The Diary: Philip Glass's Satyagraha; World Book Day; Tamasha; Cirque du Soleil; Darcey Bussell - Features - Music - The Independent

The Diary: Philip Glass's Satyagraha; World Book Day; Tamasha; Cirque du Soleil; Darcey Bussell

Trance music – but not as we know it

So hypnotic is the score of Philip Glass's opera, 'Satyagraha', that in its dress rehearsal stages, the English National Opera's chorus found itself falling into a mesmeric state and were "encouraged to stop" singing after becoming near hypnotised by the repetitions in the Sanskrit libretto. Roland Taylor, the ENO's director of media and participation, said he fell into a similarly "mellow" state while watching the show. Mr Taylor, who as the former interactive editor of the Proms dreamt up the idea to invite audiences to bring in their ukuleles for a memorable jam session last year, has now injected the same spirit of audience participation at the Coliseum. On Sunday, the venue will open its doors to anyone with a musical instrument who fancies creating a 20-minute jam session across the Coliseum's foyer and bar areas. Glass apparently approves of the plan (although the jury is out on whether he'll turn up with his ukulele) while Nitin Sawhney's tabla player is turning up, among others, for the Satyagraha (Remix).

Enduring magic

The thought that the 'Harry Potter' series should be most Britons' book of choice to "pass on to the next generation" is a slightly depressing one. Yet that is what bears out in a survey to mark World Book Day. The stories of the child wizard are followed by Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze?' (a question and answer book put together by bods at 'New Scientist'). There are a few more original inclusions in the top ten, such as Barack Obama's autobiography and 'The 9/11 Commission Report'.

A writer with drive

The Asian theatre company Tamasha (from which the film 'East is East' was spawned) is gaining a reputation for its new writing programme, which currently includes Ishy Din, a taxi driver by night and writer by day, whose play 'Snookered', partly inspired by the overheard stories in the back of his cab, is to be staged as a work-in-progress at the Gate Theatre in London this month. The company has staged 19 new plays in 21 years and has supported many British Asian artists from the start of their careers.

Circus stars roll up for African legends

The cast of Cirque du Soleil turned out in Manchester to see Oumou Sangare and her celebrated band from Mali, who were travelling around the UK after a rapturous night at the Barbican as part of the 'African Soul Rebels' tour. One acrobat from Cirque even brought along his djembe (African drum) and had an impromptu djembe lesson at the end of the show with the Sangare's iconic djembe player, Cheikh Oumar Diabate, a legend in his own right. Sangare's act was accompanied by the wonderful Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, a member of which accidentally forgot his shoes in Basingstoke. They have, apparently, followed him around the country, but have still not been re-united with their owner, such was the speed of the UK tour, which came to an end two days ago.

New role marks a sea change for Darcey

What is a prima ballerina to do after retirement? There are TV options, such as a stint as judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing'. But what does life hold for Darcey Bussell beyond the box? A post as the first ever godmother to P&O Cruises, of course. The artist Fletcher Sibthorp has been commissioned to create a portrait of Bussell to display on board the latest "superliner", 'Azura'. Bussell has been named as 'Godmother' and will take centre stage at a glittering naming ceremony. The portrait will hang in the ship's atrium, above the dance floor. Glamorous, though it's not quite Covent Garden.

a.akbar@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 contestants and their professional dance partners open the twelfth run of the celebrity ballroom contest

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin teaches Clara to shoot an arrow
doctor who
Arts and Entertainment
Queen Christina left the judges baffled with her audition
X Factor
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week