On Tuesday, a multi-disciplinary concert at the 16th century Purana Qila (literally, old fort) in New Delhi marked the beginning of the Year of Russia in India—a year that is expected to see around 150 cultural events including exhibitions and seminars across major Indian cities.
The concert itself wasn’t just any ordinary concert: it featured 300 performers and showcased ballet, theatre, fashion, a circus, music and dance, even a band. The Russians flew in on a chartered flight with around 40 tonnes of equipment and spent several days getting the stage at Purana Qila ready and practising for the show.
Rampart view: A view from the ramparts of Purana Qila as workers lay out the wooden base of a shallow pool in front of the main stage. (Photo: Harikrishna Katragadda/ Mint)
Mint went behind the scenes to capture the logistics of the event—from the time the equipment landed to the final rehearsal of the performance. Tuesday’s inauguration was presided over by India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Victor A. Zubkov, chairman of the government of the Russian Federation.
On Wednesday, the artists are scheduled to perform for the general public.
The year-long Festival of Russia is the first in 20 years in India and has been organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, or ICCR, and Russia’s Federal Agency of Culture and Cinematography. It will be followed by the Year of India in Russia in 2009.
1. Rampart view: A view from the ramparts of Purana Qila as workers lay out the wooden base of a shallow pool in front of the main stage.
3. Lights, camera, action: A dress rehearsal in full swing, with all the effects.4. Russian Paganini: A violinist strikes a note
6. Nuts and bolts: Workers prepare the metal framework that will support the pool and the stage with Purana Qila in the background.
Photographs: Harikrishna Katragadda