Theatre in the Mill, Mez Galaria
Salt Eaters is a site-specific interactive multi-sensory experience created by dance artist Mez Galaria with support from Theatre in the Mill and the Amal Foundation. Salt Eaters is created specifically for small groups of women, an experience that transports them into the world, smells and sounds of Umda a Muslim dancer drawn out of the history books of Sambhar salt lake of Rajasthan. It is based on historical records detailing the relationship between the moral ideology of salt as a communal resource and source of recompense for artists - a convention which was actively disrupted by the involvement of the East India Co across India and the subcontinent.
Salt Eaters will take place within a detailed yet fantastical recreation of the interior of a Haveli that can host multiple participants at one time for essentially a one-on-one experience. The installation will employ a panoramic sound design, hologrammatic film and sensory surprises to submerse audience members into an intimate recreation of a moment in the life of Umda.
This ritualistic experience is at the heart of Salt Eaters, participants will be enveloped in the sense of being in Rajasthan, witnessing the dance. On entering the space audience members will be greeted by Umda and her entourage and invited to take part in a tea ceremony served in a batekeeyas, accompanied by authentic desi chai and namkeen.
Three corners of the space will have their own installation design, a giant Salt pile slowly growing as salt falls from the ceiling, a hologram of Umda, and a series of musical instruments that ‘play themselves’ representing the band.
Dancers in the Dark
Holograms and Super 8
Over the coming months we will be inviting people to come and play with the tech, delve into uncovering a lost dancer with professional dancer Mez Galaria
We are looking to deliver 15 South Asian folk dance workshops throughout the Bradford district to young women aged 15 to 25 in late April, May, June and July 2023. There will be a chance to work with the project further and become part of the project and performance after these initial workshops take place:
Tuesday 13th June @ Bradford Academy BD4 9.30-10.30 am @Womenzone 11-3pm
Friday 16th June @ Manningham Mills Community Centre 9- 9.45 @TiM 10.15-11.15
Tuesday 20th June @ St Georges Hall (schools workshop up to 1000 students)
Friday 30th June @ Manningham Mills Community Centre 9-9.45 @TiM 10.15- 11.15
Friday 23rd June @ Manningham Mill Community Centre 9-9.45 @TiM 10.15 to 11.15
Saturday 1st July @ Kala Sangam 9.30-10.30
Saturday 8th July @Kalasangam 9.30-10.30
Saturday 15th July @ Kala Sangam 9.30-10.30
About the Artist
Mez Galaria is a trained dancer and choreographer; in the decade since graduating from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, she has worked across the Bradford district teaching both drama and dance to hard-to-reach communities with Dance for Life. She has danced with two professional companies as a member of the core group and has worked as a dancer on a number of Bollywood films directed by Bosco Martis. Her work on stages in the region includes the seminal Carnival Messiah with Geraldine Connor, Bollywood Jane at Leeds Playhouse, and 99 Percent Halal at Bradford’s Theatre in the Mill. In the past two years, she has performed in a number of radio plays, including the Radio 4 play Breaking up with Bradford, written by Bradford-based writer Kamal Kaan and Partition, which was premiered on BBC Radio Leeds before being staged at Leeds Playhouse.
Her international work includes a seven-month tour of Italy and European tours with the famed Chipperfield and Bouglione Circus family shows.
She is one of the two stars of Bradford writer AA Dhand’s soon-to-be-released short film No Ordinary Life, set and filmed in the city. She is committed to making and presenting high quality work in the North.