XTRAX Showcase 2005
30 Bird Productions Majnoun (theatre)
Iran: no booze, no sex, no techno? Majnoun blasts the Western image of Iran through the roof in a surreal and comic collision of images and scenes exposing the relationship between Iran and the West, tradition and modernity, women and the veil. A soundscape of Iranian and Western music, a non-narrative structure, and bi-lingual performance (Farsi and English) reflect the fragmented results of modernisation that swept Iran from the 1920s up to the Islamic revolution.
40 x 10 Carnival Consortium (carnival) Music, Myths and Magic carnival development project
Four carnival organisations ï¿½ Bridgwater Carnival, Manchester School of Samba, Nostalgia Carnival Club and Masquerade 2000 – have come together in a formal consortium (40 x 10 Carnival Consortium) in order to develop a unique collaborative project. Live music, dance, spectacular costumes and floats combine in an unmissable carnival parade.
Abram Wilson (music)
Music to stir the soul, free the mind and move the feet. Raised in New Orleans, Abram Wilson is the hottest young trumpeter and vocalist to cross the Atlantic in decades, and puts the dance back into jazz, incorporating hip hop, RnB and New Orleans grooves. Abram’s debut album, Jazz Warrior (DUNECD011) has received rave reviews from the critics and he’s widely tipped to follow in the award-winning footsteps of label mate, Soweto Kinch.
Akrasi We Are In The Future (music)
Akrasi present We Are In The Future ï¿½ a strong, eclectic and diverse debut LP on Zero-k productions. Akrasi features vocalist and songwriter Akrasi, composer and programmer Patrick, sound controller Devon Shaw, and trumpet player Kevin Davy, accompanied by zero-k visuals. Live performances include breaks, roots, and b-line culture.
‘Expect mutations of dub, breakbeat, ragga and electronica, accompanied by unifying lyrics’
Angika Bhakti (dance)
Angika are a leading British Indian dance company and their work is committed to regenerating the rich vocabulary of classical Bharata Natyam dance with a contemporary approach. Bhakti, their new work is powered by the concentrated vitality and sculptural geometry of Angika’s dance. Angika communicate through Bhakti a startlingly powerful and imaginative interpretation of the beauty of the human experience of devotion. Bhakti is performed to an exciting original score composed by India’s well-known exponents of electronica, MIDIval PunditZ.
Anurekha Ghosh & Company Ruins (dance)
“The beautiful world is in ruins. Rarely, time alone makes ruins”. Anurekha Ghosh & Company perform a ravishing display of a mixture of North Indian Kathak dance, contemporary dance and music, which is beautiful and mesmerising. In this production the internationally celebrated choreographers Shobana Jeyasingh, Kumudini Lakhia and Anurekha Ghosh investigate the three different impacts of the state of ruins of the world.
Chi2 are Chinese Brit-born violinist/composers Sarah and Liz Liew. Their sound is a cross-pollination of their Chinese roots and own individual music sensibility. Described as ï¿½Double violin assault specialistsï¿½ Chi2 fuse electronic beats and effects with melodies and improvisations on both electric and Chinese violins and keyboards. Their dynamic live show combines melodic banter with effects, plus a stunning visual show. Although now concentrating on their career as Chi2 they are part of Moby’s backing band and have played/recorded with the likes of Lamb, Barry Adamson and Goldfrapp amongst others.
Coded Language The Voice (spoken word / music)
A collaboration between writer, Rommi Smith, visual artist, Mat Lazenby and Musicians, Hightone Productions, The Voice explores the social, cultural, spiritual and political significance of the human voice. The Voice is a journey of questions; its pathway an examination and exploration of the cultural and political significance of voice. Drawing inspiration from Blues, Jazz, Gospel and Electro music forms, the piece interweaves poetry based on stories from diverse cultural origins and pulls together a celebration of parallel metaphors.
Collective Artistes Lion and the Jewel (theatre)
Rival suitors, an ambitious young teacher and a rich village elder pursue the local beauty. Native beliefs and modern ways clash into a tapestry of ribald rivalry, tantalizing intrigue and robust expectations as the whole village eagerly awaits the outcome. The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka is a classic play within the Nigerian literary canon A one hour sonorous extract from the play will be presented in the showcase.
Creative Origins The Word Temple (spoken word / drama/music)
The Word Temple is a hybrid of talent and creativity, investigating the musicology of the spoken word. It will bring together the most talented writers, rappers and spoken word artists, for a lyrical exploration and vocalised performance in search of an audio visual environment. 6 lyricists, including Nolan Weeks, Segun and Michelle Scally Clark, will work alongside musicians including DJ Amplified, guitarist Fidel and others. Featuring breaks, beats and visuals, Amani Naphtali introduces us to a pulsating new theatrical genre.
