A new piece of co-created theatre, Salt Eaters recreated and shared a lost Muslim folk dance from the 19th century, using cutting-edge hologram technology in community spaces. Also encompassing workshops with hundreds of young women, the project enabled Muslim communities to encounter the possibilities of dance in a new way.
Project Partner: Theatre in the Mill (University of Bradford) Project Lead: Mez Galaria Location: Bradford
Bradford dance artist Mez Galaria has created Salt Eaters, an interactive multi-sensory experience, designed for small groups of women. It immersed them in the world of the Muslim dancer Umda, and the sights, sounds and smells that would have been familiar to her on the Sambhar Salt Lake in Rajasthan. Salt Eaters is based on historical records that describe how salt was a communal resource and a source of compensation for artists.
The project combined a traditional dance form with the developing form of hologram technology. It engaged hundreds of young women in creative workshops and a small group of them in the co-creation of a high-quality, groundbreaking work that blends heritage with the contemporary. The project culminated in its showcasing at the BD is LIT festival in November 2023.
Salt Eaters enabled young Muslim women to engage with dance in relation to self-expression, health and faith, providing new opportunities that are not easily available to them. It provided Muslim creatives with enhanced skills as well as the opportunity to use new technologies, and increased the visibility of Muslim artists in the creative sector and in Bradford. This project resulted in a new unique form of performance developed specifically to represent Muslim culture, placing the participants as co-creators and ensuring they are an active part of the project from start to finish.