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The Indigo Project

Directed by Elisa Citterio
Created by Alison Mackay in collaboration with Suba Sankaran (voice, percussion) & Trichy Sankaran (mridangam, kanjira, solkattu)

Cynthia Smithers, narrator & vocalist
Choirs from Earl Haig & Unionville Secondary Schools
Members of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir
Ivars Taurins, conductor

Raha Javanfar, projections designer
Glenn Davidson, lighting designer

A compelling musical journey exploring the vast social, cultural, and political implications of a powerful blue dye.

Alison Mackay's superb multimedia creations, blending music, visuals, narration, dance, and social commentary, are now famous the world over. In this latest offering, she traces the significance of the introduction into 17th-century Europe of indigofera tinctoria, the indigo dye that provided both the royal blue of the Bourbon courts and the colour of the cotton fabric worn by the common folk, known as denim. 

This fascinating social and musical journey travels from the courts of Europe to the lowest classes of European life, and extends into the exploitation of garment workers in the present day. Blending music both classical and popular, the program includes representations of the India where indigofera tinctoria was grown and the North American slave plantations where it was cultivated.

Program includes:

  • Corelli Concerto grosso op. 6, no. 1
  • Lully Excerpts from Psyché
  • Street ballads from England, France & Italy 
  • Classical music from South India