Kathy Hinde and Matthew Olden created music and projections for the production Elixir, the second work from Sadhana Dance, choreographed and directed by Subathra Subramaniam. Kathy and Matthew also produced a 10 channel sound piece for a sculpture installation by Josh Baum that is exhibited alongside the live performance. read a review here.
Elixir dives deep into our cultural relationship with water in a world where its scarcity is already an ever increasing problem.
Evocative and provocative, Elixir combines contemporary choreography, a powerful visual art installation, digital projection and original music with live song. It comes out of Subramaniam’s own experiences in India and the High Arctic, as a science teacher in urban London and education director of the Cape Farewell climate change project, and in particular her time with Inuit communities in Nunavut Canada and Greenland.
Subramaniam says: “‘Thousands have lived without love, not one without water’. It’s the final line of WH Auden’s First Things First. Water is the first thing, the basis for all life and all our lives…yet because it’s so everyday and everywhere we rarely give it a second thought. Elixir will, I hope, help us not only appreciate how miraculous and essential water is but also that it is a rapidly dwindling resource. Whether it’s the effects of melting ice on Inuit communities I have spent time with in the Arctic, falling levels in sacred water tanks at Hindu temples in India or local streams running dry here in the UK, everywhere I look there are signs of how our relationship with water is changing and affecting people’s lives.”
For Elixir, Suba Subramaniam teamed up with award-winning sculptor Josh Baum along with her long-term collaborators, the composers and visual artists Kathy Hinde and Matthew Olden, lighting designer Aideen Malone, and costume and set designer Kate Rigby. Together, via a rich collaborative process, they created a powerful audio-visual experience which immerses the audience in the beauty and sound of water. Drawing from the rich vocabulary of Bharata Natyam, four dancers interweave movements of rituals, play and daily practices to explore struggles and survival, scarcity and instability.
The dancers in Elixir are Elena Jacinta, Veena Basavarajaiah, and Archana Ballal with Divya Kasturi who also sings her own devised vocals live during the piece.
below, image of Josh Baum’s sculpture “Instrument for Reading Heraclitus”
Each performance of Elixir will be followed by a Cafe Scientifique where Quentin Cooper, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Material World, will chair a discussion between the artists and scientists involved in the show and the audience. Tse Hui Teh, lecturer in Water Conservation at UCL and Professor Mark Maslin, a climate scientist at UCL, who worked as consultants on Elixir will take part in several of the discussions.