June Blog

Published by Jess Swift on

Kala Sangam’s June Blog!

Welcome to the June edition of the Kala Sangam Blog!

Capital Update

If you’ve walked past St Peter’s House over the last month you can’t have failed to notice that building works are well underway to transform our arts centre! Scaffolding is up, the roof is off at one end, and the builders have completed most of the demolition and strip out works. Most importantly, remember that awful, unreliable lift we had? Well, it’s gone! Soon to be replaced with a modern, accessible lift that will take you to all floors of the redeveloped building.

Image showing a building with builders inside and lots of demolition work of a nearly empty building.
A photo of inside St Peter’s House – This is the view from where our stage will be!
A photo of am empty lift shaft
A photo of our empty lift shaft!

Fireflies Performance

On the 11th of June Unbound Dance Theatre Company premiered their new show, Fireflies At Dawn at The Alhambra Studios.

Unbound are a new company, bringing together professional dancers with blind and visually impaired people, to break down barriers and create a dance culture where everyone can express themselves.

We had a brilliant evening of dance and theatre looking at connection and vulnerability through the blind and visually impaired community. It was very moving to hear dancer Helen, who is registered blind, speak about how the project has helped her feel free.

What an evening! I am seriously sight impaired myself and found the whole experience uplifting and ingenious. The thought, energy and forward thinking of the choreography was groundbreaking in a world of darkness.” – Audience Feedback

5 people dressed in white about to take a bow on a black stage with spotlights

What Have Our Staff Been Up To

Alex Corwin, Fay and Lauren all went to see Taylor Swift! They all had a brilliant time and are still arguing about which Era is their favourite and who had the best seats.

Jess was invited back to Chemnitz in Germany to represent Bradford at their annual Makers United Festival, which is part of their City of Culture celebrations. Jess spent a week teaching pottery to thousands of visitors throughout the week! She also has a sculpture series in the Yorkshire’s Emerging Artists Exhibition!

Jez took one of his regular trips to Chester Zoo and, as lover of cats big and small, was excited to see the newly arrived snow leopards!

Ifty celebrated Eid with his family. He did a Qurbani, which is a sacrifice of an animal, and then gave the meat out to the poor. He also went with Alex Corwin to see Bride and Prejudice as part of the Bradford South Asian Festival at The Alhambra Studios.

A collage of 4 images
1: A photo of a staduim full of people at a concert
2: A photo of someone teaching a pottery class
3: A photo of a snow leopard asleep at a zoo
4: A photo of a cake with a sign on the top that says 'Eid Mubarak'

Arts and Heritage Update

Lauren from Keighley Creative

Lauren took part in Volunteer Roadshow week at Shipley Library and Keighley Airedale Shopping Centre, meeting people across the district, and giving them the opportunity to help out on her exciting project! She also had an outdoor pop-up stall in Keighley Asda, distributing Keighley Creatives ‘Open Door’ newsletter, which shares local organisations and support for Keighley residents affected by the cost-of-living crisis. She spent time with a men’s group from Highfield Community centre, where they practised some Arabic calligraphy together and had an Eid party! 

Gemma from South Square Centre

Gemma has been running some mono printing landscape workshops with residents at Headrow Court, Thornton based on their local area and heritage. She has also been running self-portrait collages with the Soul Girls group in Allerton. They have been decorating feathers with their strengths and female role models, to make a set of angel wings to decorate St Francis church hall.

All four Arts and Heritage had their first Hub visit – with Lauren giving them a guided tour of Keighley Creative and Keighley Town Centre. Then they had the pleasure of being invited to Eastwood Primary School for a special Peace Meal, to celebrate becoming Keighley’s first School of Sanctuary award winner! 

A collage of two photos
Top photo is a group of people all smiling at the camera and holding newspapers outside ASDA
Bottom photo is an elderly man doing a drawing

Tennant Update

Freedom Studios released their Bradford Voices Showcase videos and wrote their own blog post about the process of the showcase and looking back on the past projects of Bradford Voices. Check it out here

3 actors sat at a table with cups and bowls. They are having a conversation on a dark stage

We Are Looking For An Archivist

As Kala Sangam embarks on a major capital redevelopment of its Grade II listed arts centre, and an associated organisational rebrand, we are seeking a qualified archivist, or an individual, team or organisation with demonstrable equivalent experience, to create an archive that captures and preserves the history of both the company and its landmark building.

For more information and the application process, click here

Black text on a yellow and pink background which reads 'WE ARE LOOKING FOR AN ARCHIVIST'

Who Has Been In Our Space

Bradford born dance artists James Mounsey and Tessa Lightowler have been using the space to work on their project “Saucy Syndrome”. The project aims to explore the social taboo around people with disabilities having dates, romantic relationships and sordid one-night stands. Thanks to an Explore Fund granted by Bradford Producing Hub, the two artists have started to create and shape how their duet will come together using contemporary dance, physical theatre and comedy. The hope is to take what they have learnt in the space to apply for further funding to further develop the project and bring it to audiences soon.

You can read more about their project here or check out James’ Instagram @jamesmounsey00

A photo of two dancers smiling at the camera

Social Media Highlight

This month we launched our Samānatā Commission partnered with Jaivant Patel Company. Check out our Instagram post for more info here

A photo of some dancers with the words SAMANATA over it

Education Mailing List

Are you a teacher or work in a school and want to keep up with Kala Sangam Education offer? Why not sign up to our Education and Outreach newsletter here

A young school girl holding pencil crayons and smiling at a friend


Yorkshire Dance’ Ageless Festival returns 12-13 July 2024 in Leeds City Centre.

Over two days Ageless features an eclectic mix of bold new performances, talks and workshops from critically acclaimed dance artists.

This year’s festival invites us to reimagine age through dance with headline performances including Susan Kempster’s Mother, Lisa Kendall’s Woman Wrestling Invites… and the final performance of Two Destination Languages critically acclaimed 40/40. Jo Fong and Das Clarks’ present new work A Brief History of Difference and Carl Harrison’s alter ego Niche Lorraine presents Apocalypse Wow! Alongside workshops with the renowned Funmi Adewole Elliott, Susan Kempster and Kyra Norman.

All events are Pay What You Can. Book here

A photo of a dancer on a black background with the words AGELESS FESTIVAL 12-13 JULY 2024 on it

BD: Festival

BD: Festival Returns to Bradford City Centre on 26 and 27 July. Featuring world-class performers, including international names and home-grown talent, the festival is free to attend and suitable for families and children of all ages!

From breathtaking circus and colourful, musical parades to street theatre, storytelling, dance, and unique immersive experiences. There will be fun for all the family and best of all, it’s completely free!

A photo of a dancer wearing colourful clothes in front of a yellow van
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