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A dancer lying on a stage in Forbidden


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Presented by Northern Stage, Dance City and Gem Arts

Why is the world scared of female sexual desire? In this powerful solo work, Aditi Mangaldas reflects on a question that is more urgent than it has ever been. Why are women the world over, from conservative as well as liberal societies; sanctioned, judged, controlled, hounded and eventually punished to have the courage to own their desire?

In a unique dance vocabulary of contemporary dance based on Kathak, FORBIDDEN looks to explore the root of this fear and persecution. Underscored by a wide range of cultures from across the globe, Aditi will journey through emotions and experiences, reclaiming her desire.

The work is in three parts:

Awakening: Dream, Fragrant flower, Cage

Playing the Game: Denial, Adornment, Seduction, Rage

Burning: My story, Consigning to flames all that is FORBIDDEN


Age Guidance: 16+ (Contains mature sexual themes)

If a performance is sold out, email or call 0191 230 5151 to be added to our waiting list.


Running time

1hr approx


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Production Photos



Reviews of Forbidden

“With just Mangaldas on stage, lighting by the masterful Michael Hulls and a score by Nicki Wells merging Indian and global sounds, they create a world that’s heady, hazy, sensuous and sometimes unsettling.”

“A refined but radical image of a post-menopausal woman confronting oppression and embracing pleasure.” The Guardian ★★★★

“A perfect blend of the traditional Kathak dance form and contemporary elements for an overall fervent and penetrating performance of dance.” The Reviews Hub

“A climate of intense, warm sensuality pervades this one-woman show that looks at female desire both unleashed and suppressed.” Culture Whisper

“Throughout, she dances with great passion, sometimes with ferocity. With abandon too… She really is an exceptional performer. Quite compelling in every way. Every moment is imbued with meaning. Even the stillnesses seem charged.” Seeing Dance

“A thought-provoking and visually impressive work that leaves the audience with much to reflect upon.” A Youngish Perspective


Reviews of past Aditi Mangaldas work

“Mangaldas owned the stage without trying to earn it.”  – The Guardian

“A powerhouse of energy… Aditi has given traditional kathak a new look with imagination and sophistication.” – Dr Sunil Kothari

“Her dance demonstrates what it means to be utterly free in body, mind and spirit to explore the world.” – Shanta Gokhale

“Her artistry and poise, her dramatic gifts and unshakable technique are truly astounding; dance as effortlessly compelling as this is a joy to watch in itself, but underpinned by the questioning intelligence of Mangaldas, it becomes something transformative.” – Maxim Boon


Concept, Choreography and Dance: Aditi Mangaldas

Dramaturge: Farooq Chaudhry

Light Design: Michael Hulls

Mentor: Morag Deyes

Music Composition (Recorded): Nicki Wells

Costume Design: Kimie Nakano

Costume Realisation: Sandhya Raman

Technical Director: Christopher Flux

Rehearsal Director: Gaurav Bhatti

Commissioned by: Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company – The Drishtikon Dance Foundation

Co-Commissioned by: Sadler’s Wells, London; National Centre For The Performing Arts, Mumbai; Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

Supported by: Dance City, Newcastle, Northern Stage, Gem Arts and Rajika Puri, USA

There are two entrances to the theatre, Kings Road Entrance (this is the taxi drop-off/collection point) and the Main Entrance.

Both level entrances have automated doors. These lead into the foyer area where you will find the Restaurant, Bar, Box Office and entrances to Stages 1, 2 and 3.


Northern Stage is fully accessible. The theatre has three lifts providing access to all parts of the building, including the accessible toilets, baby changing facilities, stages 2 & 3 and the backstage area. Buggy parking is available


There are five wheelchair positions in Stage 1, two positions in Stage 2 and all seats are removeable in Stage 3.


We have a Changing Places toilet in the Stage 1 lobby and accessible toilets in Stage 3 and Stage 2 lower entrance lobby.  Gender neutral toilets are situated in the Stage 2 lower entrance lobby.


Induction loop system in all public spaces, and an infra-red system in all three stages. (In Stage 1 the induction loop is best covered in rows E – L).


One free ticket for the assistant of a disabled person who is not able to attend unaccompanied.


To book a free ticket for a wheelchair companion or an assistant, contact our Box Office on 0191 230 5151, via email at or by visiting our Box Office in person.


Guide, hearing and all working dogs are welcome here.


Stage 1: Seats are 43 cm wide, 41cm deep, with 46cm between arm rests. The aisleway is 51cm deep from the seat back. Arm rests cannot be removed.

Stage 2: Seats are 40cm wide, 41cm deep. The aisleway is 64cm deep from the seat back. There are no arm rests.

Our seats are rated to British Standards at installation and are guaranteed to hold up to 110kg.

More Information

To discuss any access needs, take a look at our access page or please call our Box Office on 0191 230 5151.

More Access Information