Indian Strings and Dances

All exhibition films are now available to watch on:

Rolf Killius

The Sutton Subrang Dance Ensemble, Photo: Rolf Killius

The Museum of Croydon and the London Sitar Ensemble hosted a major exhibition in the Croydon NOW gallery of the Museum of Croydon, and other public display areas at Croydon Clocktower, from April to July 2009. The exhibition showcased the outputs of the ‘String and Dance Festival’ Project which was run by London Sitar Ensemble. The core exhibition comprised of oral history interviews (video), musical instruments and associated objects from the Community Groups involved and other donors (potentially the Horniman Museum), photographs and videos showing musical performances and dances from the Indian Sub-Continent as performed in the UK, costumes and associated musical instruments of all eight classical Indian dances and three folk dance genres from western India. Within the musical instruments display the emphasis was on string instruments like the sitar, sarangi, violin, veena, sarod, santoor and the supporting instruments like drums and cymbals.

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ICOMOS-UK Christmas Lecture


On Thursday 10th December 2009 at 6.30pm in The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EL

We would like to invite you to this year’s ICOMOS-UK Christmas Lecture and Wine Reception, in association with The Royal Institution of Great Britain:

The lecture will be given by Professor Clive Ruggles, Chair of the International Astronomical Union ’s Working Group on Astronomy and World Heritage.

In today’s brightly lit world it is all too easy to forget just how overwhelming the dark night sky would have been to human societies in the past—a prominent part of the observed world that was impossible to ignore.

The objects and cycles seen there were vital to people striving to make sense of the world within which they dwelt and to keep their actions in harmony with the cosmos as they perceived it.

The Thirteen Towers, Peru

For the archaeoastronomer, certain ancient monuments provide tantalising glimpses of long lost beliefs and practices relating to the sky, although they have to be interpreted with considerable caution.

In this lecture Clive Ruggles, Emeritus Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester, will describe some major new discoveries made in recent years, focusing on his own ongoing work in Peru, Polynesia, and prehistoric Europe.

Clive is Chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Astronomy and World Heritage, which is working with UNESCO and ICOMOS to help identify, protect and preserve the most outstanding manifestations of global cultural heritage relating to the sky. Clive is also President of the Prehistoric Society, and President of IAU Commission 41 (History of Astronomy).  His books include Skywatching in the Ancient World: New Perspectives in Cultural Astronomy, edited with Gary Urton (Colorado, 2007), Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth (ABC-CLIO, 2005), and Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland (Yale UP, 1999).

Admission (including wine and mince pies after the lecture) is £15 for ICOMOS-UK or The Royal institution of Great Britain members.
Admission for non-members is £18 and for students it is £10.

We do hope you will join us on the 10th December, 

For more information and a booking form please contact:

Camilla Massara
Events Co-ordinator
International Council on Monuments & Sites UK

Tel 020 7566 0031

ICOMOS International Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage

The ICOMOS International Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage is looking for new members.

Membership is open to ICOMOS members able to demonstrate expertise in any field associated with protection, maintenance and conservation of monuments and sites that have intangible cultural heritage associations.

If you are interested in joining this Committee and you are a member of ICOMOS-UK, please contact Camilla Massara on for more information.

A Journey Through Kazakhstan

Saturday 4th October, 9.30am-7pm

A study day organised in association with the British Museum, British Kazakh Society and the Royal Asiatic Society, focussing on the history and culture of Kazakhstan. It will include lectures by noted academics and writers of the archaeology, history, art and music of Kazakhstan, providing an introduction to this vast country of diverse landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. There will also be a performance by renowned Kazakh musicians of traditional music, a photographic exhibition and a reception at the end of the day.

For more information and bookings please click here.

Utsavam Exhibition Special Tour – Kathakali event

Monpa Musician

Monpa Musician, Photo: Rolf Killius

Seven months ago the Horniman Museum opened its exhibition Utsavam – Music from India, exploring the rich and diverse music of India. It takes its name from the Sanscrit word “Utsavam”, meaning musical festivities.

Utsavam – Music from India explores the cultural and lingustic diversity of a land that is home to a sixth of the world’s population. Sound, film footage, musical instruments and objects including a spectacular Kathakali dance costume take you on a journey to India, where music traditions are under threat at a time of rapid change in the subcontinent.

