May Blog

Published by Jess Swift on

Kala Sangam’s May Blog!

Welcome to the May edition of the Kala Sangam Blog!

This month the scaffolding and hoardings have gone up outside St Peter’s House, which means building work is progressing at a fast pace! We have also had two fantastic performances, an amazing trip and launched an exciting new opportunity for artists to get involved in planning our future.

a building wish scaffolding around it

Vijay Venkat and Band Live: Jazz Fusion

On the 10th of May we had Vijay Venkat and his band join us at The Bradford Club for an evening filled with Jazz Fusion. With music composed by Vijay, they band transformed this beautiful setting into a Jazz Club for the night!

“Amazing performance with very talented artists. A superb Jazz Club experience” – Audience feedback

Four musicians playing a violin, bass guitar, drums and a keyboard


On the 24th of May we had Company Scheherazade’s performance of CROWN at Mind The Gap in Bradford. Showcasing classical Persian dance, contemporary dance and Sufi movement, including traditional whirling, the 3 lead dancers took the audience on a journey from determination through struggle to release. Finding courage, resilience, and joy along the way.

“The performance was very well choreographed. Very engaging throughout. Beautiful Music” – Audience feedback

3 dancers dressed in white

Royal Garden Party

Alex Croft and Jez Arrow attended the Art and Culture Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on 15th of May. It was amazing to see so many artists and organisations we work with there, including Bradford’s own Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company and Tranquil Productions plus two of our Associate Companies, Jaivant Patel Company and Company of Others.

A collage of different people at Buckingham Palace

Upcoming Performance

Fireflies At Dawn

Tuesday 11th June | 7.30pm | The Alhambra Studios | Pay What You Decide
Step into the depths of darkness with us, where every step is a dance of connection. Fireflies at Dawn invites you to embark on a journey of discovery, where emotions take flight and senses awaken to the soft rustle of wings. This enchanting dance theatre piece, co-created and performed by visually impaired and sighted dancers, weaves together the threads of inclusivity, connection and self-expression. Witness the power of vulnerability and the strength found in our search for connection, in this emotional and sensory show.
Suitable for Age 12+ due to themes of the show, exploring mental health and the challenges of disabilities.

Book tickets here

Artist Advisory Group Call Out

We are looking for 9 artists to help shape and guide our programme of activities and artist support.
We are looking for artists working in performance artforms (e.g dance, music and theatre) and whose work and/ or lived experience aligns with at least one of our Programming Strands.
This is a paid role, with a minimum commitment of attending two meetings a year and one performance and is a great opportunity to be part of a network of artists and insight in to how a venue runs.

Find out more here

A dancer dressed in Purple on stage with a text overlay

Arts and Heritage Update

Gemma from South Square Centre:

The first few weeks of my time at South Square have been spent getting to know the community groups I’ll be working with. I’ve met many of the older adults living in sheltered accommodation in Thornton to discover which creative activities they’d like to try. Some of the residents even joined us for a sound bath, as part of our Mindful May weekend! I’ve spent time with the ESOL group that meets at Lower Grange Community Centre and we had our first creative workshop this week, creating self-portrait collages and learning about everyone’s stories, hopes and dreams for the future. I also joined Soul Girls, a group for young women in Allerton delivered by Rooted In, where the group created a huge map of their world- the place they live & spaces they love. They started to think about the ways they could bring creativity to these spaces, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next! 

I was lucky enough to spend a week at an Arts Leadership Academy delivered by Slung Low and supported by Bradford Producing Hub. I met other arts leaders from Bradford and learnt about values-based leadership. Our leadership was tested with caving, gorge scrambling, abseiling and a 14 mile expedition!

A group of young girls making a collage out of magazines and different paper

What have our staff been up to

The Kala Sangam team are always busy, and we want to share with you everything that we do outside the office!

Claire has had a really busy month in May, attending a childhood friend’s baby shower and a family Ruby Wedding Party. However, her highlight was definitely seeing 2:22 A Ghost Story at Bradford Alhambra with one of her best friends. She absolutely loved the show and would recommend it to anyone – just be prepared to jump out of your skin! 

