New venue hopes for chorus of approval with its Song of the City

St Peter's House
St Peter's House
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A new theatre space for Bradford will be launched with a spectacular dance production tonight.

Kala Sangam is heading towards the end of a decade-long programme of building and transforming St Peter’s House into a home fit for the country’s biggest centre for South Asian Arts outside of London.

The redevelopment of St Peter’s House has included the creation of a new 112-seater auditorium, which will be unveiled to the public tonight – and to launch the new space, Kala Sangam has pulled off a coup by bringing the only performance outside of London of a new dance piece called Song of the City.

Kala Sangam is an organisation which specialises in promoting and producing South Asian Arts. The company takes musicians, dancers and other artists into schools around the region to promote South Asian Arts – as well as bringing artists to venues around the county for a wider audience to experience their work.

In 2000 it was awarded an Arts Council grant of £1.5m to transform Bradford’s former Royal Mail headquarters into a new home.

The work is due to be completed in spring 2012, but the opening tonight of the Blue Hall, the name of the 112-seater auditorium, is a significant step in turning the building into a home fit for what it is hoped will become a national centre for South Asian arts, heritage and culture in the UK.

Song of the City is inspired by the 150th anniversary of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore – the revoluntionary Bengali, musician and social reformer. The performance features a mix of classical Indian and contemporary dancing, along with film and text and is choreographed by Ash Mukherjee, the first Indian nominated for a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award UK. The piece has been commissioned by Kala Sangam and London’s Akademi.

Ajit Singh, of Kala Sangam, said: “This is one of the first pieces of work we have actively commissioned in some time, but we thought it was important to bring a really high quality piece of work to Bradford tfor the launch of the new auditorium, to show what we want to achieve when the building opens properly next spring.” Tickets for tonight’s performance, at 7.30pm, are available on 01274 303340.