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All Glasgow’s a stage for this girl
- Jharkhand youngsters going places with goal & dollops of culture

As Indian athletes gear up for track, field and pool in Glasgow XX Commonwealth Games, Scotland, a 23-year-old from Ranchi is hoping to make a cultural splash.

Meet Gargi Malkani, a resident of South Office Para, Ranchi, who at first glance looks like the college girl next door.

But the daughter of noted danseuse Manju Malkani, now deceased, and theatre personality Ajay Malkani, has earned a name for herself on the global stage as a dancer-performing artiste from an early age.

And now, she almost nonchalantly says that she is the only Indian to be among the 90-member International Performing Company that’s a part of The Tin Forest, a youth culture festival conceived by National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Youth Theatre to celebrate the spirit of Commonwealth Games.

Gargi apart, International Performing Company has performers from England, Northern Ireland, Malta and Scotland, among others.

A celebration of the Scottish city’s industrial past and creative future, the bonds of Commonwealth, sports and culture will be portrayed through a variety of performing art forms on roads, iconic landmarks and along the Clydeside in Glasgow.

Though a separate theatre festival will be held during July 23-28, wherein groups from countries, including India, will stage their plays, International Performing Company will present its productions between July 20 and 23.

Not sure of her role yet, Gargi, with a master’s from Foundation for Liberal and Management Education (FLAME), Pune, a bachelors from Lady Shri Ram College for Women in Delhi and diplomas from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad, and Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, is confident about leaving a mark.

Gargi has performed in Shanghai Theatre Academy and Colombo International Theatre Festival, both in 2013. In 2012, she was part of Music Academy Dance Festival in Chennai and the First Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit, Kuwait, hosted by the ICCR.

Gargi, who leaves Ranchi this coming Sunday and will proceed to Glasgow on July 10, says there is no time to wait.

“I will attend an intensive workshop in Glasgow with actors, directors, designers and choreographers from July 11 to get ready for performing between July 20 and 23,” she said.

On her way back, she will also conduct a Nritya workshop, a lecture-cum-demonstration on Indian classical dance, during Sankofa Festival in London on July 26.

“It’s actually a part of the prestigious Project Phakama of the department of drama of University of London, which spans five continents, and will be conducted during Sankofa Festival,” she said.