The Indigo Project. Photo: Feet of Blue, Tim McLaughlin — MAIWA
Feb 27

The Indigo Project

Directed by Elisa Citterio

Created by Alison Mackay in collaboration with Suba Sankaran (voice, percussion) & Trichy Sankaran (mridangam, kanjira, solkattu)

Cynthia Smithers, narrator & vocalist

Choirs from Earl Haig & Unionville Secondary Schools

Members of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir

Ivars Taurins, conductor

Raha Javanfar, projections designer

Glenn Davidson, lighting designer

A compelling musical journey exploring the vast social, cultural, and political implications of a powerful blue dye.

Alison Mackay's superb multimedia creations, blending music, visuals, narration, dance, and social commentary, are now famous the world over. In this latest offering, she traces the significance of the introduction into 17th-century Europe of indigofera tinctoria, the indigo dye that provided both the royal blue of the Bourbon courts and the colour of the cotton fabric worn by the common folk, known as denim. 

This fascinating social and musical journey travels from the courts of Europe to the lowest classes of European life, and extends into the exploitation of garment workers in the present day. Blending music both classical and popular, the program includes representations of the India where indigofera tinctoria was grown and the North American slave plantations where it was cultivated.

What's interesting about this concert:

  1. The latest in Alison Mackay's unique cross-cultural collaborations for Tafelmusik, with their complex examination of the intersection of music and political and social history. 
  2. Did you know: the word “jeans” comes from an old English version of “Genoa,” the Italian port city where clothing was made from indigo-dyed cotton.
  3. Experience the classical South Indian music of world-renowned master drummer Trichy Sankaran and his daughter, world/fusion vocalist Suba Sankaran (Autorickshaw).

Pre-concert Chat Join us one hour before each concert for a free pre-concert chat with program creator Alison Mackay.


  • J.-B. Lully Suite from Psyché

  • Purandara Dasa Sri Gananada

  • Anonymous Nandhavanathil Oru Aandi/Aadu Pamb

  • Arunagirinathar Tiruppugazh: Kadimodi

  • J.-B. Lully Les bons vins sont en Bourgogne

  • J.-B Lully Les armes à la main

  • Handel Overture to Saul

  • Anonymous Ballow my babe

  • Handel Sinfonia: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, from Solomon

  • Handel Chorus: Sing, o ye heav’ns, from Belshazzar

  • Ponniah Pillai Hemavathi Jatiswaram

  • Muthuswamy Dikshitar Santhatham Paahimaam

  • Stradella Sinfonia to La Susanna

  • Stradella Sinfonia in D Major

  • Cioni Lauda: Io mi sento liquefare

  • Corelli Concerto Grosso in D Major, op. 6, no. 1: Allegro

  • Fasch Sonata for 2 oboes, bassoon & continuo in B-flat Major: Andante

  • Purandara Dasa Kamalajadhala (arranged by Suba Sankaran)

  • Anonymous Chanson: La verdoyant’ campagne

  • T.A.S. Mani/Suba Sankaran Chana

Concert run time: approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, including a 20-minute intermission.

Photo: Feet of Blue, Tim McLaughlin — MAIWA

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir
(416) 964-6337

427 Bloor Street West
Toronto ON M5S 1X7


- [ Add to Calendar ] 2020-02-28 01:00:00 2020-02-28 03:00:00 The Indigo Project <p>Directed by <strong>Elisa Citterio</strong></p> <p>Created by <strong>Alison Mackay</strong> in collaboration with <strong>Suba Sankaran</strong> (voice, percussion) &amp; <strong>Trichy Sankaran</strong> (mridangam, kanjira, solkattu)</p> <p><strong>Cynthia Smithers</strong>, narrator &amp; vocalist</p> <p>Choirs from <strong>Earl Haig</strong> &amp; <strong>Unionville Secondary Schools</strong></p> <p>Members of <strong>Tafelmusik Chamber Choir</strong></p> <p><strong>Ivars Taurins</strong>, conductor</p> <p><strong>Raha Javanfar</strong>, projections designer</p>

427 Bloor Street West
Toronto ON M5S 1X7

Bloor St. Culture Corridor America/Toronto public