade.  Saturday 1st Dec 1.00pm-3.00pm Drop in and have coffee then #IlluminateBradford

Impressions Gallery‏ at City Park – We can’t wait for #IlluminateBradford this weekend! Look out for eyeSay, a dynamic projection on the side of Impressions Gallery all about Bradford, from 5pm Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

Visit Bradford‏ – Look out for our new #SparklingBradford Snapchat filter tomorrow at #IlluminateBradford. Don’t forget to share your selfies with us. (Friday, Saturday & Sunday between 5pm-8pm) #Bradford

TheBroadwayBradford‏ – This Saturday we will play host to a very special visitor, as Father Christmas himself visits the centre to have breakfast with the children of Bradford in the first instalment of #BreakfastWithSanta (Booking necessary)

The Snowman and The Snowdog… The Broadway welcomes everyone’s favourite Christmas characters The Snowman™ and The Snowdog. Meet them at intervals throughout the day this Saturday 1 December 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm Free event, no booking required.

Light Cinema Bradford‏ – He’s mean, he’s green and he’s back on our screens! Don’t miss Benedict Cumberbatch voicing #TheGrinch for just £7.99 for an adult ticket over the weekend.

Food & Drink

Our Taste of Bradford Trail has something for everyone and recommends some of the best places in Bradford to get your food fix.  Bradford is home to delicious and exciting options, from the modern to the traditional, Bradford can cater for you.

Sunbridge Wells Nr. City Park – It’s all looking wonderful here @BearsPantry Get Yourselves down for some delicious food options only in Sunbridge Wells.

Brick Box Rooms at Ivegate – If you’re heading to #IlluminateBradford this weekend, call in at our twinkly little bar on Ivegate in #Bradford for some mulled wine when you’re done, or get it to take out so you can sip it while you watch the lights at @CityParkBD


We love seeing your pictures so tag us in @visitbradford or hashtag #IlluminateBradford

For the full listing of things to do in December in Bradford & District take a look at our events calendar. Find the best Sparkling Bradford & district Christmas events and festive activities including, pantos and Santa visits.

What’s On December | Visit #SparklingBradford

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Wrap up warm, it’s December and there’s a packed calendar of events in Bradford & District. Time to have fun!

Our Hotpick!  Illuminate Bradford returns til Sunday 2 December.  A kaleidoscope of colour will transform the city centre, with a dazzling digital animation beamed onto the facade of City Hall.  The Imaginarium will take you on a magical journey under the sea, into space and through a mysterious fantasy land.

December is the most magical month to visit Bradford & District, with lots of festive things to do. Feel the Christmas spirit in Saltaire with the village becoming a “Living Advent Calendar”. In the run up to the big day, 24+ window displays will be lit up on consecutive evenings throughout the village.

Visit beautiful Haworth at Christmas in the heart of Brontë Country every weekend in December until Christmas Eve to experience magical Christmas festivities. The picturesque cobbled Main Street is adorned with fairy lights and pretty shop windows. Whether you’re searching for less ordinary Christmas gifts or unique decorations for your tree or home, you’ll discover something special here.

Bolling Hall is a striking backdrop for the ‘Winter Wonderland’ on Saturday 1 December.  Come along and enjoy the festive season.  Experience the Hall at Christmas, meet Santa in the surroundings of this historic hall and visit the market stalls in the grounds.

Have a Dickens of a good time at Clayton’s Dickensian Market on Saturday 1 December.  This popular market returns on Saturday 1 December enjoy the market stalls, live music and a jolly street organ, a wealth of festive fayre, traditional sweets and hot spiced drinks.

For a magical, thrilling, uplifting Christmas time experience visit Thornton Christmas Tree Festival at St. James Parish Church (1 – 8 December).  See a wonderful display of over 50 trees decorated by local groups!  Whilst you relax in the surroundings and admire the beautifully decorated church, the younger ones may like to visit our spectacular Santa’s Grotto.

A Steampunk Market is taking place at Bradford Industrial Museum (2 & 3 December). At the market, there will be a selection of traders, artists, and stalls. There will also be steam powered mill engines, vintage vehicles, birds of prey and a vintage tea room.

Discover ghostly goings on after hours this December on a Christmas Ghost Tour of  Bradford City Hall. Bradford Civic Society invite you to discover the spooky secrets of Bradford’s beautiful city hall at this special nocturnal tour of the Victorian police cells and law courts.  The evening will culminate with mince pies, mulled wine on Wednesday 5 December.

