Australia, Iran and Nepal

Janelle Colquhoun, Meysam Khataminia and Sristi K. C. describe themselves as being “united in isolation” and this is the reason they began collaborating.

Janelle Colquhoun (Australia) was a successful artiste, singing with the Australian and Frankfurt Operas when she became blind. Suddenly her social life crashed as she found herself in eternal darkness. People found it too confronting to invite her to social engagements, and when she did get an invite, she would be left standing in the middle of the room. If nobody came to speak to her, she couldn’t join a conversation. She could no longer read music, or walk on the stage on her own, so her international operatic career abruptly ended. She persevered and founded Salubrious Productions, an entertainment and production agency specialising in artistes with disability. She is now also a published writer and travels the world as a speaker and singer.

Since 2014, Janelle has led a group of musicians with disability to represent Australia at Sambhav, a disability arts festival in New Delhi, India. It was there in 2015 that she met Dr Meysam Khataminia, a blind pianist, composer and singer from Iran. He had travelled to New Delhi on his own and spent most of the festival isolated, with few people speaking to him. Meysam had lost his sight when he was 14 years old, and went on to obtain a doctorate in Persian and Arabic literature, and is now a lecturer at the Tehran University.

In 2017, they met Sristi K.C., a blind dancer from Nepal who, like Meysam, had also travelled to New Delhi on her own. Sristi went blind at the age of 16 and taught herself how to dance as no dance school in Nepal would accept her. After studying in Europe, she established her own dance school for the blind, and instructs students on movements by using bells to make sounds as she moves.

Expect a novel collaborative experience as the trio perform in multiple languages, music and dance genres. At the end of the day, music brings them together, to collaborate beyond the “black”.

Experience Janelle in her one-woman cabaret show.
Hear a sample of Meysam’s music.
Watch Sristi perform a solo dance.