On 29th November 2017, the Science Museum in London celebrated Illuminating India lates, an adults-only, after-hours theme night around the sights, sounds and smells of India. Illuminating India comprises two new exhibitions 5000 Years of Science and Innovation and Photography 1857–2017 and highlights of the lates event included ‘India in Space: Moumita Dutta in Conversation’ with the The Sky at Night presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE; Science journalist Angela Saini exploring India’s “Scientific Temper”, drawing from her bestselling book Geek Nation; Botown – The Soul of Bollywood with musicians Ajay Srivastva; classical kathak performance ‘Bells’ reworked by Amina Khayyam and Urja Desai Thakore of Akademi; bhangra and folk dancing with Kalpesh Zalavadiya from K’z Dance Entertainment and artist Chila Kumari Burman explaining the ideas behind her work accompanying the 5000 Years of Science and Innovation and Photography 1857–2017 exhibitions. Respectively they present a kaleidoscopic history of scientific breakthroughs in India and a unique photographic survey of the country’s technological and cultural development.
India in Space: Moumita Dutta in Conversation
Moumita Dutta in conversation with The Sky at Night presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE discussed exactly how the ISRO managed to send a probe 33.9 million miles across the solar system to Mars for less than it cost to make the film Gravity, and India’s upcoming lunar mission.
India’s “Scientific Temper”
Jawaharlal Nehru described Indians as having a “scientific temper”. In the twentieth century science and technology became a linchpin of the country’s strategy for growth, through nuclear power, a space programme, and new educational institutes. Science journalist Angela Saini explored this legacy, drawing from her bestselling book Geek Nation.
Botown-The Soul of Bollywood
An exciting multicultural London band that reboot Bollywood classics with a shot of late ’60s Soul and Funk taking you on a musical trip from Memphis to Mumbai.
Akademi South Asian Dance presents Bells
Bells is a classical Kathak work choreographed for a contemporary audience.Originally choreographed by Kumudini Lakhia, Bells was reworked by Amina Khayyam and Urja Desai Thakore. The original music score for Bells is by Atul Desai and Niraj Chag, the composer for Sadler’s Wells Bollywood musical ‘Wah! Wah! Girls’.
Dhol Players & Bhangra Dancing
Professional Bollywood dance teacher Kalpesh Zalavadiya from K’z Dance Entertainment persuaded guests to try out some Bhangra moves to the sounds of Dhol drummers.
Illuminating India commemorates 70 years of Independence and is part of the British Council’s UK/India Year of Culture. For further information visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk