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British Council at Alchemy

British Council at Alchemy  Image by Deepak Kumar Joshi

Image by Deepak Kumar Joshi

13 May 2015
by Kendall Robbins

Once again, it’s time for the Alchemy festival at Southbank Centre. Alchemy is a festival celebrating the cultural exchange between the UK and the Indian Subcontinent with a range of art forms, including performing arts, music, film, design, fashion and music. Now in its sixth year, the British Council has been one of the key partners, bringing work from across South Asia – this year countries represented include India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The festival will run from 15 – 25 May and will include ticketed performances, installations, food markets and other free events.

 

British Council at Alchemy Highlights

 

YORKSTON / THORNE / KHAN

A collaborative group combine improvisation with traditional sounds from Scotland and India, featuring award-winning Indian classical singer Suhail Yusuf Khan, Scottish folk musician James Yorkston, and Jon Thorne, best known as jazz double bass player with electro outfit Lamb.

In partnership with the British Council

Monday 18 May

7.45pm, Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, £14.50* £10*

 

DIL PHAINK: LIVE

A celebration of the work of PeaceNiche and their special Alchemy installation through cutting-edge words and music from Pakistan.

Thursday 21 May

7.30pm – 10.30pm, The Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall

 

FIVE NATION FILM

Short films exploring social justice from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are celebrated in an evening curated by artist and filmmaker Magda Fabianczyk. The evening also features a screening of Karachi Stories, presented in collaboration with the Scottish Documentary Institute and the British Council.

Friday 22 May

7.15pm The Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall

 

FRIDAY TONIC: THE ALCHEMY EDITION

Friday Tonic with MasterCard

Join DJs, young singers, beatboxers and dancers for a special sonic and audiovisual Friday Tonic. Urban Vani presents Kathak dance interwoven with beatbox, vocalised recitation and narration reflecting the community stories of the 75 young performers from Lister Community School and Bethnal Green Academy. Urban Vani is a project conceived by dancer Gauri Sharma Tripathi. It is in collaboration with Southbank Centre’s Voicelab with musician Omar Shahryar.

DJ set and digital projections by Sri Lankan artists’ collective Bang Bang, presented in partnership with British Council

Friday 22 May

5.30pm – 7pm, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall

 

ALCHEMY FASHION

An interactive fashion showcase where models and musicians walk among theaudience. The evening is presented by young producers who have worked alongside stylists, designers and fashion industry insiders to create a night of catwalk, performances and DJ sets.

DJ set and digital projections by Sri Lankan artists’ collective Bang Bang, presented in partnership with British Council

Friday 22 May

7pm – 9pm, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall

 

CITY TO CITY

POETRY FROM INDIA, PAKISTAN, WALES AND SCOTLAND

Leading lights from the next generation of poets from India and Pakistan – along with contemporaries from Wales and Scotland recently returned from residencies in Mumbai, Kolkata and Lahore – are united onstage for an afternoon feast of readings and discussion.

With Afshan Sajjad and Dr Khalid Javaid Jan from Pakistan and Jeet Thayil, Tishani Doshi, Ranjit Hoskote and Sampurna Chattarji from India. They are joined by Welsh poets Joe Dunthorne, Jonathan Edwards, Eurig Salisbury and Rhian Edwards, and Jim Carruth and Katherine Sowerby from Scotland.

Presented in partnership with the British Council

Saturday 23 May

2.30pm – 6.30pm, The Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall

FLOOR ART FROM NEPAL EVENT

Join master Nepali artists Deepak Kumar Joshi, Nima Gyamcho Lama and Prachanda Shakya as they create a large scale Mandala on the floor of The Clore Ballroom. Join in and learn some of the techniques and meaning behind thisancient and contemporary practice ofNepalese decorative floor art.The project marks the beginning of aprogramme designed to celebrate thebicentenary of the Treaty of Segauli. Thetreaty was signed in March 1816 andled to the establishment of diplomaticrelations between the UK and Nepal.

In partnership with British Council and the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts

Sunday 24 May

10am – 10pm, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall

 

THROUGHOUT THE FESTIVAL:

 

POTHER GOLPO: STREET STORIES OF BANGLADESH

An interactive installation with new work by graphic novelists from the UK and Bangladesh, Karrie Fransman, Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy and Asifur Rahman. The installation recreates a typical Bangladeshi street scene and is accompanied by live events.

In partnership with the British Council

10am – 10pm, Level 2 Foyer (Green Side) at Royal Festival Hall

 

KARACHI STORIES & AFGHAN TALES

This selection of new short films includes creative documentaries by four Pakistani filmmakers telling stories of the city they live, love and work in, and fictional and documentary films by Afghan women filmmakers exploring individual dreams and family and community relationships.

In partnership with the British Council

12 noon – 11pm, Festival Village

 

MANDALA: FLOOR ART FROM NEPAL

An opportunity to watch a site specific Nepalese artwork unfold as artists create a series of shifting kaleidoscopic floorworks across Southbank Centre’s outside terraces along with children from local schools.

The project marks the beginning of a programme designed to celebrate the bicentenary of the Treaty of Segauli. The treaty was signed in March 1816 and led to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UK and Nepal.

In partnership with the British Council and the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts

10am – 11pm, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall

 

3 X 4: CONNECTING AUDIENCES IN DELHI AND LONDON

Audiences in Delhi and London are invited to experience, perform and play in a shared digital space. Two identical installations measuring 3 x 4 metres are draped in special fabric to create a mixed-reality live video connection, allowing audiences at Southbank Centre to coexist and interact with others at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi. The installation connects the two cities, live, six hours per day.

In partnership with the British Council

10am – 4pm, Level 2 Foyer (Green Side) at Royal Festival Hall

 

DIL PHAINK: AN INSTALLATION BY PEACENICHE

PeaceNiche– a cutting edge Karachi-based organisation promoting democratic discourse and conflict resolution – presents an audiovisual showcase of Pakistani street culture, cult cinema, visual memory and matters of the heart.

In partnership with the British Council

10am – 10pm (except Wednesday 20 May, 10am – 7pm)

Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer

 

Full listings can be found on the Southbank Centre’s site here