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Jukebox


Tron Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
Nothing can unite the body politic quite like music, even as listening 
to it or playing it remains an intensely personal experience. Such 
notions are the back-bone of Ankur Productions' charming look at 
pan-Indian identity through the eyes, words and, above all, songs of 
those who left their homeland for Glasgow, and the younger generation 
they sired.

In what is part concert, part oral history, some fourteen community 
performers of all ages tell their stories, both on film and in the 
flesh. As they relate their tales of exile and arranged marriages on 
the one hand, and facing the Glasgow cold at the 'Barras on the other, 
the result of Shabina Aslam's Mayfesto production, which sees the cast 
perched on a network of white-painted boxes, is a crucial mash-up of 
traditional Indian mores fused with a brash contemporaneity.

While the older women sport saris as they talk of a time before 
Bollywood had been named thus, the younger ones wear baseball caps, 
t-shirts and bling, complaining that the older garb is itchy. As a 
young girl relates the story of someone who came to Glasgow more than 
forty years ago, however, as she talks in first person, the importance 
of such hand-me-down experiences becomes clear.

Ultimately, Jukebox is a modest but lovingly realised evocation of 
community, and of forming a new one whilst retaining links with the one 
that's been left behind. In this way, it stresses the importance of 
retaining a deep-rooted sense of identity, even as you integrate with 
another culture. The fact that such stories are not just being 
preserved, but are having fresh life breathed into them, makes for a 
fascinating and moving hour.

The Herald, May 7th 2013

ends 

Comments

Nalini Paul said…
As someone who was born in India, grew up in Canada, and having lived in Scotland for 20 years, writing the script for Jukebox was a rewarding and moving experience. Using precious stories from two generations of the South Asian diaspora, I created a poetic narrative that was used as the basis on which the choreography, music and song developed for the final production at the Tron. Wonderful to see it all coming together, and performed so flawlessly and with such enthusiasm.

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