Amer’s main hobby is gardening and she is lucky enough to have a huge garden to work on! Weeding has been the name of the game this month as she gets ready to start this year’s major projects – finishing the raised beds, creating new flower beds, planning the sheds and rabbit run. Oh and she managed to go see Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes with her family.

Mo has also been working on his garden, as well as joining a gym and showing his wife around Bradford

Sidra visited Baitings Reservoir with her family!

A collage of two gardens, a programme from a theatre show and a woman stood next to a reservoir

Our Tenants

Dance United Yorkshire’s Resi/Dance programme of community engagement has been running for just under 5 years now, and within this time we have reached thousands of people from across the BD4 area. This project has been one of our most successful engagement programmes, which has been built through meaningful connections with community, education and statutory services. Across the years, Dance United Yorkshire has delivered our intensive 5-week projects with secondary school referrals, 6-week Arts Award in PE sessions with our primary school connections, and our wonderful community engagement provision that reaches women, parents and toddlers as well as primary and secondary age young people.

Our current timetable of classes takes place at the TFD Centre on Broadstone Way every Thursday evening… The contemporary dance sessions run 4:15-5pm for 4-7 year olds; 5-6pm for 8-11 year olds, and lastly 6-7:30pm for Youth Company aged 12+. Resi/Dance Youth Company have had a series of exciting performance opportunities recently, including the Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax, and the Riley Theatre at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The Youth Co took part in a brand-new choreography programme ‘Making Moves’ hosted by Sadler’s Wells, and created a new performance inspired by the work of Alessandra Seutin.

To get involved or take part in our sessions, please contact Dance Programmes Manager Ren on 07398 410983 or follow us on our social media @dance_united_yorkshire

A group of young dancers getting ready for a performance

Social Media Highlights

This month we highlighted our amazing temporary space at Bank House! Check out the spaces we have to offer here –

Who has been using our space

Company Scheherazade have been using our space for 5 days as part of a development week to rework choreography by doing dramaturgical work and co-creation. Their performance CROWN was performed at Mind The Gap on Friday the 24th of May. It is based on a journey to find home which is split into 3 parts: determination, struggle and release. They have been looking at what they want to change, improve and adapt ready for their summer tour. The Company like to use co-creation to find new movement quality and inform choreography. They work a lot with dramaturgical improvisation – focusing on intentions. The poetry of Forough Farrokhzad has inspired all of the classical choreography, the company have been using spoken word to devise new choreography and look deeper into the meanings behind the poetry extracts. The week included 2 days of rehearsals with the company musicians and sound designer to work. The performance relies heavily on collaboration between music, sound and dance so studio time has been invaluable for CROWN.

A group of 4 female dancers smiling at the camera

Also in our studio space this month, we have had Bradford born international dance artist Vince Virr reworking his commissioned dance duet, Pop!, with KJ Clarke-Davis for Edinburgh International Children’s Festival 2024. During their time they gave a group of Dance United Yorkshire young people a sneak peak of the show and had several guests joining class and seeing the rehearsal process. The dynamic, visually vibrant and uplifting duet was performed at The National Museum of Scotland on the 25th of May and they will be touring the piece later this year and throughout 2025. KJ will be back in Bradford to perform at the BD Festival this summer, while Vince will be performing in Austria at the Bregenz Opera Festival as a dancer and an aerial and water stunt performer on the world famous lake stage.

You can find out more about Vince, POP and his projects on his website –

Two dancers jumping in colourful outfits

Other news

Yorkshire Dance’ Ageless Festival returns 12-13 July 2024

Yorkshire Dance’s Ageless festival is back on 12-13 July in Leeds City Centre! Over two days Ageless features an eclectic mix of bold new performances, talks and workshops from critically acclaimed dance artists. All events are Pay What You Can. Book at . 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.

A dancer with the text 'Ageless Festival, 12-13 July 2024' on it
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