Gather your favourite people, dust off your Christmas jumpers and join us at Ilkley Christmas Teepees for festive family fun, toast some marshmallows on the fire pit, check in with Father Christmas, slurp some mulled wine and grab some festive grub.

Youngsters are in for a magical treat at Shipley Glen Tramway this Christmas with rides up and down a decorated winter wonderland.  Meet Santa and receive a gift, plus a trip on the tram, every weekend in December leading up to Christmas.

Hop aboard a magical carpet and fly to Old Peking in this year’s must-see festive show Aladdin at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford.  This year’s panto will be packed with a lamp full of laughter, stunning music and dancing, plenty of audience participation and jaw dropping special effects.

Discover beautiful and special gifts at Ilkley Arts Christmas Fair at the historic Ilkley Manor House (30 November til 2 December).  From gorgeous jewellery and ceramics to the loveliest glass ware, textiles, hand turned wood, metal work sculptures and of course paintings, prints and Christmas cards, there will be something to tempt everyone.

Experience Christmas at the Castle, Cliffe Castle Museum and Park will be decked with Christmas decorations and cheer with entertainment inside and out for all to enjoy on Sunday 9 December.

Celebrate the festive season with Christmas movies on the big-screen, at the National Science & Media Museum, Picturehouse. All aboard! The Polar Express is back in Bradford on 22 to 24 December. The Nutcracker sweeps the Bolshoi stage (23 December) for two hours of enchantment and magic. The Nutcracker remains a treasure not to be missed! On Christmas Eve, one of the most popular and enduring films ever made, Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is presented in a stunning restoration.

After Christmas join the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, sit back and relax on the ‘Mince Pie Special’ and enjoy a leisurely journey through the winter countryside. See the stunning stations transformed with an amazing Christmas display, real coal fires and gas lights, creating a magical glow as your train rolls in.

For the full listing of things to do in December in Bradford & District take a look at our events calendar. Find the best Sparkling Bradford & district Christmas events and festive activities including, pantos and Santa visits.

 


 

 

A cracker of a Christmas present: BBC to premiere festive family favourites Zog and The Midnight Gang in Bradford

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Families across England will get a first look at some of the BBC’s cracking Christmas content this December.

Free screenings of family favourites Zog and The Midnight Gang will be held across the country – giving kids a chance to see some of the biggest Christmas TV shows before anyone else. Nine cities around England will host the premieres, including Bradford.

Families attending will be among the first to see the much-loved stories brought to life on the big screen. Zog is the latest animated adaptation of a Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler picture book. The characters are voiced by a star-studded cast led by Sir Lenny Henry and Game of Thrones star Kit Harington. It is made by Magic Light Pictures, producers of other Donaldson and Scheffler adaptations including The Gruffalo, Stick Man and The Highway Rat.

Families will also get a chance to see the latest adaptation of a David Walliams book. The Midnight Gang stars David himself and tells the story of a group of kids who go on adventures at night.

The Children’s Christmas Premiere Tour will start in Newcastle on Saturday 15 December and finish in York on 23 December, spreading festive cheer across the country in the run up to the big day.

As well as a sneak peek of Zog and The Midnight Gang, families will also be able to walk the red carpet and pose for photos with famous props from some of the BBC’s biggest shows.

In Newcastle, Sheffield, Bradford and Liverpool the screenings will take place inside a specially built BBC Christmas cinema. And in some locations, there will be special screenings for school groups.

Helen Thomas, Director of BBC England says: “These are two hugely popular children’s stories brought to life brilliantly by the BBC. I hope people will apply for free tickets so they can see them before anyone else. We want it to be a special experience for families ahead of a special time of year. Bringing content and exciting events directly to our audiences is part of our push to better serve communities across England.”

Tickets to this year’s screenings will be available through a ballot which will be open from Tuesday 27 November for seven days via the BBC Shows and Tours website:

The Midnight Gang is adapted from the bestseller by popular children’s author David Walliams. It tells the story of a young boy called Tom who finds himself in hospital after being hit on the head by a cricket ball. On the children’s ward he discovers the Midnight Gang, a secret group of children who go on midnight adventures in the hospital making dreams come true.

David Walliams appears in The Midnight Gang as the headmaster. He is joined by Alan Davies as the scary porter, Haydn Gwynne as the kid-hating matron and Amit Shah as the slightly nervous Dr Luppers, while Tom is played by Oliver Zetterstrom. The Midnight Gang is made by King Bert Productions.

Sir Lenny Henry leads an all-star cast in Magic Light Pictures’ new animation for BBC One, Zog.

