Encompass presents Rhythms of Us - text on a pink background with bunting representing different cultural heritage communities
Vibha Selvaratnam dances on stage as an incarnation of Vishnu in a Indian dress and Bharatanatyam dance style.
Photo of David Stickman Higgins in his studio. He's a Caribbean man with mid-long curly hair. On the wall are many colourful and patterned fabrics and a variety of percussion instruments.
Polish band TAK performing at the Barnfield Theatre.
Photo by Jacob Blackburn

Encompass presents

Rhythms of Us

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Encompass invites you to Rhythms of Us. Curated by representatives of three communities – Polish, Hindu and Caribbean – this event promises an immersive experience that fuses stories and culture through word, music and dance.

Delve into the heart of each vibrant culture through hands-on workshops led by seasoned professionals. Feel the rhythms of traditional Polish folk music, explore the movements of classical Indian dance, and experience music and spoken word from the Caribbean. Whether you’re a seasoned artist, novice or family group, the workshops provide a unique opportunity to connect, learn, and create together.

When you sign up for this event, you’ll be spending the day with us at the Barnfield Theatre (10am to 6pm). You’ll get a taster session exploring each of the cultural practices, after which you’ll choose one workshop to follow in the afternoon, culminating into a sharing moment with the other participants.

This event is supported by Sandhya Dave of Devon Diversity Consultants and Alix Harris, Artistic Director and CEO, Beyond Face Theatre Company.

More than just workshop and a showcase, this event is a platform for cultural exchange and celebration of how rhythm connects us.


The workshops include:

Classical Indian Dance

Workshop led by Vibha Selvaratnam.

Discover the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam – one of the most dynamic and internationally popular styles of Indian Dance. This ancient art form originated in Hindu temples and there are two main aspects; Nritta (abstract dance movements) and Abhinaya (a portrayal of the feelings and emotions portrayed through mime, using hand gestures and facial expression) to create this dynamic art form. While Nritta excites and energises, Abhinaya reaches out to hearts and minds.

Polish Folk Music

Workshop led by TAK.

TAK is a group of friends with a shared love for music and art, who get involved on a variety of projects, mostly connected to the Polish community and the Polish Catholic Mission. They performed as a folk band on the Barnfield stage for previous Encompass event The Story of Us. Inspired by creative impulses from different heritage backgrounds, in their workshop for Rhythms of Us, they will explore how cultures can fuse together through music and dance.

Music and Spoken Word from the Caribbean

Workshop led by David Stickman Higgins.

David “Stickman” Higgins – drummer, percussionist, performance poet, actor and educator – integrates a multi-disciplined collaborative approach to his work. From stage performance to delivering workshops in the arts, through musicality and spoken word. He embraces his British-Barbadian dual ancestry as a vehicle of artistic expression, imparting skills, knowledge and experience with all ages and abilities inclusively. Constantly expanding and experimenting with his art forms, he has generated a spontaneous field for improvisation and innovation.

Open to participants of all abilities, minimum age 10+

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