“Confronted with a tragic second wave of the pandemic, the current challenges that India is facing are critical. Whilst media coverage focuses on urban cities, the outbreak that is now spreading through villages and marginalised communities means that numbers are undocumented. Access to health care is complex and families in rural India are experiencing unbelievable hardships.
As an artist, it is so important to recognise the wider world of our community beyond the obvious industry circuit of performing artist. The creative spine of India offers the world unimaginable artistic wealth, and these stem from traditions that include hereditary temple musicians in villages, communities that work on hard labour erecting performances spaces for religious festivals, folklore artists and many more.
Thinking of these fellow artists who live under a system determined by caste and class, provokes a realisation of the devastating circumstances marginalised communities are experiencing in the wake of this crisis. We as artists, together with Anoushka Shankar and Nitin Sawhney, have found our voices in the diaspora drawing from the Indian creative spine, it’s impossible for us not to (in some capacity) do something as an offering to the creative soul of this country and its people.
We are joined by one of the most prolific artists from India today, Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna who himself has been actively immersed in creating awareness and raising funds to support marginalised communities through these challenging times. Together, we share a poetic offering of our works in an exclusive film.”
— Mavin Khoo & Akram Khan
As a way to thank everyone for their donation, a link to watch the full-length dance and music film Trespassing Humanity was shared with each individual.
In this poetic film, sitarist Anoushka Shankar plays a subtle piece with mridangam & tanpura; Mavin improvises a Bharatanatyam solo with four musicians (mridangam, vocals, nattuvangam, and flute); Nitin Sawhney plays two intimate pieces of his composition accompanied by tabla; Akram performs a classical kathak piece taken from his solo XENOS; whilst Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna gives a powerful interpretation of the Sanskrit mantra Om Tat Sat. To further embark you on the journey, we will also be sharing our personal memories of India between the performances. We’re so grateful to these artists who offered their time, heart and talent for this cause. The film was captured in the ever-beautiful Coronet Theatre in London that recalls the spirituality of Indian temples. We hope that this humble gathering and unique artistic collaboration, evokes within you the same deep connection and empathy we have for India.