MANDALA was a ground-breaking production that integrated cutting-edge 3D digital technology with South Asian performing arts as the result of a bold, new collaboration between sampad and leading arts & technology company, seeper.

The dazzling outdoor performance event took place in Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square and Nottingham’s Old Market Square in September 2012.

Directed by Kully Thiarai, with choreography by Aakash Odedra and artistic direction by Piali Ray, it aimed to present South Asian dance and music in a fresh and exciting new way.

MANDALA united exciting British Asian dancers Aakash Odedra and Devika Rao, hip-hop/streetdance collective Bboy’s Attic and a company of artists, mixing the beautiful forms of classical Asian dance with edgy, urban attitude.

The striking dance sequences were set to a powerful soundtrack that featured the music of world-class artists Anoushka Shankar and Zakir Hussain and the performance culminated with an uplifting live appearance by multi award-winning tabla artist, Talvin Singh.

The façades of Town Hall Birmingham and Nottingham Council House formed an interactive backdrop for the shows and the structures came to life with stunning visual effects and 3D digital light projections triggered by the live South Asian music and dance.

A ‘mandala’ is a circular symbol that represents the universe in some Eastern religions. The performance reflected on our journeys through life and how we are all shaped by our experiences. The mandala shape formed by the projections symbolised the idea that the past, present and future are all part of a never-ending life cycle and also represented our collective histories and cultural heritage.

The multimedia spectacle provided the dramatic celebrations for the final weekend of the prestigious London 2012 Festival, a 12-week festival that showcased the UK’s world-class culture and gave people across the UK an opportunity to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

MANDALA aimed to awaken a mood of joy and celebration by inspiring audiences to salute the achievements of the past and to renew their collective hopes for the future. It ultimately created an immersive and memorable experience enjoyed by more than twelve thousand people across the three performances.

MANDALA in Birmingham started with a swing with a free live outdoor set by seriously hot dhol’n’brass band Red Baraat, presented by Town Hall, Birmingham and Asian Arts Agency. The evening also kicked off Birmingham’s Artsfest 2012 , the UK’s biggest free arts festival.

MANDALA in Nottingham marked the opening weekend for the World Event for Young Artists as part of its Sunday Fiesta and the final weekend of MelaFest 2012, presented by New Art Exchange and Nottingham Asian Arts Council.

Watch the trailer for Mandala here!

Thanks to all of the people who donated money via WeFund and PayPal or sent cash or cheques to help to make Mandala possible.

We are grateful to all of our generous supporters listed below:

Martin Connor – £40
Samir Bhanra – £20
Lorna Hirst – £20
Janette Bushell – £20
Clayton Shaw – £20
Titikssha Shah – £20
Katy Wade – £10
Simi Obra – £10
Abdul Rashid – £190
Niltu – £50
Shilajit Ghosh, Swati Ghosh, Aisham Ghosh – £60
Mohan Handa – £50
Tanusree Shankar – £20
Kanak Bhatt – £100
Saraswati Kalvala – £60
Elaine Benbow – £50
Rita Jagpal – £20
Deirdre Figueiredo – £20
Sohini Alam – £20
Nasheima Sheikh – £25
Bhaskar Choudhury – £25
Jane Lutz – £50
Earthen Lamp – £20
Jon Coane – £50
Kalasangam -£100
University of Aston Summer School – £40
Tan Mian – £20

Watch the trailer for Mandala