This enchanting version of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s beloved book also features the voices of Tracey Ullman and Kit Harington in the story of a keen but accident-prone dragon who gets himself into mischief whilst learning how to fly, roar, breathe fire and fight knights in his first four years at Dragon School. Hugh Skinner provides the voice of Zog and Patsy Ferran is Princess Pearl.

Monday 17 December City Park, Bradford 4pm – Zog
5pm – The Midnight Gang

The ticket ballot will close on Monday 3 December.

November Instagram Round-Up | Visit Bradford

Our favourite happy and inspirational images tagged @visitbradford #visitbradford on Instagram for the month of November.


The perfect city at night pictures – Bradford is starting to illuminate

 

shakamini – The future is bright at City Park, Bradford

shakamini  – The Alhambra Theatre at Night

LOOK OUT! for #IlluminateBradford (30 November – 2nd December 2018).  The Illuminate Bradford Festival is a magical gigantic animated light show beamed onto key Bradford City Centre landmarks, including the magnificent City Hall


City views glowing in the autumn sun

jordan.din  Sunsets always make everyday life look magical 🌅🤩(Market Street, Bradford.)

jordan.din –  Definitely my favourite building in Bradford. I see it every day and can’t get enough of it. 🤩 (The Wool Exchange, Bradford)


Timeless black & white photography

robfordphotography – Wibsey Park…….

fatfoodclub – Taken from Roberts Park in Saltire 📍

homefamilylife – Lest we forget🌺🌺 ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.’ The City of Bradford


Full steam ahead in Haworth 

jamiedobsonphotographer – Just standing outside a shop, waiting to be discovered. #Steampunkgirl from #Haworth today.

 

hobotomphoto – 78022 pulling its first passenger service in 17 years, just leaving Oxenhope on the @worthvalleyrailway


Make the most of this colourful season by heading outdoors

tobyandmay  Autumn in my neighbourhood… Eldwick

adil_rafiq –  Took my new lens out to catch the last of the autumn colours 🍂 at Chellow Dene Reservoir. 


Let’s inspire you! – Whether you’re visiting for the day or staying with us a little longer

youcantakethegirloutofbradford – Before the rains came in, Salts Mill. Glorious example of Bradford’s Victorian mill architecture and UNESCO world heritage site #Saltaire


Looking forward to #SparklingBradford in December! Follow @visitBradford and tag us in your top post on Instagram #visitbradford with a chance to feature in our ‘Round-Up’ of the month. 

Latest programme announcement for the Yorkshire Games Festival, 6-10 February 2019 in Bradford

Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail swells speaker list for Yorkshire Games Festival’s Return in February 2019

IO Interactive and MachineGames big hitters also make the line up!

With just a few months before the Yorkshire Games Festival returns for its third run at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, organisers are excited to unveil Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail as the latest esteemed speaker to join the event’s growing line up.

Ismail and Vlambeer have become household names amongst fans of indie games across the world, with celebrated releases like Ridiculous Fishing, Luftrausers, Nuclear Throne, and, of course, Super Crate Box having made major waves during the last decade.

Ismail is also known for his frank honesty when public speaking, having stolen the show at events all over the globe by giving forthright accounts of the studio’s experience within the indie scene.

At the Yorkshire Games Festival (6 – 10 February 2019), Ismail is set to give a motivational talk about independent development, with more details held back to be revealed on the day.

Also making the line up is Mette Andersen, a level designer at IO Interactive, developers of the recently released HITMAN 2. Naturally, Andersen’s topic of choice will be focused on the level design in the Hitman series, specifically discussing the art of designing them as “social spaces”. Adding to that, Hwa Young Jung – a multidisciplinary artist working across the arts, culture and science, facilitating collaborative workshops and projects – will take to the stage to talk about ‘art games’ as an alternative career path.

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Finally, Yorkshire Games Festival can announce a currently unrevealed speaker from MachineGames – the studio best known for its work on the Wolfenstein series – will also be speaking, with further details regarding just who will be taking to the stage set to be unveiled in the new year.

 “The games industry has grown into a space that is open for anyone that is willing to put their mind to it,” says Ismail. “In visiting events like the Yorkshire Games Festival, I get to share the fascinating stories and experiences in game development from both my career as a developer and as a traveller. I’m excited to participate in the week-long celebration of games, to share what I’ve learned, and to learn from the creators and audiences attending.”

Other speakers previously announced include the legendary Jeff Minter of Llamasoft fame, Broken Sword supremo and industry stalwart Charles Cecil MBE,  Media Molecule’s Gem Abdeen, and Brjann Sigurgeirsson of Swedish development powerhouse Image & Form, known for its beautiful 2D action-platformers Steamworld Dig and Steamworld Heist.

For developers, Yorkshire Games Festival can also announce it has begun canvassing for games to exhibit at the Northern Games Showcase, with the remit being to show off to best the north of the UK has to offer to the festival’s throng of attendees. If you’d like your game to be part of the mix, please contact Jack.Wentworth-Weedon@scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk.

For those looking to make their way to the National Science and Media Museum next February, tickets for the main event are now on sale. Passes for YGF: Games Talks are £80/£70 (full pass) or £40/£35 (day pass).

WiFi Wars. 12.11.17

The five-day event, designed to provide a content rich schedule celebrating games culture, design and production, will include:

  • YGF: Game Talks, featuring a stellar line up of esteemed and knowledgeable speakers with more big names to be revealed in the coming months. Charles Cecil will cast light on his career and the next phase in Revolution’s quest to make groundbreaking adventure games. Brjann Sigurgeirsson will talk about his years working on the award-winning Steamworld series, Rami Ismail of Vlambeer will give a valuable insight into the world of indie games development, Mette Andersen from IO Interactive will talk about designing levels in the Hitman series as “social spaces”, Hwa Young Jung will discuss ‘art games’ as an alternative career path, and Gem Abdeen will give an invaluable insight into the imagination behind Media Molecule, and how the studio created LittleBigPlanet, Tearaway, and its much anticipated forthcoming PS4 project Dreams
  • Respected journalists, formerly of The Guardian, Jordan Erica Webber and Keith Stuart are set to make a very welcome return to introduce key speakers and compere question and answer sessions during the YGF: Game Talks
  • Young Developers Conference (in partnership with BAFTA) focusing on 11-18 year olds, featuring free and accessible events for young game developers including expert advice from the team at BAFTA Game and the BAFTA Game Awards
  • Let’s Play! – Family weekend offering workshops, game demos and live shows, promoting intergenerational gameplay. Events include The Incredible Playable Show – an interactive video game comedy show where the audience take to the stage, become human buttons, take on the Power Rangers, zap each other with barcode scanners, and play Pac-Man using inflatable toys. Alternatively they can sit back and watch their friends literally become cogs in a hilarious machine! Tickets on sale now
  • A YGF pass also allows businesses and enterprises to attend Up Your Game, a two-day business matchmaking event organised by Enterprise Europe Network. Up Your Game facilitates collaboration, ideas, innovation and investment across business sectors, and will include themes on animation, games, motion graphics, special effects, as well as augmented reality and virtual reality

2019 will see the Yorkshire Games Festival build upon its remit to celebrate games culture and introduce a new generation to the science and art of games development. Look out for further details in the coming months. #YGF19.

A fusion of popping, acrobatics, contemporary and classical Indian dance comes to Kala Sangam

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On Thursday 29 November at 7.30pm, Kamala Devam Company brings their first UK tour of Ankusha and Other Mysteries to Kala Sangam. Kamala Devam Company explores the continuum between western and Indian aesthetics, themes and movement forms, with inspirations ranging from Devam’s lifetime of experience in contemporary dance and Bharata Natyam (classical South Indian dance) to the explosive qualities of popping and acrobatics.

With three distinctive solos, an explosive trio and a multi award-winning dance film, Kamala Devam Company seeks answers to unanswerable questions: Does fate or free will have a greater hand in shaping the course of our lives? How do we define ourselves without limiting our potential? And in a battle against ourselves, who will come out as victor?

Ankusha and Other Mysteries showcases the company’s signature works Ankusha and Babushka vs. Renaissance Man – a new solo by female popper and locker Kamila Lewandowska. Alongside Devam’s collaboration on the acclaimed dance film The Art of Defining Me – made in collaboration with producer Seeta Patel and Director of Photography Maria Åkesson; and a new classical Indian dance solo Jati Swara Leela, accompanied by exceptional recorded music from cellist Danny Keane and percussionist Pirashanna Thevarajah with Pushkala.

Kamala Devam Artistic Director from Kamala Devam Company said:

“As this is the first UK tour for my company, I’m so proud to bring what is essentially a retrospective of my work from the last 5 years to such vibrant, dynamic venues across the UK,” says Devam. “Through this evening, I hope British audiences will appreciate classical Indian dance, acrobatic contemporary dance, dance film and music – all brought to you by artists who are celebrated in their fields. A big shoutout to Arts Council England for supporting this cross-genre, cross-cultural work!”

