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Spectacular Sangeet opens at Surrey Art Gallery

Work of eight artists featured in new multimedia exhibition.
Ron Sangha (his piece Mandala 2 Dancers A

Spectacular Sangeet is Surrey Art Gallery’s new exhibition of performance and theatricality spanning the grand scale of old Bollywood films to the more intimate spaces of community traditions.

Sangeet – the Hindi word for music and dance – refers to a selection of South Asian musical styles. Spectacular Sangeet features these same styles remixed with digital design, new media, and contemporary art with generous helpings of humour, fun, and a dash of irony. This group exhibition, with artworks from eight Canadian and British artists, illuminates relationships between the body and music, the individual and the group, gender and labour, spirituality and the profane.

The artists are Chila Kumari Burman, Oliver Husain, Harminder Singh Judge, Project Rainbow, Ron Sangha, Jack Shadbolt, Ikbal Singh and Meera Margaret Singh.

Spectacular Sangeet launches this Saturday (April 13) with an opening reception from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Prior to that, at 6:30 p.m., Toronto-based visual artist Meera Margaret Singh will give an illustrated talk about her video installation piece in the exhibition.

This exhilarating assembly of retro Bollywood poster collage, kinetic photo-sculpture, human dance mandalas, and documentary video installation art incorporates diverse genres of sangeet: from giddha to rock, and classical dance to contemporary movement. Burman mines Bollywood film history, courtesan culture, Indian comic books, and found art to create a layered meditation on identity, gender, and music. Husain unravels notions of beauty, and plays with mirroring and multiplicity while putting the theatrical back into film. Ron Sangha’s new, digitally altered pictures of Bharatanatyam performance consider the relationship between the singular dancer and the many.

Spectacular Sangeet is curated by Naveen Girn and Jordan Strom and continues until June 16. The show is presented in collaboration with the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society. Admission is by donation.

Curators Strom and Girn will give a tour of the exhibit on April 25, 7-9 p.m. and other related events are planned in May and June.

Check for more details.