As the year draws to a close, we feature the mighty Mr Malik.
After retirement, Mr Malik dedicated his time to his local drop in community centre – board member, instigator and ‘the make it happen type’. We thought we knew Mr Malik, but the penny dropped when he shared his life long enthusiasm and love of all things trains. We never asked why and when we did, it all came together.
70 years ago, as a child, his family made a 1000 mile journey from one side of the sub continent to another. Changing steam trains 8 times, crossing borders, open air carriages in many cases, Mr Malik painted an exciting and optimistic picture of this journey, through the eyes of a young child. But rather than being in contempt of this experience, he made it his own. We salute you Mr Malik and look forward to 2019 and working with your experience and sharing your anecdotes and moments to a wider and younger audience.
A chance conversation in Stockton High Street in 2012, resulted in a friendship and connection which has taken us on parades, worked with rural communities in County Durham and now exciting conversations in Cumbria. Julie Ward MEP for the North West has an infectious appetite for bringing people together. A few emails, a few phone calls later, resulted in this.
We were VERY pleased to meet with Adrian Lochhead and Heather Walker of Eden Arts. The meeting, brought about by MEP Julie Ward and attended by Eden District Council Leader Kevin Beaty was the first step in what we hope will be a really fruitful partnership. Julie had first thought of Mela in Cumbria when the Cumbria floods brought a fantastic response from the Muslim community that saw people come to give their time to travel to Cumbria to help with the clean up and show caring and love and compassion. She suggested that Ajay get in touch with Adrian to see if they would be interested in talking about how we could work together – and of course, they said yes!
Kevin is always supportive of looking at how we can bring new initiatives to Cumbria that might help us to further our mutual objectives of making Eden an even more fantastic place to live in and to visit. We very much appreciate that he’s prepared to give his time to join in with discussions like this. Adrian is a dude, Heather is a dude, Kevin is doo–er and can make it happen and Julie is amazing. A Perfect Storm!
So…… SO….! let’s see… we are on it…. #workingforeden #workingforcumbria #workingtogether #adrian
The epic story of a kingdom, of exile and intrigue
and when darkness turns to light.
‘The Oil was sizzling awaiting the syrup with care,
In hopes that Jalebis soon would be there’
This Autumn, Nutkhut embarks on a unique and ambitious re-telling of the story of Diwali, making it accessible to a wider audience, yet retaining, at its heart a story of families and friends from this epic tale.
The Nutkhut team grew up with Diwali, we’ve read the epic front to back, back to front and upside down – as kids we’d boo and hiss at the baddies, at school we’d be singled out to share the story during whole school assemblies and as adults we are on a mission to make the story accessible to a wider audience.
On par with the epic Greek poem, Homer’s Illiad. We have taken little known moments of the Ramayana and applied theatrical techniques. We split between the present and the past and embark on the story at bedtime, with brothers and sisters excited and restless………………………
How are we doing it? With over 700 participants, 16 young South Asian artists, 25 elders, 8 oversized umbrellas, 2 thrones and a light sabre! An intergenerational, multi art form spectacle!
We are making lanterns, diyas and rangoli. Sourcing and creating costume, cutting and merging live and recorded music, making props and editing film and projections. Phew!
What have we been doing? Over the past few months, we’ve spent weekends and evenings supporting, mentoring and rehearsing with over 75 young people from North Kent and Bexley, both areas of low arts engagement and disadvantaged communities.
Our approach with this project has been to involve everyone – we don’t do things in halves – it’s the participants that have created the story – that have made choices and have engaged in the entirety of the key decisions. We are turning the making of theatre on its head, breaking down the hierarchies and involving and encouraging new artists, new ideas, families and young people, integrating dance, lanterns, music, projections and video mapping. We’ve brought together a small team of professionals to take the lead, who’ve been on similar Diwali journeys and very rarely get these types of opportunities, to support the process, mentor and train the participants and to ultimately develop a new generation of dedicated Diwali Makers from culturally diverse backgrounds.
When? Sat 3 Nov 4.30pm – 7pm
Where? Townley Grammar School, Kent
Cost? FREE – access, access, access is our mantra – where we can, our projects are free to public.
For more information or if you’d like to get involved please contact us via email, phone or drop in.
In the world of Nukthut, the monsoon rains hold a special place.
On a warm, wet, drizzly, grey, showery, 14th October, we presented our mix of community and professional dance ensembles at CultureFest at Eltham Palace. It’s fair to say the monsoon rains had decided to arrive in time for the festival.
We selected a medley of songs with the theme of rain and armed with our rain friendly chattris (umbrellas) we shared the choreography of falling droplets of rain to a wonderful inter-generational audience.
With the monsoon comes change, prosperity and often risk and as a result the monsoon season has inspired poets, musicians and artists for many thousands of years from the Indian Sub -continent. Many Nutkhut projects have included ‘rain’ as a moment of change – in our award winning ‘Bollywood Steps’ water and rain were at the heart of this show, with a grande finale where we dispensed 3000 litres of recycled rainwater into the show.
In the words of our wonderful neighbours, Greenwich Dance, “the whole of the Great Hall erupted into a scene of sequins and colour as the magical dancers from Nutkhut had everyone up and dancing.”
Photo Credit: Greenwich Dance and Nicole Guarino