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Image of Cohesion Plus in dance formation

An Interview with Cohesion Plus!

Every year bOing! brings a taste of the festival to the Canterbury city centre, and this year is no different. On Friday 24th August 2018, Cohesion Plus will be one of the three groups performing in the streets!

We have spoken to Gurvinder Sandher to tell us more about themselves, and as this year is bOing!’s 5th birthday we have asked them to answer 5 questions

How did Cohesion Plus begin?

“I’ve been involved with the arts since 1985 when I did my first bhangra dance performance as part of a school project in Gravesend. I am one of the co-founders of Four by Four Bhangra Group which we created in 1994 and am delighted that I will be working with them on an exciting collaboration for this year’s bOing! festival. Cohesion Plus itself was established in 2008 and uses the arts as a means of bringing communities together and celebrating the diversity of Kent.”

Tell us more about Cohesion Plus.

“Bhangra is a folk dance from North India and I have been lucky enough to have performed all over the UK and Europe as well as the Middle East and North America since then. Over the last year we have produced and delivered culturally diverse festivals in Gravesend, Dartford, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge Malling, Swale, Crawley and Sidcup.”

What canĀ families expect?

“We are really excited to be working with Four by Four Bhangra and Bollywood Brass Band. This is a unique collaboration fusing together dance from North India via North Kent with the genre of Bollywood. This is going to be an interactive performance with opportunities for members of the audience to learn bhangra dancing and to get involved. They key thing for us is not only for us to have fun, but also members of the audience. We want to send them away on a high. We will also be delivering dance workshops – this is a great way for families to come together to have fun but also learn new artistic skills.”

What does it mean to you to come to bOing!?

“It’s a great honour for us to have the oppportunity to come to the bOing! festival. We an as organisation share the same ethos of the festival about using the arts to bring communities together, showcasing culturally diverse artists and providing opportunities for young people to learn more about the arts.”

Why do you think access to the arts by children and young people is important?

“We passionately believe that young people should have as many opportunities as possible to get directly involved in the arts. We believe that the arts are such a good way of bringing communities together and celebrating our shared values. If it weren’t for the arts, I myself would not have had the opportunities to do what I love, see the world and entertain people from all walks of life.”

Cohesion Plus will also be at bOing! Festival on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August on the University of Kent campus, so don’t miss out on the chance to see them there too!