Asian Music and Dance

Raw Festive Energy

Summer fun and dance in Birmingham

The International Raw Energy performers learnt new dance styles in a thrilling exchange of styles and techniques in the run up for a youth dance programme to mark the opening of International Dance Festival Birmingham. The dynamic performances traversed every colour in the rainbow and successfully combined varying genres of music to fit seamlessly like a jigsaw puzzle. 

“It’s not just bringing in another culture and imposing it — but sharing it,” said Piali Ray, Sampad South Asian Arts director. Sampad collaborated with Dance Xchange and Birmingham Hippodrome to organise the event. 

Almost 70 performers between the ages of 10 and 26, from throughout the Midlands, performed a range of energetic and original pieces inspired by contrasting concepts such as community, secrecy, peace and war. The pieces, which had contemporary, hip hop, African and south Asian dance influences, were choreographed by international choreographer Mayuri Upadhya alongside local choreographers. 

Leroy Ward, 18, from Dudley, has studied contemporary dance for the past six years but had to learn Bollywood moves for the piece titled ‘Bollywood.’ “It’s so different,” Ward said in regards to Bollywood. “It’s livelier and more fun. Contemporary dance can be kind of serious.” 

The evening ended with the explosive ‘Bollywood Fever’ finale, where dancers overtook the Town Hall as they danced on balconies and among the audience. 



Join the weekly Pulse newsletter and we will send you the latest news and articles straight to your inbox