WMG Late: India

  • 2 February 2017
  • 18:30 - 22:30
  • Free. No need to book. First Thursday of every other month. Galleries and bar open all evening.


WMG Lates, our bimonthly after-hours events, are a chance to experience the Gallery in a relaxed adult atmosphere. Visit the special exhibitions and sample some of the best art, music, poetry and performance in London. Curated in partnership with Beatroots, a new social enterprise focused on connecting communities through music and producers of the recent Punk Waltham Forest programme

This month discover the intense glow of Indian culture as we explore William Morris's fascination with Indian textiles.

  • Akademi kathak artist Parbati Chaudhuri and tabla player Amritpal Singh Rasiya perform a series of technical dances choreographed exclusively for the William Morris Gallery.
  • DJ Olaf S East plays Bollywood classics from India's seminal music makers and composers including Rahul Dev Burman, Kalyanji-Anandji and Bappi Lahiri.
  • Painter, poet and installation artist Hassan Vawda reads from the latest edition of his poetry book Ancestral Coordinates, inspired by his family's journey from the Indian village of Kathor to their new home in Walthamstow in the 1960s.

And if you're feeling creative, join British born Indian artist Sba Shaikh to make your very own fabric bookmark using the indigo discharge method, an ancient Indian printing technique that was much admired by William Morris. Finish off your bookmark by block printing your initials.

And if that's not enough, you can also sample Indian snacks and drinks from World's Larder.

Kathak performances 7.30pm and 9pm in the Story Lounge.
Hassan Vawda reading 8.15pm in the Tea Room.

Free entry, bar open all evening.

Artist biographies

Parbati Chaudhury

Parbati Chaudhury is a London-born and based dance artist and teacher.

Her training in kathak began in 1998 at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, with Sushmita Ghosh and Abhay Shankar Mishra, and continues independently under the tutelage of Urja Desai Thakore.

As a performer, Parbati regularly features in Pagrav Dance Company, Akademi (Navodit Bells Revisited) and Kadam-Pulse(The Rose and the Bulbul My Soul is Alight) productions. As a teacher, she leads kathak classes at Siobhan Davies Dance, forPagrav Dance Company, and Srishti.

In 2015, Parbati won two national youth dance awards: Akademi’s Kathak Solo Category of Yuva; and Milapfest’s Yuva Nritya Ratna Award, which she is using to look into unfamiliar performing arts disciplines such as kalaripayattu and musical theatre, thereby exploring fresh avenues of presentation, interpretation and alternative movement dynamics.

Aside from her dance practice, Parbati works at Pulse magazine to support the creation of a more integrated, informed and innovative South Asian arts community. She also takes on freelance projects in arts administration, promotion and education, and worked as a Project Assistant for the international South Asian dance conference Navadisha 2016

Amritpal Singh Rasiya

Amritpal Singh Rasiya is a young, vibrant musician whose recognition is growing fast to be one of the leading Tabla players in the UK. Initiated into Tabla by his father, the renowned classical Kirtani, Bhai Gurdiyal Singh Rasiya, he went on to receive further training from the late Ustad Gurmit Singh Virdee.  Amritpal is now a senior disciple of one of the world’s finest Tabla players, Pandit Yogesh Samsi.

Amritpal has a diverse array of skills, known for his in depth understanding of complex rhythms as well having the ability to grasp spontaneous musical patterns on the spot – His experience ranges from performing Tabla solo as well as dance (Kathak, contemporary), Indian Classical Instrumental and Vocal styles. Able to perform with many genres of music, he has accompanied the likes of Indian Classical, Western Classical, Jazz and Fusion as well as Meditative music.

Amritpal has been actively performing in many prestigious events, namely guest artist at the BBC Dance Proms at Royal Albert Hall, television appearance as guest artist on BBC Young Dancer 2015 and recently led a four Tabla player ensemble concert at the prestigious Darbar Festival.

Keen to share his knowledge, Amritpal is also actively involved in teaching and performing lecture demonstrations throughout UK and Europe as well as running regular Tabla/Rhythm classes and workshops. Amritpal has been an active tutor of Tabla/Rhythm with Indian Classical Dance at the University of Surrey and is a key sound therapist for StressManagement.co.uk and the Institute Of Mindfulness and Transpersonal Psychology (Alhama, Spain).

Olaf S East

Music obsessive and vinyl collector Olaf spent much of his teen years foraging for tunes around Walthamstow’s antique arcade, especially in the sorely-missed record shop House of Love. Now, after 20 years, from the House-fuelled warm up spots across Soho to today's more intimate East End hangouts, Olaf’s sets cover all corners and include everything from 60s soul, funk and Bollywood to Krautrock and psych.

Sba Shaikh

Creator of Mehraj Textiles, Sba creates richly coloured fabrics with various print techniques, embellished with embroidery or gold leaf. She is inspired by her Muslim Indian/British heritage and by contemporary "kitsch".

Hassan Vawda

Hassan is a painter, poet and installation artist born in Walthamstow. He makes art and lives to make others make, engage and live art; “Everyone has the poetry of their experience inside them and once you are lucky enough to find it for yourself, it is your duty to make others engage and find their own from within them”.