Concept and Director: Balbir Singh (Balbir Singh Dance Company)
Movement by: Eliot Smith and Sooraj Subramaniam 
Composer: Jesse Banister 
Costume: Balbir Singh
Premiered on 26 November 2019 at The Sage Gateshead 
Funded & Supported by Arts Council England and Northumberland Arts Development
Commissioned by Eliot Smith Dance

Balbir Singh describes the work:

One tree with two branches which share the same base (trunk) but go off in different directions.


The process in making this work used the concept of I am not an Indian dancer and a single tree with branches growing out from it. It is a useful starting point to investigate what this means in the context of these two dancers:


Eliot Smith, grounded in the Martha Graham technique is a contemporary dancer, where a strong emphasis is placed on breath, contraction and the spine.


The other dancer Sooraj Subramaniam, trained in three Classical Indian dance styles: Bharata Natyam, Odissi and Kathak as well as contemporary.


And the questions which emerge from bringing the two together are,


Is it possible for contemporary dance to be understood, interpreted and translated through Indian dance?


Can a contemporary dancer go deeper into his own identity, body and art form through experiencing how an Indian dancer makes sense of his dance? 


What do they share in common? - is this a duet, two solos or just one dancer?