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Press Release: Sadhana Dance - Unkindest Cut - Science Festivals Tour

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4 October – 24 March

It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Performed within the close confines of a shipping container, Unkindest Cut opens a door into ourselves. A hidden fortress of ideas: intimate and intense; alarming yet alluring; enclosed but spilling over. Combining dance, spoken word and film with an interactive light and sound installation, the production explores how our minds cope – and sometimes don’t with modern life, and offers new perspectives on issues surrounding mental health in young adults today.




The latest work from acclaimed choreographer, performer and science educator, Subathra Subramaniam, Unkindest Cut has been created in consultation with lead child and adolescent psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley Adolescent Mental Health Services Dr Partha Banerjea, and will be touring in partnership with the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival. Unkindest Cut is funded by The Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.


“I believe that the essence of human beings can be revealed through art. I want my multi-disciplinary work to instill a curiosity, pose questions, open up debate and discussion. Mental health is such an important issue facing young people today. Unkindest Cut – you could describe it as a head trip. It’s about reflection rather than reaction, a thinking space that can help us think differently about mental health.” Subathra Subramaniam


Touring major science festivals across the UK from 4th October – 24th March 2019, performances of Unkindest Cut are preceded by a series of dance workshops for young people, exploring what it is like to be a young person in the world today. The young people’s voices from these discussions then form the soundscape of the installation for Unkindest Cut. The piece aims to increase awareness around the issues of mental health – for example cases of self-harm in girls aged 13-16 have risen by 68% since 2011. Unkindest Cut stems from Subathra’s work as Artist in Residence at The South London and Maudsley Adolescent Mental Health Unit. The information gathered from the project will inform a major research paper to be published next year.


Unkindest Cut was conceived and choreographed by Subathra Subramaniam. The piece is a collaboration with audio visual artists, Kathy Hinde and Matthew Olden and lighting designer, Aideen Malone, with dramaturgy by Chris Fogg.

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Notes to editors


Subathra Subramaniam – Artistic Director, Sadhana Dance

Subathra is a choreographer, dancer and educator and the artistic director of Sadhana Dance. A qualified Science teacher with a Masters Degree in Education, Suba was part of the education team at Cape Farewell, a project that brings together young people, artists, scientists, educators and journalists to raise awareness about climate change. Suba has also been Associate Artist at South East Dance, Artist in Residence at The Environment Institute at UCL and Choreographer in Residence at Bucks New University. Her choreography navigates the confluence of arts and science drawing from her belief that dance, can play a part in the public engagement with scientific concepts. Her work combines contemporary choreography and Bharata Natyam. Suba started her Bharata Natyam training in Malaysia and continued it in London under Prakash Yadagudde at the Bhavan Centre, Institute of Indian Fine Arts and Culture. From 1997 till its closure in 2008, Suba was co-founder and artistic director of Angika with Mayuri Boonham.


Suba’s dance works are a result of cross art collaborations and extended periods of research undertaken with scientists or in scientific and academic institutions. Her touring works for Sadhana include The Shiver, Elixir and Under My Skin, which was shortlisted for the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2015. She is regularly asked to speak at conferences and events including a TEDx and British Council International seminars in Thailand, Cuba Canada and Egypt. She recently led a movement workshop for artists, scientists and healthcare professional from all over the world at the International Public Engagement Workshop for the Wellcome Trust in Mumbai.


About Oxford Science & Ideas Festival

IF Oxford is an annual science and ideas festival organised by the charity Oxfordshire Science Festival, (Charity number 1151361). Through a thought provoking range of events and activities the festival aims to inspire and support people of all ages and backgrounds to access ideas from research and innovation for the encouragement and exploration of individual and global potential. The festival creates a platform where the complexity, wonder and opportunities of scientific research are explored, challenged, celebrated and enjoyed across society. IF Oxford provides an opportunity for over ten thousand face-to-face interactions between Festival visitors, researchers and innovators.


Kathy Hinde

Kathy Hinde’s work grows from a partnership between nature and technology expressed through audio-visual installations and performances that combine sound, sculpture, image and light. She has shown work extensively across Europe, China, Pakistan, USA, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and New Zealand. She became a Cryptic associate in 2015. Kathy has received a number of awards including an Honorary Mention at Prix Arts Electronica 2015; runner up for the PIARS Sonic Arts Award in 2014; long listed for the Aesthetica Art Prize in 2014 and 2018; a British Composer Award in Sonic Art and an ORAM award in 2017; a Scottish Award for New Music for Collaboration with Maja Ratkje in 2018 and is a selected artist for European SHAPE Platform for innovative music and audio visual art for 2018.


Matthew Olden

Matthew Olden is a computer artist who makes interesting things by programming his computer. He makes a wide range of computer programs that make music, do visuals and manipulate data. Matthew then more often than not uses these programs in performance.

Matthew’s practice has lead him to play in many top venues around the world, get work published, accept awards, appear on telly and get to meet various royal families. Matthew’s skills make him very much sought after to build interactive installations and to lecture around different universities and colleges. Matthew primarily programs in Max/MSP and Jitter and records under the name I am the mighty jungulator.


Lighting Designer -  Aideen Malone

Theatre credits include: A Monster Calls (London Old Vic/Bristol Old Vic); Brighton Rock (York Theatre Royal/UK Tour); Napoleon Disrobed (Told By An Idiot); Darbar Festival (Sadlers Wells); La Strada (The Other Palace/UK tour); Peter Pan (NT Olivier Theatre); Jane Eyre (BOV/NT/NTP tour); Of Mice and Men (Nottingham Playhouse); Coyote on a Fence (Manchester Theatre Royal); Greed, Silver Swan, Body Project, Double Agency, Kiss My Echo, Lady Grey, It's A Small House and we've Lived in it always (Clod Ensemble).



UK Science Festival Tour Dates 2018/19





4-7 OCTOBER 2018




17-21 OCTOBER 2018




26-28 OCTOBER 2018








16 FEBRUARY 2019




11-24 MARCH 2019








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