Dennis Rollins Griots t’ Garage – A Musical History of The African Diaspora (music)
Drawing on his many musical experiences, and extensive research, Dennis presents Griots t’ Garage – A Musical History of the African Diaspora, his personal tribute to over 500 years of Black music in which he documents the path of peoples and time: the horrors of transportation and slavery; field work songs; the developments of the Blues and Jazz and onwards through Samba, Soul and Reggae, to the funky, urban Hip-hop and Garage grooves of today.
Francesca Beard Chinese Whispers (theatre / spoken word)
Chinese Whispers combines love and linguistic limbo dancing into a fun-sized hour of poetic dim-sum. Journey to a world where issues of cultural identity are settled by a fight between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a Hungry Ghost Chinese Ancestor, as Francesca Beard reinterprets modern life through her trademark acerbic wit. Written and performed by Francesca Beard. Commissioned and developed by BAC and Apples & Snakes.
Fusing Naked Beats Digital Asia (music)
A live set from Fusing Naked Beats involving DJ, MC, Tablas and keyboards under the title Digital Asia which takes Eastern and Western cultures and roots and fuses them. As leader DJ Asif says ï¿½The UK ï¿½ is a melting pot of cultures which is constantly evolving and is a great source of new ideas. I tend to look at musical styles from all over the world, not just Asian or Arabic… Diversity is the key to creativity.
‘Pure uncorrupted talent’
Grace Ndiritu The Fall of Eve (live art / video installation)
Some say Eve was the first (black) female and mother of mankind, therefore her degeneration into domestic slavery is of up most importance. Hence The Fall of Eve looks at the portrayal of black women during the first part of the twentieth century. My purpose as an artist is to rewrite Black history through the immediacy of Performance Video Art. The Fall of Eve is an attempt to give back, what has been taken from those who lack power: their dignity.
Gurdev Singh The Waves of Indian Strings (music)
The waves of Indian Strings brings an exciting range of melodies and rhythms on Sarod, Dilruba and Tarshehnai by Gurdev Singh accompanied on Tabla by Sanju Sahai and NavinderPal Singh. The Sarod is an extremely demanding instrument to handle, mastered by only a handful of players in these regions. It is capable of an extraordinary range of sounds, from haunting sweetness to dazzling speed and power.
Hip Hop Collective Heroes (dance)
Heroes is an electrifying mixture of full throttle, maximum velocity Hip Hop dance and a mythic urban legend, told in the theatrical style of comic book adventures. The dancers astound with their extraordinary virtuosity and daring acrobatics, drawing on their expertise in a range of Hip Hop styles from the staccato isolations of Locking to the phenomenal gymnastics and athleticism of Breaking and the sexy groove of Nu Skool as well as body Popping.
Juliet Ellis The Meeting Place (live art / film)
She is a woman dressed in red, on stage she disappears and reappears on film, she is a sleeper, she is caught wandering between waking and dreaming, she is looking back unable to return. She is searching in the dark for traces of light. A highly visual work using video, a stunning sound-scape and live performance, The Meeting Place conveys complex and contradictory information that disturbs our perception and subsequently calls into question our understanding of the self.
Kali Theatre Company Calcutta Kosher by Shelley Silas (theatre)
If the past is another country, where is home? Two sisters return to their crumbling family home to discover a long hidden secret that forces them to re-examine their relationship with their mother and the reality of their lives. Set in the Indian Jewish community, this funny and moving play, examines how family and culture, time and distance, influence our sense of who we are.
‘ A gem that glows in the dark’
Kazuko Hohki Evidence for the Existence of Borrowers (live art / installation / theatre)
For the past two years, Kazuko and colleagues at the Borrowers International Network have been working hard, promoting cultural exchange between Borrowers and human beans through their website. Now, BIN come to Manchester to host a special interactive installation and presentation which explores the unique world and culture of the small people who live under the floorboards.
Kevin Haynes Grupo Elegua (music)
Kevin Haynes Grupo Elegua is a band that performs Jazz music and traditional folkloric music from Cuba/Nigeria/Trinidad/Brazil. We bring these music art forms together to create our own style of Afro jazz or traditional folkloric Afro Cuban and Nigerian Yoruba music with modern jazz harmonies that comes out of the schools of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Steve Colman, Pharaoh Sanders, Abbilona Lazaro Ros, Fela Kuti, Irekere. With a mix of narration and Yoruba chants and projection images.
Kwesi Johnson Single Reflex (dance / physical theatre)
Kwesi Johnson weaves layers of the unexpected with physical theatre, street dance, Boogaloo/Poppin techniques and spy camera technology, to create a piece that bristles with provocative imagery and ricochets between the real and surreal. Single Reflex is original, stimulating and relevant, the piece subtly explores the effects of trying to reach a level of perfection, for that all important date.
