Click image to watch trailer

The Troth – Usne Kaha Tha

A story of love, loss and sacrifice in World War I.

“An act of remembrance, an emotionally charged piece of movement…it unfolds with poignant clarity”

Fergus Morgan

Theatre Critic, The Stage

“A path-breaking vision of an Indian reality interpreted in contemporary choreography”

Sharon Lowen

Reviewer, The Asian Age

“The memory becomes luminous just before death…”

A gripping story of love and loss set during World War One.

Moving from rural Punjab to the Belgian trenches where young Indian men have been brought to fight for the Allies, we learn about the secret promise made by one soldier, Lehna Singh, as he makes the ultimate sacrifice to save another.

Akademi’s international dance theatre production is inspired by the classic Hindi short story Usne Kaha Tha. Marking the centenary of World War I, award-winning choreographer Gary Clarke unfolds the poignant narrative through contemporary dance, music and film. With music by Shri Sriram.

Creative Team

Direction and Choreography: Gary Clarke
Assistant Director: Daniel Hay-Gordon
Dramaturg: Lou Cope
Composer: Shri Sriram
Film: Josh Hawkins
Lighting: Charles Webber
Original Producer: Penny Andrews

Creative Consultants: Prof. Ashok Sagar Bhagat, Amarjit Chandan, Dr Santanu Das, Prof. Tripurari Sharma, Jasdeep Singh


Dom Coffey, Mithun Gill, Alistair Goldsmith, Subhash Viman Gorania, Vidya Patel, Deepraj Singh.

Previous cast: Daniel Hay-Gordon and  Songhay Toldon

Supported by

India and Spring Tour Supporters and Partners: Ministry of Culture, Government of India; Armed Forces Covenant; Cockayne and The London Community Foundation; Open Fund, PRS Foundation; Indian Council for Cultural Relations; The Nehru Centre; Watermans; The Space; Jawahar Kala Kendra; Teamwork Arts; National Army Museum; Air India; Golden Tours Foundation; and Eastern Eye.

Additional support: New Dimension Arts, Nupur Arts, Sampad Arts, Katha UK, Hindi Samiti UK, Vatayan

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: British Army, Army @ the Fringe, Summerhall.

Autumn Tour: Presented in association with the British Army. Birmingham performance supported by Sampad Arts and the University of Birmingham India Institute.

Media Credits

Images: Simon Richardson
Trailer: Josh Hawkins
Location courtesy: Tara Arts