Thursday, 3 August 2017

Kolkata, 3 August 2017: The British Council today announced a unique collaboration with Sangit Kala Mandir for two cutting-edge art showcases in Kolkata, as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.
The programmes comprise screening of the silent film ‘Shiraz’ along with live music by Anoushka Shankar and her orchestra on 3 November 2017, and a performance of the first-ever tour of Europe’s leading dance companies - Wayne McGregor Company - on 10 December 2017.

Sangit Kala Mandir (SKM), a platform to promote music, art, culture and other forms of performing expressions, was founded by renowned industrialist Mr Basant Kumar Birla in 1945. The name implies ‘Temple of Music and Art’.
Sangit Kala Mandir has presented several international performances in its journey of almost 72 years. In its long association with the British Council, it has presented many acclaimed shows in the past including Macbeth, Comedy of errors Whose Life Is It Anyway, Candida, Faith Healer, Julius Caesar, Let the Donkey Go and Jane Eyre amongst others, performed by renowned theatre groups from the UK.

The UK-India Year of Culture aims to celebrate the strong cultural and people links between both the countries through events, partnerships and collaborations. By experiencing the most innovative and exciting art showcases, stronger connections will be forged between the two countries. This also gives SKM and the British Council another occasion to celebrate cultural and social links between the UK and India.

The showcases of two art pieces – the screening of Shiraz and performance by Wayne McGregor Company amalgamates rich cultural traditions with cutting edge technology.
The silent film Shiraz tells the love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. The film, which has rarely been seen in India since 1928, will tour across different cities in India, including Kolkata. The screenings will be accompanied by a live performance of a specially commissioned score by Indian composer and sitar player Anoushka Shankar and her orchestra.
Internationally renowned contemporary dance company Wayne McGregor will tour ‘FAR’, an acclaimed dance production which includes a stunning multimedia backdrop of 3,200 LED lights that dance to their own ‘choreography’, to cities across India.

Alan Gemmell, OBE Director India, British Council, said, “We are delighted to partner with Sangit Kala Mandir, one of India’s pioneers in promoting arts and culture. Both the showcases – Shiraz and Wayne McGregor Company performances will be held at the Kala Mandir. The partnership will give audiences in Kolkata the chance to experience innovative and exciting creative work and also link artists from both countries.”

 For more information please contact:
Aditi Hindwan | National Head - Press and Media | British Council India
T: +91 (11)  41497477  | M : + 91 (0) 8377001450 |

Notes to Editor

About Sangit Kala Mandir

Sangit Kala Mandir (SKM) is a platform to promote music, art, culture and other forms of performing expressions. The name implies ‘Temple of Music and Art’. Renowned industrialist Mr Basant Kumar Birla founded this not-for-profit cultural institution in 1945.
Since inception, SKM and its divisions have presented more than 2500 cultural programmes, involving more than 7,800 artists. Some of the internationally-famous cultural luminaries who performed at its programmes in the past include Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Ustad Alla Rakha Khan, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Pt Jasraj, Ustad Amzad Ali Khan and Ananda Shankar.
Sangit Kala Mandir has presented several international performances in its journey of almost 72 years. Apart from the UK, some of those were held in collaboration with cultural initiatives of Russia, Austria, Germany, France, USA and the Slovak Republic.
SKM, in its long association with British Council, presented the following UK performances: 

  • Macbeth and Whose Life is it Anyway? by Cambridge Theatre Company, London, in association with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
  • School for Scandal and Educating Rita by Greenwich Theatre Company.
  • Candida and Faith Healer by the National Theatre.
  • Julius Caesar and Creon by Leicester Theatre, UK, in association with ICCR.
  • I Am a Coffee and Let the Donkey Go by The Peepolykus Theatre Company.
  • European Union Chamber Orchestra.
  • Jane Eyre by Shared Experience Production, UK.
  •  A Comedy of Errors by Royal Shakespeare Company. 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.
We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.