The Rose and the Bulbul brings cultures together through the symbols of the rose and the bulbul (nightingale). It is a family-friendly piece, presenting professional and community-based performers, that taps into the love affair that humans have with creating gardens.
The title is derived from the significance of the rose as a Tudor emblem and as symbol of beauty and perfection in both Persian and English literature. The bulbul is the Indian equivalent of the nightingale, representing the woods and wilderness beyond the cultivated garden. Indian and Persian poetry is replete with references both to the rose and to the nightingale.
Dance, music and spoken word respond to the structure of the garden as the Rose and the Bulbul come to understand their present through a journey into each other’s past. Bulbul has fled from conflict and followed the scent of the rose to come to rest in a green and pleasant land. How will he be received? Rose has lost her trust; can Bulbul make her believe again? The Rose and the Bulbul is above all a moving story of love and acceptance.
The performance was developed as an R&D by Kadam with a cast of eight professional artists and fifteen community members, and played for two 45-minute shows on 24 July 2016 at Luton’s Stockwood Park.
Scriptwriter, performer and Cambridge graduate Kamal Kaan received the Brian Park Scholarship (Shed Productions) for his MA in TV Fiction Writing at Glasgow Caledonian University. Alongside award-winning theatre writing, his work includes As The Cloud Takes Its Last Breath for BBC Radio 3 (winner of the Verb New Voices 3) and a current commission for BBC Radio 4. He is in demand as an actor on stage and screen (Arcola Theatre; BBC).
Director Sita Thomas is an alumna of the National Youth Theatre. She is currently completing her PhD on diversity in Shakespearean performance, but also finds time to present Channel 5’s Milkshake and to dance with the Bollywood Brass Band.
London-based singer Ranjana Ghatak has worked nationally and internationally as both an artist and composer. She has presented concerts at the Barbican and has performed as a guest singer with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nitin Sawhney and Akram Khan’s Svapnagata festival (Sadler’s Wells) and Opera Shorts at the Royal Opera House. She performs contemporary and traditional music for odissi dance.
Originally from Malaysia, Kali Chandrasegaram is a key artist in the UK Contemporary South Asian dance scene and has worked for many of the genre’s leading companies. Trained in South Asian classical dance forms – bharatanatyam, odissi, kathak – and in Western contemporary dance genres, he uses these styles as springboards to venture into greater possibilities.
Parbati Chaudhury is a UK born and trained kathak dancer and teacher. She regularly features in Pagrav Dance Company (I, Within & Detox), Akademi (Navodit & Bells Revisited) and Kadam-Pulse (My Soul Is Alight) productions. In 2015, Parbati won two national dance awards: Akademi’s Kathak Solo Category of Yuva; and Milapfest’s Yuva Nritya Ratna Award.
May Robertson is a UK-based violinist creating and collaborating with artists in a wide range of styles. Her roots are in the early music world, performing with various baroque orchestras and the medieval band Joglaresa. After an English degree at Cambridge University she studied the violin at Trinity Laban and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.