At the root of traditional Indian music is the ancient text, the Natya Shastra. In his latest collaboration, the composer Nitin Sawhney draws on the traditional forms to create a contemporary piece. At Sadler’s Wells his festival of Indian music and dance is called Svapnagata, meaning 'dreaming' in Sanskrit. Nitin Sawhney talks about making the ancient relevant to today, and the search for the creative spark.Sadler's Wells - Svapnagata Festival
The Svapnagata Festival, curated by Akram Khan and Nitin Sawhney, runs from Monday 16 to Saturday 28 November at Sadler’s Wells, London.
In his new film, Glorious 39, writer and director Stephen Poliakoff evokes the moment just before the declaration of the Second World War. Neville Chamberlain was still urging a deal with Hitler, while many young MPs, headed by Churchill, were calling for war. Poliakoff talks about the spying and the dirty tricks that went on, as the appeasers sought to preserve their way of life, and the importance of dramatising events at this crucial moment in history.Glorious 39
Glorious 39 goes on general release on 27 November.
Since the first publication of The Origin of Species, Darwin’s discoveries have often been adopted for political ends. In The Political Gene, Dennis Sewell examines how the eugenics movement appropriated Darwin’s theories to give a veneer of scientific credibility to some of the darkest periods in history. The argument that social ills could be attributed to a faulty gene gave authority to campaigns for sterilization of the poor. Dennis Sewell explores the legacy of the eugenics movement and the continuing political controversy surrounding Darwin’s work, most recently arguments about teaching evolution in US schools.The Political Gene
The Political Gene: How Darwin’s Ideas Changed Politics is published by Picador.
Wordsworth called the Lake District “a sort of national property, in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy.” But Victorian developers saw the Lakes as the source of much needed water to satisfy the demands of industry and growing population. In The Dawn of Green, the science historian Harriet Ritvo recreates the battle for Thirlmere which pitted the conservationists against the developers; the image of nature evoked by William Wordsworth against Victorian “progress”. Ritvo argues that Thirlmere was the first environmental campaign which has become the template for the struggles of today.The Dawn of Green
The Dawn of Green: Manchester, Thirlmere, and Modern Environmentalism is published by Chicago University Press.
Start The Week sets the cultural agenda for the week ahead, with high-profile guests discussing the…