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Gitanjali meets graffiti

Posted on July 28, 2011


akademisongofthecitySong of the City, Akademi’s latest work, puts classical Indian dance against a backdrop of 21st-century London. Created for an underground space, it will be premiered at the Vault, Southwark Playhouse on August 5–6, followed by a UK tour.


Song of the City marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore, poet, musician and social reformer, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. His poetry, novels, dance-dramas and essays addressed both political and personal topics. His works included Gitanjali (Song Offerings), an excerpt of which was quoted at the founding of Indian independence in 1947, and the national anthems of both India and Bangladesh.


Akademi’s new work combines dance, music, film and text to celebrate and interpret Tagore’s works. It explores the dualities of light and dark, west and east, self and other, with three city people falling in and out of tune with their environment. The choreography is by Ash Mukherjee, with music by clarinettist Arun Ghosh. Tagore’s songs will be translated from the original Bengali by William Radice.


To book tickets, see or call the box office on 020 7407 0234.


Picture: Left to right: Gian Luca Loddo, Kamala Devam and Kim Amundsen 

Photograph: © Pete Schiazza

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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