Ten @ Zoo Roxy

Feature by Gareth K Vile | 26 Aug 2011
  • Ten @ Zoo Roxy

Although its relationship to dance is not obviously apparent, Ten is a sincere and thoughtful meditation on the relationship between one man's Indian and British identities. Patel grew up feeling western, but a late fascination with Indian rhythm encouraged him to reconsider his heritage.

Enlisting two drummers - one from Scotland, and another from Africa via Barbados and Birmingham - Patel enjoys highlighting the complexities and humour within ideas about racial identity. The charisma of the three men, who banter and challenge each other, explain the difference between India's ten beat cycle and western pop's four to the floor pump, and cover themselves in red kanku, the cosmetic used for the Hindu "red dot" on the forehead. Somewhere between the tossing of powder, and the drummer's intrusions on Patel's speculations, Patel drags out his own conflicts and questions.

When Patel draws a contrast between a British "lineal" conception of the beat and the more cyclical nature of the Indian rhythm, he provides a structure to his musings that makes sense of his repetitions and casual style. He does not draw any conclusions about his identity, merely peruses possibilities: yet this open style allows Patel to be comfortable wearing both the Hindu dot and the George's Cross on his chest.

Charming, confident and consciously avoiding any bland statements about national identity, Ten may not be dance but it is a fascinating insight into one man's interior landscapes.

Zoo Roxy Until 27 Aug 2011

http://edinburghshowcase.britishcouncil.org/home/hetain-patel/