Monday, 25 October 2010

New Dance Production, Corpo-realities at Laban Theatre this November

Sankalpam – Corpo-Realities
Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 November, 19.30h
Laban Theatre, Laban, Creekside, London SE8 3DZ
Tickets £12 / £8 (concessions)
Booking: 020 8469 9500 or via

Asian-inspired dance company Sankalpam are showcasing their new innovative and collaborative production, Corpo-realities, at Laban Theatre in South East London on 16 and 17 November at 19.30h. Corpo-realities, featuring a triple bill for 5 female dancers, fuses the ancient South Indian classical dance Bharata Natyam with contemporary techniques.

Three artists have been commissioned to create a collaborative choreographic framework for Corpo-realities. These include Luca Silvestrini, known for his outstanding work with Protein Dance, who uses clever observational movements to reflect cultural hang-ups; former resident Southbank Centre artist Stephanie Schober (a Trinity Laban graduate) whose sophisticated choreography exposes the performers’ desire to communicate; and Sankalpam’s joint artistic director Stella Uppal-Subbiah who has collaborated with theatre director Phillip Zarrilli to explore the psychophysical expressive process of abhinaya (internal acting).

Bharata Natyam is often thought of as the dance of the mind and soul, and Corpo-realities certainly captures this essence. This promises to be a passionate performance by the dancers delivering the progressive choreography of Silvestrini, Schober, Uppal-Subbiah and Zarrilli within the appropriately modern yet intimate Laban Theatre.

The accompanying music compliments this varied evening of dance featuring pieces for keyboard by Bach, a mixture of Chinese, Indian and French music, and meditative drones with cleverly integrated sound and text.

Sankalpam, founded in 1994 by current joint artistic directors Mira Balchandran Gokul and Stella Uppal Subbiah alongside Valli Subbiah and Vidya Thirunarayan, aims to stretch Bharata Natyam beyond its traditional classical form. However, Corpo-realities is a big departure from their usual work as it incorporates work from contemporary choreographers and dancers trained in contemporary dance technique. This blending of cultures attracts both fans of contemporary dance and those of classical Indian dance.

Expect to see precise and well articulated movement which challenges ideas of form, identity and artistic freedom, all executed with the utmost grace. By reducing the cultural specificity and religious associations of Bharata Natyam, Sankalpam revives the language of South Indian dance and makes this unique art form more accessible.

For tickets please call 020 8469 9500 or visit

Friday, 22 October 2010


Sky 3D brings ‘The Universe’ to life over London with nine giant helium filled ‘Planets’

To celebrate the launch of Sky 3D, Europe’s first 3D TV channel, spectacular scenes from its forthcoming 3D premiere of The Universe: 7 Wonders of the Solar System were brought to life above London’s Royal Greenwich Observatory.

Nine helium filled ‘planets’ measuring between two and six metres in diameter were floated and illuminated above London’s skyline creating a unique spectacle ahead of the screening of the new programme from History™.

The Universe: 7 Wonders of the Solar System is the first episode from a new series of the popular History series The Universe and will be screened in 3D. The programme is part of the 3D entertainment line up for Sky’s ground breaking 3D channel, which launched on 1 October 2010. Viewers will be transported to the outer regions of space from the comfort of their sofa on Sunday 24 October at 9pm on Sky 3D.

John Cassy, Sky 3D’s Channel Director comments: “The phenomenal universe we live in has captured the imagination of generations for centuries and we wanted to add yet another dimension. It’s taken a team of 17 people over 100 hours to recreate the Solar System over the London skyline, with the impressive Jupiter dominating this celebration of ‘The Universe’ on Sky 3D.’

Sky’s groundbreaking new 3D channel is Europe’s first domestic 3D TV channel offering a variety of movies, documentaries, sports arts and entertainment. The channel is available through all existing Sky+HD boxes and compatible with all ‘active’ and ‘passive’ 3D TVs being produced by LG, Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic.

The Universe: 7 Wonders of the Solar System will screen on Sky 3D, channel 217, on Sunday 24 October at 9pm. For more information on Sky 3D and 3D TV at home visit

To view the ‘behind the scenes’ video of the solar system being brought to life above London’s Royal Greenwich Observatory visit:

Friday, 15 October 2010

Greenwich International Early Music Festival & Exhibition 2010

Greenwich International Early Music Festival & Exhibition 2010
12 – 14 November 2010
Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LF

From viols to vespers, the stunning baroque architecture of the Old Royal Naval College will resonate with the sounds of all things early music in November during the ninth Greenwich International Early Music Festival & Exhibition. Across three days, a diverse programme of performance featuring acclaimed musicians will run alongside the world’s largest and most prestigious early music exhibitors fair, featuring over 100 international instrument makers. Run by the Early Music Shop and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music (Trinity Laban), this unique event has proved an essential fixture on the early music calendar.

Among the highlights of this year’s programme is Quartet New Generation (QNG), a female recorder collective juxtaposing contemporary and early music, hailed as ‘recorder virtuosos’ by The New York Times and ‘mind-blowing’ by the Los Angeles Times. Performing on over 30 different recorders of varying sizes and shapes during the course of a typical performance, QNG transports the listener into new sonic worlds (Fri 12 Nov, 5.45pm, St Alfege Church).