‘Bringing the best dance/theatre to the stage that London has seen in eons’
Lemn Sissay Something Dark (theatre / spoken word)
There is great light in Something Dark. It is a journey of the soul and a triumph of the heard. Lemn Sissay spent the first seventeen years of his life in care and his entire adult life searching for his family. The search revealed the secrets and lies of an incredible past. Like all compelling stories, it is one that must be told and one that must be heard. Written & performed by Lemn Sissay, Directed by John E McGrath, Music by Jim Parris, Designed by Emma Wee; Produced & commissioned by Apples & Snakes and Contact in association with BAC.
Mzantsi Dance A Period Piece (dance / theatre)
Five irritated women share provocative and hilarious tales about a period of time in their lives. A juxtaposition of edgy contemporary dance, funky afro-fusion, spoken word and solo violin. Choreographed and performed by Jane Sekonya alongside a multi-talented cast including Nkechi-Da-LyricL. Directed by Hip Hop theatre pioneer Jonzi D.
‘ï¿½It is different, passionate and accessible.’
Diana Evans – The Stage Review
Nzi Dada Ritual Imaginaire (street / music)
A collision between Bantu culture and contemporary performance, Ritual Imaginaire is an extraordinary outdoor show that oscillates between fierce performance and mystical ceremony. Using ethnic percussion instruments alongside contemporary funk, jazz, and electronics Nzi Dada combine live music and powerful ritual with atmospheric lighting, sampled sound and sculpture. Nzi Dada is a collaboration between Manchester-based bass player Jim Parris and Cameroonian performance artist, vocalist Xumo Nounjio.
Raga Nova (music)
Raga Nova is an Indian music ensemble featuring Dharambir Singh on sitar, Jesse Bannister on alto saxophone, Bhupinder Singh on tabla, R.N. Prakash on ghatam and Giuliano Modareli on guitar. This distinctive ensemble formed five years ago as a new initiative to bring Indian classical music to audiences in a more accessible form. It is unique in its combination of sitar and saxophone, and its rare combination of North and South Indian percussion.
Rasa Curry Tales (theatre)
Behind every curry there is a story and in every cook there is a character …Spicy stories. Masala mania. Five cooks reveal surprising secrets and unexpected dreams whilst making mouth-watering curries to share with the audience. Western style text and story telling combine with live cooking and a performance inspired by the Kutthu theatre style of South India. Written and performed by Rani Moorthy. Directed by Linda Marlowe.
Reality Productions ’oUo’ ï¿½ maan (theatre)
- Jackie is one woman but she has four identities. But what is her choice? Is she black? Disabled? A ï¿½real’ woman? Sexual? Who will she be? Can she be? ‘oUo’ ï¿½ maan is one woman’s journey through the maze of disability, cultural and sexual politics, the culture of labelling and boxing people without their knowledge or consent. It’s a black comedy about identity, infatuation and inner strength. oUo’ ï¿½ maan is a brutally honest, painfully witty production.
RJC The Dancical (dance)
The Dancical is a new dance performance concept from RJC Dance, bringing audiences a unique 3D Cinematic live dance experience. The Dancical combines RJC’s trademark blend of highly engaging and charismatic performance with an explosion of physical and rhythmical dance styles, new music and ground breaking 3D film projection. Reggae, Jazz and Contemporary dance styles influence the company’s choreographic approach.
Robin Deacon Colin Powell (live art / spoken word)
Robin Deacon presents Colin Powell, a lecture performance that throws an ironic spin on the life and times of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell. This filmic performance presents itself as a twisted biography of comparison, exploring the increasingly unnatural order of things embodied by the likes of Colin Powell, and some science fiction theories as to why Powell looks the way he does, and acted the way he did (the two are connected), with Deacon asking himself – is this really a self portrait?
Sakoba Dance Theatre Aseju (dance)
A powerful, passionate and unique piece of dance theatre featuring Sakoba’s 6 dancers & 3 musicians. Through a sweeping narrative, using dance, music and song, that takes the audience on a journey across continents and time, Aseju deals with the common day to day emotions of anger, frustration, jealousy and revenge that all human beings encounter.
‘this new choreography is strong on narrative and emotionï¿½; ï¿½exceptional, exciting, palpably inspiring’
The Stage, 2004
Seckou Keita Acoustic Vibes (music)
This young UK-based artist and virtuoso of the Kora comes this time with an extraordinary four-piece band that brings together the best of Europe and Africa in one acoustic show and forthcoming album. Performing with Juldeh Camara, one of the best riti players (one-stringed Malian violin), Italian double bassist Davide Mantovani, and Gambian percussionist on congas and calabash Surahata Susso, the foursome have created something truly new and exciting.
‘…Seckou Keita, an inspired exponent of the Kora, who can make the West African harp-lute sound like a small band.’
