Burning Skin denounces racism in its various forms

2017 / 23 MINUTES

” Touching, forceful, sad and yet funny, this solo is completely original! A presentation filled with emotions and images, some of the most beautiful being of a dance right to the fingertips. “

Andrée Martin, Le Devoir, 1997

For the company’s 25th anniversary, Roger Sinha revisited his 1992 success Burning Skin, created in reaction to the choreographer’s personal experiences of racism. Inspired initially by the autobiographical text The Rainbow Sign, by British/Pakistani author Hanif Kureishi, Burning Skin is a reflexion of Roger’s turbulent childhood and youth in the UK and Canada, shadowed by violence, racial confrontations and suppression of his Indian heritage.

The original solo was transformed in an intergenerational duo with Mark Medrano as the dancer and Roger Sinha, on  texts and voice. Both are of mixed origins, Mark was born in Canada and of Indian and Philipino parents and Roger was born in the UK of Indian and Armenian parents. A multiplicity of movement forms, such as Bharata Natyam, martial arts, ballet, modern dance, combined with theatre techniques have inspired the choreographer and were integrated in his improvisation based vocabulary.

As relevant today as it was back then, given the growing tide of nationalism and anti-immigration worldwide, the piece has won unanimous praise of critics and spectators alike. Burning Skin denounces racism in many forms.

Read Dena Davida’s article Kinetic crossroads: Chouinard, Sinha and Castello




October 2, 2018 -Festival of New Dance, Saint John’s

March 31, 2017 – Harbourfront Centre-Fleck Dance Theatre, Kalanidhi Festival, Toronto

September 12 and 18, 2015 – Maison de la culture Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, Quartiers Danses Festival, Montreal

1994 Television adaptation for the CBC SERIES In Performance


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The cast

Roger Sinha

Roger Sinha

Dancer, choreographer

Roger Sinha was born in England to an Armenian mother and an Indian father. He grew up in Canada where he graduated from the Toronto Dance Theatre, drawing inspiration from his cultural background to develop his unique language of movement and personal choreography. He draws his vocabulary from contemporary dance, martial arts, ballet with subtle hints of Barata-Natyam, Indian dance. “Sinha is a creative powerhouse whose onstage presence is as generous as it is captivating”- Voir, 1995. See full biography.
Mark Medrano

Mark Medrano


Mark is a graduate of the School of Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2011. He has worked professionally with Gearshifting Performance Works, C. Medina Dance (Austria), Odette-Heyn PROJECTS, Stephanie Ballard and Dancers, Julia Sasso, Johanna Riley, and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers’ emerging company Verge. After graduation, he continued as a company dancer with Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers from 2011-2013 performing works by Brent Lott, Sasha Ivanochko, Roger Sinha, and Rachel Browne as well as continuing his work with independent Winnipeg choreographers. He now lives in Montreal and has been working independently with Sinha Danse since March 2013, as well as WooMeMyth Productions, Sylvain Émard Danse, Sinha Danse, Constance Cooke (Victoria), W&M Physical Theatre (Calgary), Bouge de La, and Fortier Danse Creation.


Choreography and dance / Roger Sinha  2017 dancer / Mark Medrano / Text / Hanif Kureishi / Original music / Charmaine LeBlanc, Dino Giancola, voice Ganesh Anandan / Other music / Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Johann Strauss / Musical design and direction / Roger Sinha / Taj Mahal created by / Alain Cadieux / Wardrobe / Josée Gagnon / Lighting / Caroline Ross / Technical direction / Jack Pilon

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