When I was invited by BBC World News to be a featured artist in the Collaboration Culture TV Series, I immediately asked if they would pair me up with a Bollywood dancer. They searched Mumbai and engaged Shakti Mohan, a star on the Bollywood scene and I was then given three days to create the music of a new dance work for Shakti. I selected the American String Quartet and clarinettist David Krakauer to perform the music and composed a work that incorporates Klezmer as well as Arabic Maquam.
When Shakti arrived in New York, she was faced with my music and while it was completely unfamiliar to her, she began moving to it intuitively. The resulting work, for a Klezmer clarinettist, such a “traditional” ensemble as a string quartet and an Indian dancer, titled Hindustani Dabkeh, brought together Hindu and Muslim, Arabic and Jewish, Eastern and Western elements in an unconflicted counterpoint that art seems to accomplish with greater ease than politics.