12 October 2021

The Stopping Place – an "epic participatory choral project" which draws on the music of the Romani tradition has secured a £30,000 Arts Council grant to move into a full production.

The work has been written and produced by University of East London academic Professor Dominic Hingorani with his company Brolly Productions, a global majority led performance company, and co-artistic director Rachana Jadhav, in partnership with Newham Music and east London schools.

The name of the project is taken from a Romani term "atchin tans" [stopping places] which are the traditional sites that Romani communities visit during the year.

The production features Sindy Samanta Czureja and Jasmina Sywak as sisters Pusomori and Kaven and is supported by an all-female chorus drawn from secondary schools in Newham working with a score by Tate Hingorani-Short and the Bridging Sounds orchestra. 

Dr Hingorani, professor of performing arts at UEL’s School of Arts and Creative Industries, said, "We're thrilled to receive this grant. It is a great honour to work with such talented artists from the Roma community.

"We believe this is an important piece of work with a message that celebrates diversity and encourages inclusivity and acceptance, drawing on – and showcasing – the great talent within east London schools."

Pusomori and Kaven are sisters born into the Romani community but who now live in two very different worlds. Separated as teenagers Pusomori continued her travelling life while Kaven, who is "poshrat" [a mixed blood Romani] has settled.

The "Big Halt" has been called and gypsies are no longer permitted to travel but Pusomori refuses to settle. When the sisters meet Kaven asks Pusomori to take her with her, they must decide what price they are prepared to pay to visit the "atchin tans" of their mother.

Monica Thomas, commissioner at Newham Borough Council, said, "We are delighted to be partnering Brolly in the delivery of their exciting new project the Stopping Place which is a great opportunity to develop arts participation and engagement in the borough and to deliver high quality performance work that reflects and celebrates the diversity of our community."

The production aims to launch in spring 2022. To see the work in progress or to leave songs and personal stories, visit The Stopping Place website.

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