Responding to the huge public demand, Rolf Killius, Co-curator of the exhibition, decided to invite for a special guided tour through the exhibition. On Sunday 21 September the Museum will host the Kala Chetana Kathakali Company with special guests (dancers and musicians) from Kerala. The special tour will take place on 21st September at 4.15pm directly after the Kathakali performance at the exhibition entrance. To see the line-up details, read the press reports and watch the programmes about the exhibition please follwo this link produced by Nigel Muris from Printstream.You might also be interested in an exciting new project, which in a way follows the path cleared by the Horniman’s Utsavam exhibition: an online sound project of the British Library Sound Archive in collaboration with the Horniman Museum, Traditional Music in India, where 100 music examples from recording trips to India starting in 1995 will be selcted and presented on the official British Library website and will be downloadable in mp3 format.

Utsavam programme
Kala Chethana Kathakali Sun 21 Sept Workshops 10.30am– 2.30pm, Performance 3– 4pm Dancers and musicians from Kerala will perform Kathakali, one of the best known dance forms of Kerala. Before the performance, workshops will explore Kathakali music, the dancers’ symbolic gestures or mudras, and their elaborate costumes and make up.

Sarangi Making Demonstration Sun 21 Sept 1.30–3.30pm Join sarangi maker Pritham Singh who will be demonstrating aspects of making and playing the sarangi, this bowed stringed instrument of north Indian classical and traditional music.

Related websites:

Avebury World Heritage Site Residents’ Pack

By Sarah Simmonds, Avebury World Heritage Site Officer

Avebury WHS Residents' Pack

Avebury WHS Residents' Pack

One July evening in 2006 residents of the World Heritage Site were invited to appear in an aerial photograph of the Avebury henge. The evening marked the launch of a project to produce a Residents’ Pack for Avebury and the chance for local people to get involved and say what they would like to see in it. After two years hard work by a wide range of contributors the World Heritage Site Residents’ Pack was launched at the local Avebury Day celebrations on 19th July this year. The pack is the first of its kind produced specifically for those who live within one of the UK’s 27 World Heritage Sites.

The purpose of the Residents’ Pack is to raise awareness and understanding among local residents of the uniquely valuable nature of Avebury World Heritage Site.

It aims to encourage a sense of ownership and responsibility for sustaining the values associated with the site whilst providing residents with the information they need to assist in looking after it.

The pack includes a book, Voices and Values, that consists of a collection of pieces by people with unique personal and professional insight into the area many of whom are local residents. These pieces cover not only the archaeological and historical values of the site but also its ecological, spiritual and social significance. The accompanying leaflets provide practical information for both new and long-standing residents on the roles of the various organisations involved in looking after the World Heritage Site and how to contact them and get involved. The pack has been very well-received with residents keen to get hold of their copies.

The pack was generously sponsored by a number of national and local funders including the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty, English Heritage, the National Trust and Kennet District Council.

For further information contact Sarah Simmonds, Avebury World Heritage Site Officer

World Heritage Photographic Competition

Chewy Chua

Sydney Opera House, photo: Chewy Chua

As part of this year’s Saltaire Festival, Bradford Council is organising the Inspired by World Heritage Photographic Competition.  The exhibition wants to present as diverse a picture of World Heritage as possible.  Please feel free to enter yourselves!

For further details, entry forms and posters please visit

If you haven’t had chance to visit Saltaire this is an ideal time to see it at its most vibrant.  There is a fantastic continental market and the innovative Arts Trail offers the opportunity to see art works displayed in a variety of places including people’s homes!

Roger Saunders

Saltaire, photo: Roger Saunders

The Bradford District offers a wealth of fantastic locations for the enthusiastic photographer if you wish to visit the exhibition and stay in Yorkshire.  As well as some of the nation’s finest industrial architecture, there are the dramatic surroundings of Ilkley Moor and the picturesque village of Haworth – the home of the Bronte sisters to explore. The North York Moors National Park and Yorkshire Dales are also within easy reach. Find out more at
A selection of images will be displayed at this year’s Saltaire Festival (11th-21st September 2008 ).
The competition is sponsored by Jessops.