Choreographer Balbir Singh teamed up with olympic synchronised swimmer Heba Abdel Gawad and six dancers with Kathak and contemporary backgrounds. Over two intensive weeks in November 2010 they explored what was involved in synchronised swimmers’ choreography and training, and what happens to classical Indian and contemporary dancers when they danced in water.
They came up with a new exercise craze and a spectacular homage to Busby Berkeley’s MGM ‘water musicals’ of the 40s and 50s.
Hundreds of people in pools around the region have already experienced AquaKathak, a creative water workout session aimed at people who would not normally go to either straight dance or swimming classes. Sessions are carefully balanced to provide both creative and physical workouts with an emphasis on fun and accessibility. Bespoke sessions have also been tailored for groups’ individual needs.
Synchronised was a swimming pool spectacular featuring over 100 dancers, swimmers, musicians and a choir. Created by Balbir with composer Jesse Bannister, filmmaker Terry Braun and lighting designer Michael Mannion, Synchronised premiered in June 2012 at Ponds Forge in Sheffield and the Ludus Festival in The Edge Sports Centre, Leeds.
2010 – 2012 and continuing
“Being involved with Synchronised over the three years has been one of the most artistically challenging and enriching experiences for me. My awareness of choreography and collaboration with synchronised swimmers has fundamentally helped me to grow as a dancer.” – Dancer, Synchronised
“The ‘performers’ – musicians, swimmers and dancers – were simply stunning. What an extraordinary achievement – to make such a complex production appear so smooth – like a swan on water!”
– Audience member