Shamshad Khan Megalomaniac (spoken word / poetry / theatre)
ï¿½When I rule the world I decide who wears the crown.ï¿½ In the struggle for domination Shamshad flexes her poetic muscles. A flick of the wrist, an ego trip. A strutting performance with live beatbox, music tracks, trigger technology. Do we want it? How far will we go for it? Challenging our views about authority and control. Megalomaniac is a salute to the use and abuse of power. A commanding new show by the queen of the word Shamshad Khan. Direction Mark Whitelaw (Glee Club) music Basil Clarke and Jason Singh (Nashini) movement input Penny Collinson (Forecast).
Shane Shambhu Impermanence (dance)
Shane Shambhu, a British born Bharatanatyam dancer explores the contrast between classical Bharatanatyam and a more fluid contemporary movement vocabulary that has been developed by deconstructing this form, which incorporates elements of facial expression and drama. The show is intended to develop a public understanding of cross – cultural and cross discipline work, and awareness that an Indian classical dance form can be manipulated to create a movement vocabulary that relates to a British Asian identity.
Sonia Sabri Company Red (dance)
Through a combination of dance, visual design and live music, Red will explore the cultural and philosophical significance of the spectrum’s most potent and resonant colour. It will further Sonia Sabri’s reputation for creating work that is original in concept whilst also being exciting and relevant to today’s audiences. Red touches on the true meaning of a Kathak artist; the Kathak artist is a singer, an actor, a dancer, a musician, a poet and a painter. ‘…a leading light in the revival of Indian Classical Dance’ Birmingham Post.
Sonia Hughes Weeding Cane (theatre)
Weeding Cane is a poetic yet earthy story of a young girl, Joy, left in the Caribbean when her mother migrates to England. Joy is left with her grandmother. When her grandmother dies Joy comes to England to join her mother, new stepfather and half siblings. Sonia Hughes is a writer, poet and performer. Written by Sonia Hughes, performed by Juliet Ellis, Carla Henry, music by Jim Parris, directed by Wyllie Longmore.
Tavaziva Kumusha “I Am Home” (dance)
Tavaziva Dance is Zimbabwean born, Bawren Tavaziva’s first public outing as Artistic Director of his own Company. He brings to it a strong vision and his reputation as a successful choreographer and dancer working with high profile dance companies such as Union Dance, Phoenix Dance Company, Ace Music and Dance Company and choreographic dance platforms The Mission 2001,The Mission 2003 and The HIP Festival 2003. His work has been recognized through his recent placing as finalist with The Place Prize and his commission for the Royal Opera House ROH2 Summer Collection 04.
The Tunde Jegede Ensemble Lamentation (music)
Lamentation is an audio-visual presentation of music which is a synthesis of African and European Classical Music traditions. It is a soundworld that embraces diverse styles of music, such as Classical, Jazz and ‘World Music’, but into a unified and coherent whole. Lamentation features original compositions for Flute, Kora, Balafon, Percussion, Bass and String Quartet by the multi-instrumentalist,Tunde Jegede.
Accomplished MC and musician Ty, a nominee for the 2004 Mercury Music Prize, presents a showcase of his ultra-listenable and inventive album Upwards, with full band including Dave Okumu and the unique vocal talents of Eska Mtungwazi. Upwards combines aspects and sounds of contemporary UK culture, incorporating hip hop, African rhythmic beats, jazz, funk and soul.
UpSwing Voices (street / circus)
Taking inspiration from an anthology of African proverbs Voices is a contemporary piece that portrays an African woman’s quest to pass on her culture to her daughter growing up in a new world. Using live music and pre-recorded text the relationship between mother and child is played out as a duet on aerial hoop, the movements reflecting the complexity, strength and support of this relationship. The piece has a very simple aesthetic focusing on the connection between the two women and how their different qualities combine to create this intimate and involving spectacle.
Yaa Asantewaa and CETTIE Dear Comrade (carnival / theatre)
Dear Comrade is a play based on the life and work of political and cultural activist Claudia Jones, editor of the West Indian Gazette. This ï¿½carnival arts’ production is in special memory of Claudia Jones and her contribution to the Notting Hill Carnival. It is seasoned with offerings of Calypso, pageant, steelpan and dance, woven into the fabric of her dramatised narrative. Dear Comrade is destined for touring in 2005 as part of the Centre’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
Yellow Earth The Nightingale (theatre)
The Nightingale wins the Emperor of China’s heart. To keep her close, he imprisons the bird in a golden cage. But in the fickle court, the nightingale is soon ousted by a new toy, a dazzling, jewel-encrusted mechanical bird. But when Death arrives to snatch the Emperor’s life away, who will save his ailing heart? Yellow Earth Theatre’s The Nightingale is co-produced by Hong Kong Arts Festival in association with Chung Ying Theatre Company and in partnership with the British Council Hong Kong.