The Creative Team Speak Out
Keith Khan, Artistic Director
The piece can be read as a wonderful rite of passage for South Asian dance - there is no mysticism here... we can see the dance for what it is across different generations, with each contributing to, and enhancing the work of another generation... This work is definitely more about London, and about the existence of cultures within an evolving and ever changing society.
Pushkala Gopal, Assistant Artistic Director
Coming of Age, for the eclectic family of South Asian dancers in London, is the exciting process of coming together in a collaborative ritual, that celebrates individuality with collective identity...For Akademi and for the community of South Asian dancers under its umbrella, this is a moment of true celebration...
Navtej Johar, Artistic Facilitator
The exercise of making Coming of Age in fragments and then viewing it in its stunning, transformed, artistically-cohesive state, was as generously fulfilling as it was self-eliminating. And this I liked very much! Plus, for me, it truly did mark a coming-of-age for Indian dance, not only because it was instrumental in revising the perceptions of the viewers, but also because it was indicative of a significant shift within.
Simon Corder, Lighting Designer
It was great to work on Coming of Age, an eye opener to the variety of South Asian dance, which I had previously thought of as mostly traditional. Particularly the enthusiasm and commitment of the younger dancers was delightful, combined with Shri's score and an excited crowd. Altogether it made a fine evening.
Shrikanth Sriram, Composer
Coming of Age is poised at a moment where the term actually means something: it is the time where Asians in Britain are actually finding their own voice as British people in a number of fields... The music is not a fusion. I hear both Western and Indian music at the same time in a way that I cannot tell which is which ...I hope it reflects a new way of thinking which is becoming an integral part of our society now...
Penny Andrews, Producer
Six dance forms; ten choreographic commissions; a live art installation; a school collaboration. This diversity has fuelled the remarkable energy which, together with creative generosity and adventure, has characterised Coming of Age.
Mira Kaushik, Director, Akademi
Akademi has been a silent laboratory within which South Asian dancers have experimented and stretched the boundaries of their dance forms within a contemporary British social, educational and artistic context...Coming of Age is an extension of this process...
Making the dance
Mavin Khoo, Director, Choreographer, Bharata Natyam Group
As a choreographer, the most interesting thing was working with the bharata natyam group and realising how much potential there is in my generation and in the form. Everyone came from different training backgrounds and styles, but were still able to work together. This was refreshing to see - I hope it indicates a growing trend. It was great watching the development of the dancers over a period of daily training - which just shows how much could be achieved given the opportunity for consistent training. I also enjoyed working with the other choreographers - we had a good laugh.
Filip Van Huffel - Choreographer, Kathak Group
The best thing was just working together with a group towards a common goal...the whole spirit of the event and the group was fantastic...most importantly there were some relationships formed in the group that were special. And that is always a great achievement.
Chris Bannerman, Choreographer, Classical Live Group
The process of collaborating in the making of Coming of Age was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career. To work with performers of such experience and depth was a wonderful inspiration and to be part of an event which reached out to so many people was a delight. Any venture of this scale has its struggles, but the members of the creative team rose to meet every difficulty; along the way they challenged and extended my understanding of performance and this was a reward in itself.
Satish Shah, Choreographer, Folk Dance Group
For me it was a very new and exciting project. For the first time I saw different sections of South Asian dancers & choreographers working together. It threw a new light on South Asian dance. I think projects like this should be done more often as they bring out new ideas ...Mira and Keith did a wonderful job.
CREDITS & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Director and Designer: Keith Khan
Assistant Artistic Director: Pushkala Gopal
Artistic Facilitator: Navtej Johar
Lighting: Simon Corder
Music: Shrikanth Sriram
Associate Design: Hattie Barsby
Producer: Penny Andrews
Executive Producer: Mira Kaushik
Coming of Age was supported by the Arts Council of England, the Lottery Board of the Arts Council of England, London Arts Board, Asian Music Circuit, Sampad, Sony Asia, Asia House, Aditi, Camden Borough Council, Chor Bizzar, Gulbenkian Foundation, Mela, Nehru Centre and Tamarind.