Indian String and Dance Exhibition at The Museum of Croydon

The Museum of Croydon, London Sitar Ensemble and Subrang Arts (formerly known as Sutton Subrang) opened a major exhibition in the Croydon NOW gallery of the Museum of Croydon, and other public display areas at Croydon Clocktower, from April to August 2009.

The exhibition showcased the outputs of the Heritage Lottery Fund funded 'String and Dance Festival' Project which was run by London Sitar Ensemble and Subrang Arts. The core exhibition, which was displayed in two separate galleries at Croydon Clocktower, comprised of oral history interviews (video), musical instruments and associated objects from the Community Groups involved and other donors like the Horniman Museum, photographs and videos showing musical performances and dances from the Indian Sub-Continent as performed in the UK, costumes and associated musical instruments of all eight classical Indian dances and three folk dance genres from western India. Within the musical instruments display the emphasis was on string instruments like the sitar, sarangi, violin, veena, sarod, santoor and the supporting instruments like drums and cymbals.

Two photo exhibitions complemented the exhibition and were displayed in other public areas of the Clocktower: one showing Croydon-based dancers and musicians; and the other about a music instruments collection project in India.

The exhibition was embedded in a string of events like workshops, lectures/demonstarations, oral tradition interviews and concerts. Taking and using a wealth of digital video, still photography and audio recordings constituted a major part of the activities and display.

Indian music and dance is one of the finest traditions in the world. Tracing its roots back to times immemorial, these art forms have an interesting pattern of evolutionary changes. Many changes, transformation and evolution have taken place, enriched by the contribution of the musicians and dancers, great and small, famous and unknown.

The India - Britain story is a 400 year long tale of travel, migration and cultural exchange. This journey has made a significant influence on the cultural scene of British Arts. The 'Indian Strings and Dances' project, aimed to explore the evolution and contribution made by the musicians and dancers in Britain. The exhibition provided a representative sample of the artistic and cultural contribution made by South Asian people to the development of music in the UK.

The exhibition was curated by Lata Desai and Rolf Killius in close collaboration with Rob Shakespeare of Museum of Croydon.

Indian String and Dance Festival - Museum of Croydon

Avtar Singh (Taus) and
Piush Kumar (Tabla)

LSE with James Barralet (Cello) and Tunde Jegede (Kora)

Instruments at MOC


Costume Gallery

Croydon Clocktower Audience

Croydon Now Gallery

Manorama Prasad

Parvati. N.

Subrang Atrs

Mohiniyattam Dance

Nicolas Magriel, (Sarangi)

Croydon now instruments


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Lata Desai

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Harsha Amin

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