Preview: Alchemy Festival @ Southbank Centre (London, 20th – 30th May 2016)

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The exuberant ten-day Alchemy Festival returns to Southbank for its seventh year!

Celebrating the historical and cultural ties between the UK and India, it offers an impressive array of activities, from both classical and contemporary performances, workshops, exhibitions and its mouth-watering food market.

Its music programme features artists from the UK and South Asia coming together, from Pakistan’s rock group Laal collaborating with Britain’s Asian Dub Foundation in a concert of music and social activism (27 May), to Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and the BBC Concert Orchestra (20 May).

Alchemy also showcases how British-South Asians articulate their identity through art, with Singer-songwriter Shapla Salique mixing Bengali traditional songs with jazz and soul (20 May), Dr Shama Rahman’s bilingual Sitar Cabaret Libretto (24 May), British-Pakistani violist Sarah Sarhandi (27 May), and late night We are second Generation gig celebrating 20 years of British-Asian club culture (21 May). The celebration also offers insights into India’s local music scene, starring Bollywood film trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (28 May), legendary classical and cinematic Tamil singer Dr K J Yesudas (21 May), the “ethnotronic” vibes of Mumbai’s Filter Coffee duo (20 May) and Wild City’s night of India’s alternative music scene (29 May).

Packed with rich layers of history and culture, the Alchemy festival will definitely leave you spoiled for choice.

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