Mughal Miniatures is inspired by, and offers a performative interpretation of, traditional miniature paintings. However, the narrative of the characters we meet will reference and celebrate the here and now. The characters literally break free of the constraints placed on them by the pictorial frames they are positioned in, and society’s stereotypes.
Mughal Miniatures is a series of linked pop-up, living pictures, evoking scenes of Indian princely courts and the glory of the Mughal period with a contemporary twist, undercutting expectations and delighting and surprising passers-by.
Performers referencing traditional Mughal costume will create vibrant and colourful mini-worlds, inviting audiences to step back in time and join them in regal courts, on romantic balconies, in lush green gardens and in processions of deities.
The scenes each have their own mood, from humorous to tragic, forming a fun-to-explore non-linear narrative. Beautiful and ornate scenes will transform from still pictures into bursts of dance and music, before returning back to well-behaved stills.
Surrounded by brilliant iridescent colours, willing audience members are invited to become part of these interactive ‘living pictures’, taking on roles within scenes, perhaps fanning the blue-skinned God Krishna, learning a short Kathak dance to please Akbar the Great, or, finding out that her loved one is not faithful to her, the devoted, traditional lover needs to choose another (unsuspecting) husband from the audience! These opportunities for surprise, fun and play make it ideal for children and families, and relevant to modern audiences and those new to South Asian performing arts, whilst also retaining highly-skilled and technical dance and music.