On Friday at 1pm head to St Alfege Church to hear the fascinating story of the Golden Lyre of Ur – dating from 2,550 years BC. The poignant discovery in 1929 of three lyres and a harp in a mass grave in Mesopotamia led to six years of investigation and the subsequent painstaking recreation of this remarkable instrument. Told through narrative and music, it is a tale of deaths, mass-suicides and royal court musicians who played to the bitter end.

One of the themes of this year’s festival is the work of Haydn. The renowned CafĂ© Mozart will be will be joined by Steven Devine (fortepiano) to perform Haydn a L’anglaise (Fri 12, 7.45pm, Old Royal Naval College Chapel). A mixture of songs by Haydn as found in English editions available in London when he arrived in 1791, instrumental music converted into “Ballads” and keyboard Rondos based on Haydn’s English Canzonettas will be performed alongside keyboard music by Haydn’s pupil Thomas Haigh. Steven Devine will also be performing a lunchtime recital of concerti by the Bach family with harpsichordist John Henry in St Alfege Church (Sat 13, 1pm).

Baroque flute player Rachel Brown, described by The Sunday Telegraph as ‘a performer of remarkable intensity and musicianship’, will be performing Telemann’s Fantasias on Saturday 13 (3pm, Old Royal Naval College Chapel). A leading authority on historical performance practice, Rachel is known for her moving and virtuosic performances on a wide range of flutes and recorders.

Significant anniversaries celebrated at this year’s festival include the 400th anniversary of the publication of Monteverdi’s Marian Vespers, which the Trinity Laban Early Music Ensemble and Choir will mark with a programme of early 17th century Italian sacred music (Sat 13, 7.45pm Old Royal Naval College Chapel). Also on Saturday, The Burney Players mark the 300th anniversary of Thomas Arne’s birth with a programme of his chamber music, also featuring the music and writings of Charles Burney (5.45pm St Alfege Church).

The last day of the festival opens at the Recital Room in Blackheath Halls as the Fitzwilliam String Quartet celebrate their 40th anniversary with a lively programme of Purcell, Bach, Mozart and Haydn (Sun 14, 10.30am).

Also performing at the festival: Trinity Laban Early Music Prize 2010 winners Due Corde – a violin and cello duo who specialise in performing 18th century violin sonatas with basso continuo realised on the cello alone; and a solo recital by Pernille Petersen, the talented winner of the 2009 Moeck Competition.

The Exhibition will be located in the magnificent Christopher Wren-designed Painted Hall on the Old Royal Naval College site for the duration of the festival. A diverse group of early instrument makers from around the globe, as well as shops, music publishers, societies, recording companies and early music forums will all gather under one roof. An array of superb instruments will be on display and for sale, including harpsichords, clavichords, spinets, organs, viols, baroque violins, mediaeval fiddles, lutes, harps, hurdy-gurdies, crumhorns, shawms, rebecs, pipes, sackbutts, trumpets, drums, tabors, and an extensive variety of recorders. Exhibitors will provide advice on all aspects of these instruments from basic servicing and string replacement to decoration and troubleshooting, and there will be free makers' demonstration recitals on the hour.

Performance programme tickets available via 020 8463 0100 or via Exhibition tickets should be purchased on the door. For more information see


A re-enactor from La Columna portraying a British
anti-fascist volunteer during Spanish Civil War, 1938.

For nine days from Saturday 23 to Sunday 31 October Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum will be staging a range of events and activities marking those same days in October throughout history. No two days will be the same and on each day visitors can find out what was happening on that day in history.

The unique event, Nine Days in History, will begin over the weekend of Saturday 23 to Sunday 24 October with two days of living history. Among the characters from history who will be there to meet visitors will be British volunteers fighting the fascists in the Spanish Civil War and wartime Gunners. There will also be film shows, Firepower’s own vintage radio station broadcasting round the world and family history experts. Visitors arriving in their own period costume (only Allied allowed) will get a free gift. Residents of the London Borough of Greenwich will have free admission for the Living History weekend of 23-24 October.

During the school holidays from Monday 25 to Friday 29 October the Museum will be providing a range of great family friendly activities including military style drills with soldiers, free fun tours, making a gas mask, firing a real wartime 25 pounder gun, dressing up in uniform, Hunt the Horrible trails, wartime storytelling, bungee run and Firepower’s firing range.

Nine Days in History will end on the weekend of Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 October with the Royal Arsenal Heritage Quarter Community History Days. Again for these two days, residents of the London Borough of Greenwich will get free admission. These two full days of heritage activity in and around Firepower and the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. Re-enactors including Firepower’s Living History Team will bring exhibits to life, family history experts will be on hand, there will be talks and tours on the historic Royal Arsenal, archive films of old Woolwich and wargaming demonstrations. Due to popular demand a Halloween ghost tour will take place on the evening of Sunday 31st.

Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum is based at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich - the birthplace of the Royal Artillery that was founded there in 1716. The Museum is acknowledged as the world’s oldest and premier artillery museum. Firepower tells the story of the Gunners – the more than 2.5 million men and women of the Royal Artillery, and the part they have played in history and their role today in the front line with the British Army. Tales of extraordinary heroism and endeavour are presented alongside explanations of the technological and scientific advances driven by the development of artillery from Roman times to the present day. Experiences at Firepower include the ground-shaking Field of Fire audio-visual show where visitors are put in the midst of battle as shells and aircraft fly overhead and guns roar all around, giving an insight into the experiences of an artillery gunner.

Firepower will be open from 10.30am each day and is located in the historic Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, London, between the A206 and the Thames. Woolwich Arsenal DLR station is just a five minute walk from the Museum. Normal admission costs: Adults £5.00, children £2.50, concessions £4.50. Discounted family tickets are also available.

Halloween Fun at Greenwich Market

Halloween kicks off at Greenwich Market on Friday 29 October when the Market, decorated with pumpkins and balloons, will echo to the sound of scary music. Children aged 6 and over are invited to take part in one of the FREE Halloween Costume Workshops taking place from 11am on Friday. They can choose to make outfits including a witch, Dracula, goblin, evil fairy, good fairy and zombie. All materials will be supplied and, dressed in character, they can have their face painted for free and take part in the scary fashion show at 5pm - the best costume will win a prize! Other Halloween activities will include decorate your own trick or treat bag with Bubblelucy, scary cupcake decorating workshops with Ms Cupcake, ghostly story telling and scrummy pumpkin soup tastings.

Grown ups can take part too – on Saturday and Sunday, there will be sewing workshops for adults to make quirky contemporary Halloween style crafts including hats, fancy pants, simple bags and accessories – from 11am to 5pm and cost just £7.50 per project. Fun and easy for the beginner through to more advanced for the practised. Machinery and fabrics will all be supplied – just turn up and get crafty with Miss Libby Rose.

All children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Viewfinder Photography Gallery has a new home

The Viewfinder has taken up a permanent residency in Brixton Village (formerly Granville Arcade), an alternative market which has been rejuvenated by a non profit organisation called Space Makers. Near to the Photofusion Gallery, and close to the tube, there is a lovely mix of shops, artist spaces, galleries and restaurants in the market which have attracted quite a buzz of press. The energy and community of Brixton and Lambeth council provides a wealth of potential for the Viewfinder gallery. Special events will happen in the market on Thursday evenings and Saturdays; do get involved!

Viewfinder Photographer Gallery will now be at:

Viewfinder Photography Gallery
52 Brixton Village
(Formerly Granville Arcade)
London, SW9 8PS
Tube: Brixton (Victoria Line)

Meet the new curator:
Kathleen Brey has taken over from Louise Forrester as manager and curator of the Viewfinder Photography gallery as of September 2010.

As manager and curator of the Viewfinder Photography Gallery, Kathleen intends to continue the rich programme of exhibitions and workshops established by the gallery. Among the programming that will be added to the Viewfinder's profile going forward will be a Professional Development Scheme for emerging photographers.

Blurring The Big Draw: A fun free family drawing event at Goldsmiths

When: Saturday 23 October 2010, 11am - 4pm
Where: Great Hall, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London SE14 6NW
Admission: FREE

As part the national Big Draw event, Goldsmiths, University of London will be inviting families to take part in ‘Blurring The Big Draw’ on Saturday 23 October from 11am – 4pm.

Goldsmiths’ Great Hall will host a wide range of creative activities and workshops ideal for children up to 14 years old. Visitors will be encouraged to take part in a variety of guided activities led by postgraduate trainee teachers from Goldsmiths making this free event a fun day out for the whole family.

The 2009 Big Draw event ‘Colour: The Big Draw’ was the biggest so far with more than 700 visitors. It was so successful that it won the prestigious Trailblazer Award prize in the Drawing Inspiration Awards.

The theme for the 2010 Big Draw event at Goldsmiths is ‘Blurring The Big Draw’, and it will emphasise the cross-curricular future of drawing. For the first time in Goldsmiths' Big Draw history, English PGCE students will team up with Art and Design PGCE students to design and run the event which aims to blur the boundaries of drawing and mark-making.

This year Goldsmiths’ Big Draw is partly sponsored by Aspire Aimhigher, the South East London partnership working to give young people in the area more opportunities to access further and higher education. The event is also supported by the Centre for Arts and Learning, a research centre at Goldsmiths dedicated to the practical and theoretical exploration of learning practices across the arts within diverse social and cultural contexts.

For more info visit 

Johnny Depp to the Rescue of a Budding Pirate in Greenwich!

It seems that Johnny Depp has been busy around Greenwich and not just filming the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The crazy pirate answered the call of a "budding pirate" at a primary school in the area (a cool one actually that lies just on the Meridian Line and is duly named Meridian Primary School) where he showed up with other pirates just in time to save the day and give the pirate her well-earned cuddle. He apparently made everyone's day and they all lived happily ever after.

For more on the story, click here.