Umba – Surya’s Mother Satveer Pnaiser is a classically trained Kathak dancer born and brought up in Birmingham, UK. She started her training and continues to do so under the teaching of the renowned and established Kathak artist, Sonia Sabri. Satveer has performed nationally and internationally with the Sonia Sabri company in productions such as Nisbat and Jugni, as well as performing in other classical and semi-classical showcases. Notable performances include those at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham and BBC’s Satveer is a keen actress and has undertaken training at City Academy, London. Recent acting projects include lead role as Umrao Jaan in the Nautch Girl by Phyzzical Productions, and various Musical Theatre roles. In addition to performing, Satveer regularly teaches in various workshops and festivals She is also involved with working within well-known arts projects around the country, including the annual Alchemy Festival at Southbank in London. Satveer’s additional creative work includes locally commissioned painting, photography.
Ram – a travelling dancer. Vin Meyhay is a Birmingham based artist. He has been involved in the North Indian Punjabi dance of Bhangra for over 28 years and a dance instructor for the past 8 years. Since 1986 he has performed with the dance team Nachda Sansaar nationally and internationally, working along with many artists and organisations. Bhangra is a very colourful, energetic and joyful dance which is performed to celebrate happy occasions. Memorable performances & achievements include:
- Winner of International Bhangra Championships in Chicago, USA 2003 & 2004
- Part of the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester Asian Pop Awards 2000
- Contribution to Bhangra Dancing Part of the Interval Act during the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest in Birmingham
- Represented The City of Birmingham during the 1992 Year of Music Asian Pop Awards 1991
- Best Bhangra Dance Group
- Performances at the WOMAD and Glastonbury festivals -Television performances include: Blue Peter, Jim Davidson’s Generation Game, Cilla Black’s Surprise Surprise, Goodness Gracious Me and BBC Pebble Mill.
Sanjay – young unemployed man Arun Cheema hails from Great Barr, Birmingham. He began playing the dholdrum at the age of eleven and was instantly inspired by the vibrant sounds he could create. He went on to join the world famous Dhol Foundation founded by Johnny Kalsi and has now been playing with this established group for many years. The dohl is a double-headed drum and comes in a number of similar types which are widely used throughout the Indian sub-continent with regional variations. Its range of distribution in India is primarily in the northern areas, including Rajasthan, but is perhaps best known abroad for its prominent place in the rhythm of popular Punjabi bhangra music Arun is an emerging dohl drummer of great talent whose playing embodies a clearly expressed passion for his He has played at the 02 Arena and Royal Albert Hall and taken part in many memorable performances. These include the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony and the Queen’s Coronation Festival Gala held in the Gardens of Buckingham Palace. Arun is currently studying business management.
Mr Chatterjee – The Middleman Pardip Kumar is a wonderful Actor and Storyteller from Handsworth, Birmingham. He was inspired to become an actor after seeing Steve McQueen ride his motorcycle in The Great Escape and went on to study at the London Academy of Acting founded by the late Mr Gurdial Sira. He has many years experience of working in television, film and theatre and has toured nationally and internationally playing a diverse range of characters including Maharajah Duleep Singh, Emperor Shah Jahan and recently, a Jamaican politician. Pardip is a Roleplayer/Educator at The University of Birmingham Medical School. He has also worked as a roleplayer with the NHS, The Police – including the Counter Terror Unit – and Jaguar Landrover. He has been commended on a number of occasions on the realism of the characters he He enjoys Theatre in Education work and, in particular, Suryas Story as it enables him to engage with young people and to inspire them to have a voice on issues they can relate to. Pardip is a natural storyteller who enjoys the interaction of working with a live audience. He has also recently been exploring his love of comedy and stand up and has been successful with a few characters he has been developing and showcasing at Comedy Festivals.
Sharon Muiruri (Playwright) M.Phil. is an accomplished freelance director /facilitator and writer. She wrote Child of the World (1998) as a response to Christian Aid’s Gobal March which aimed to raise awareness of Child Labour. That play was a set of four play-lets from around the world. Sipho from South Africa, Chico from Brazil, Laura from the UK and Surya from India. Over the years, the play has been performed as a whole and also its four parts separately. Sharon is an associate lecturer at Winchester University in Applied Drama and Theatre in Education. Much of her freelance practice involves the use of Applied drama with social inclusion, especially with young people and adults in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. She set up Vita Nova, a community theatre group for people in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. She is currently Drama Facilitator at Action on Addiction. Sharon is also the artistic director and co founder of The Poole Passion TPP (www.poolepassion.com) and co director of State of Play ( stateofplayarts.co.uk ) which is a reincarnation of Bournemouth Theatre in Education Team (BTIE).
Ted Street (Technical Manager) has a BA(Hons) in English and Media Studies. He has wide-ranging experience in corporate communications as a freelance writer, producer and director working on a diverse range of subjects for companies such as British Gas and AMEC. He has expertise in music recording studio He also manages production of the Helios Type 69 mic pre EQ range of re-issue modules designed by the late Richard Swettenham whose legendary Helios mixing consoles were owned by Island Records, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Virgin Records and many others. Ted has worked in higher education giving technical support to media production undergraduates on video location dramaand documentary projects, and on educational drama programmes for the Consortium for Drama in Higher Education. He was co-founder and Executive Producer of Doppelganger Productions, a theatre company specialising in new writing and stage production, and is a volunteer drama.
Martin Coyne – Photographer Martin is a Dorset based artist. He is a passionate believer in the use of the still and moving image as a tool for promoting change. He was born in Scotland, growing up in and around the city of Glasgow. He was introduced to photography when he studied at the Glasgow College of Building and Printing and has evolved his practice over the last twenty years. He sees the role of the documentary photographer as one of great privilege, in which he is allowed into people’s lives to record them and their environment. With this privilege comes the great responsibility to maintain the integrity of both In 2007 he travelled to Malawi where, as part of a team, he worked on an AIDS/HIV education film ‘Bantu Ngati Isi’. It is the first film to use Tumbuka as it’s sole language and is currently touring northern Malawi encouraging people to be tested for HIV, challenging stigma and introducing them to ARV treatments. In 2009 he was commissioned to travel to the Pearl River Delta and make portraits of workers in the shoe factories of Shenzhen Longgang, the resultant work being exhibited in Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. In his role as senior lecturer Arts University Bournemouth he passes on his skills to the next generation of image-makers and is fully involved in the contemporary issues that affect the media world at technical and conceptual levels. He recently embarked on a career as a new media artist producing interactive video installation and mapped projection.
Jordi Robert – Filmmaker/Photographer Jordi was born in Barcelona and grew up surrounded by the work of great artists. From an early age he visited galleries and museums with his father, also an artist, discovering his passion for the arts. At the age of 12 he had built a darkroom in his parent’s bathroom to develop his own photographs. Jordi studied TV Production at the Institute of art and design IDEP in Barcelona and at the age of 18 he was already working with well know commercial photographers and film makers. In 1998 he moved to Bournemouth in search of a new direction in career where he funded Pragma Films, a not-for-profit organisation made of many different visual artists working with community groups. Since then Jordi has been working for many different organisations with a strong emphasis on community, young people and vulnerable adults. These include YMCA, Youth Services, Vita Nova, Butterfly Foundation and UK Youth.