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Surface Tension – Episode 2: Faultline

Episode 2 of our podcast, Surface Tension, turns the spotlight on Faultline from 2007, with contributions from author Gautam Malkani, composers Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) and Errollyn Wallen, filmmaker Pete Gomes and of course Shobana.

Listen now! Surface Tension is available from iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Libsyn, and on our You Tube channel.



In this episode presenter Sanjoy Roy recollects his memories of Faultline, the style, aesthetic and evocative atmosphere. The anxiety, the coolness and the swagger of what it meant to be young, British and Asian at that time. He speaks to Shobana about the triggers that shaped the piece; the 2005 London bombings, subsequent raids and the hysterical unease that was pervasive in every day life. All of which contributed to the look and feel of Faultline.


Shobana talks about the various creative collaborations that all knitted together in the final piece; the film which acted as the prologue, the initial introduction of the dancers, characters and music – in particular the voice of Patricia Rozario. Plus the direct influence of Gautam Malkani’s book Londonstani, published in 2006, which had a profound effect on the movement generation phase of Faultline.


We talk to author Gautam Malkani about his own experience of growing up in London, the culture adopted by Asian rude-boy gangs. He talks about the hyper masculinity, language, posing and posturing that characterised his book and reads some excerpts. We hear Gautam’s reaction on hearing that his book had inspired a dance piece and how Shobana was able to encapsulate the essence and themes in a very direct choreography of raw aggression.


We speak to Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) who composed the score for Faultline. Shobana wanted him to create a soundscape that produced a dark, charged and intense atmosphere; a sonic picture of London in 2007 using electronic music. Composer Errollyn Wallen joins the conversation to talk about how she collaborated and shaped the music to compliment Robin’s soundscape.


In the final section we interview artist and filmmaker Pete Gomes who produced the visuals and the approach he agreed on with Shobana.


Series Producer, Melissa FitzGerald

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