Don’t miss the chance to see a fantastic fusion of cross-cultural dance from some of the best dancers from across the UK. Tickets for Ankusha and Other Mysteries at Kala Sangam on Thursday 29 November are on sale now at www.kalasangam.org/ankusha-mysteries or call 01274 303340.

Ankusha and Other Mysteries is generously supported by Arts Council England, Akademi South Asian Dance and Kala Sangam Arts Centre, Bradford.

Local women take centre stage at WOW – Women of the World Bradford!

WOW – Women of the World festival is returning to Bradford on the 17 – 18 November, which celebrates and recognises the achievements of women and girls. A well as nationally and internationally recognised trailblazers, Bradfordian women will be taking centre stage at the festival’s workshops, debates and performances.

The WOW ​ ​Women of the Worldfestival, founded in 2010 by Southbank Centre’s previous Artistic Director, Jude Kelly CBE, is the biggest gathering of women and girls across the globe, reaching over 1.5 million people in 20 cities across five continents.

Southbank Centre has expanded its global WOW network of festivals to create nine new WOWs in five cities across the UK, of which Bradford was the first Northern city. These nine festivals are being funded by Spirit of 2012. Happening on the same date as WOW Rio de Janeiro, 2018 marks the centenary of female suffrage, and the festival programme touches on a range of different issues pertinent to women and girls in Bradford and beyond.

WOW Women of the WorldBradfordincludes an line-up of over 45 different talks, discussions, performances and workshops; all of which feature speakers from Bradford. The programme is inspired by a series of ‘Thinkins’ in March of this year, where Bradford residents and communities came together to share ideas about what they wanted to see at the festival.

As well as nationally renowned artists and activists such as poet Kate Tempest and model Munroe Bergdorf, a diverse range of Bradford based activists, community figures, performers and young people are all featured throughout the programme.

With events covering a range of hard hitting issues from Body Confidence to Everyday Activism and Environmental Racism, women from Bradford will be leading the debate. Julie Longden and members of Allerton’s Hope Rising Action Group will be speaking out against poverty and running workshops at the festival as well as Campaign Bootcamp’s Sue Balcomb, who will be leading a session teaching people how to be activists in their communities. Kat Pemberton, who is using makeup to change attitudes towards disability.

Bradfordian women of all ages are involved in the festival and teenage activists from Speaker’s Corner Collective will be the ones leading the discussion on issues such as mental health, self image on panels like I am Perfect As Meand throughout the programme.  This year’s WOWsers, a group of 15 – 18 year old volunteers, are also supporting the running of the event and have created the campaign which will form the basis of the festival’s Schools Day, focusing on overcoming familial and societal pressures an reaching aspirations. 

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Julie Longden ​ ​– Activist and member of Bradford’s Hope Rising Action Group  said: “WOW Bradford is important because it gives the opportunity for local people to share their stories. It’s essential to give women of colour and working class people a platform to speak about the issues that they’re facing on their own terms, and people need to hear what a range of different women have to say.”

Madeyah Khan – Teenage activist and member of Speaker’s Corner Collective  said: “WOW Bradford is important for women in Bradford as it helps ensure that the opinions of everyone, regardless of their protected characteristics, can be shared and heard. I am Perfect As Me, the talk I am speaking on, demonstrates how WOW festivals are beneficial for all women because they help us talk about taboo issues like mental health, self image and family relationships, in a positive space.”

Kat Pemberton – Vlogger and speaker on Makeup and Mesaid:​ ​“There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK and as a disabled woman I feel that it is imperative for our voices to be heard. I am beyond grateful to WOW for giving me this opportunity and allowing my voice to be heard amongst the many powerful and inspiring women at WOW Bradford.”

Sue Balcomb – Campaigns Trainer at Campaign Bootcamp, leading Everyday Activism workshop said: “It’s a dream job for me to be able to share ideas and techniques that help people build campaigns at this year’s WOW Bradford. I’m hoping to get women fired up to make change.”

Jude Kelly Southbank Centre’s previous Artistic Director and WOW – Women of the World Founder and Director said: WOW – Women of the World Festivals are designed to be agents of change in their host cities, providing a space for women to participate in discussion, education and collaboration on the issues that most impact their lives. Launched in 2010 in London, WOW Festivals have engaged and inspired more than one and a half million women across five continents and cities in Australia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, the UK, and at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. WOW is the biggest gathering of women and girls across the globe, and I’m so pleased that Bradford is part of this story for change.”

Full programme details are available here