Black and White
Black and White brings together several contemporary Indian art heavies, but keeps it light by showcasing drawings and sketches in a few basic media. The line-up of artists includes A. Ramachandran, Arpana Caur, Akbar Padamsee, Ashoke Mullick, Badri Narayan, Jogen Chowdhury, K.G. Subramanyan, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Pradeep Puthoor, Sunil Das, Thota Vaikuntam, Vanita Gupta and Vrindavan Solanki.
The idea is refreshingly simple without being simplistic, and the lack of colour gives the works space to breathe. Sometimes, it’s the basics that can remind you why a master is considered a master. 11am-7pm (Daily). Gallerie Nvya, Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, 4/6, Siri Fort Institutional Area (4132-6119).
Sunil Padwal’s show at Vadehra is a departure from this Mumbai-born artist’s earlier dramatically coloured portraits. This show focuses on quieter pen, pencil and acrylic on paperworks that highlight a figure or object in monochromatic black. These works are austere but imaginative and somehow come across as illustrations for an offbeat children’s story. Except, the stories that Padwal tells have more to do with the human condition than promoting any straightforward narrative.
Padwal uses very simple motifs for complex ideas, which makes the tenor of his criticism remarkably more sophisticated than that of many other artists. Even his allusions to the Iraq war or war and capital punishment in Black Gold and Gibbet are subtle, almost gentle. Padwal continues to reinvent his technique and themes. He also shows an understanding of the concept of a complete show—with spare wooden frames and an installation complementing the drawings. It’s a quiet, but cutting exhibition. 11am-7pm (Mon-Sat). Vadehra Art Gallery, D-178, Phase I, Okhla (6547-4005).
Part of the National School of Drama’s summer theatre festival is Waman Kendre’s Janemann, a play exploring the lives, trials, pains and sorrows of a community of hijras. Machhindra More (the playwright) and Kendre created the play over five years of research and rewriting. 7pm. Abhimanch, National School of Drama, Bahawalpur House, 1, Bhagwan Das Road (2338-4531). Tickets: Rs10-100, available at NSD.
Vriksham, Sharanam, Gachchami
Mandala and Trees for Delhi present a performance resulting from a workshop on the status of trees in Delhi. Facilitated by Lokesh Jain, children have been involved in all aspects of the production—script, songs, costumes, props and even the posters. Forty children from diverse social backgrounds in the age group of 9-16 reflect upon the beauty and richness of trees and the threats that they face. 7pm. India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (2468-2222). Free. Entry on a first-come-first-served basis.
Sayeed Alam’s dramatic monologue is not an easy play to sit through. It’s a solo performance with not too much action and there are many meandering stories about Congress party politics before independence. It’s spoken in chaste Urdu.
Two things make the play worth it: The fact that the script is peppered with interesting little titbits—Azad’s taste in tea (white jasmine), Nehru’s habit of mumbling in his sleep—and a fluid performance from Tom Alter, who plays Azad. 7.30pm. (duration: 2 hours 30 minutes). Alliance Française, 72, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (4350-0200). Tickets: Rs 200-500, available at the venue on the day of the show. For advance booking, call M. Sayeed Alam (98102-55291).
The Son’s Room
Nanni Moretti’s extraordinary drama, winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, tells the harrowing story of a once tight-knit, happy family coming to terms with a devastating loss and getting on with their lives. 6.30pm (duration: 1 hour, 38 minutes). Grey Zone Film Club, The Attic, 36, Regal Building, Connaught Place (2374-6050). One-day membership: Rs70.
Partha Bose is easily one of the leading sitar players in the country today. A disciple of Pandit Monoj Shankar, the Kolkata-based artiste is an exponent of the Maihar gharana, his loyalty to which is evident in his playing. A widely admired teacher and prolific overseas performer, he rarely makes an appearance in the Capital, making this event a must-see. This recital is part of the ongoing HCL Concert Series. 7pm. India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (2468-2222).
The 59-year-old singer, Ramesh Jhule, hails from Bikaner. He owes allegiance to the famous Kirana gharana. However, he has been trained in an offshoot tradition, the Wahid Khan school, which is not as popular as the Sawai Gandharva school that has legends such as Bhimsen Joshi to its credit.
His broad and resonant voice has strength but also an element of tranquillity. In this concert, he is going to present ragas such as Poorvi, Bageshri, Megh and Des. 6.30pm. Little Theatre, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737). Free.
Releasing 15 Jun
Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette takes some getting used to. It’s neither a historical account of 18th century France nor is it a biopic of the queen, who was guillotined in 1793 during the French Revolution. Coppola asks viewers to forgive the queen her trespasses even as she herself strays away from the beaten path of period cinema. Yet, viewers with a more conservative taste in historicals can be persuaded to like this movie. Major cinemas.
School of Classical Ballet & Western Dance
As the rains hit Mumbai, the dance circuit suffers a drought of performances. So, it comes as good news that the mother and daughter duo of Tushna and Khushcheher Dallas will give audiences another opportunity to catch a ballet performance. Against the backdrop of Fali Unwalla’s set, this year’s performance will feature senior students of the school.
The group’s piece de resistance is Les Sylphides, a romantic ballet in one act with a pulsating, brooding score by Chopin. 7pm. Sophia Bhabha Hall, Sophia College, off Bhulabhai Desai Road (2353-8550). Tickets: Rs500, Rs300, Rs200.
As more concert organizers seem to favour big names over budding talent, leading dancers from Mumbai and Pune such as kathak dancers Uma Dogra, Shama Bhate and Rajshree Shirke, Bharatanatyam dancers Vaibhav Arekar and Deepak Mazumdar, and Odissi dancer Daksha Mashruwala have decided to take things into their own hands.
The result is Lakshya, an initiative that aims to revive the dwindling solo tradition, besides offering a platform to upcoming dancers. This fortnight, Lakshya makes its debut with performances by Odissi dancer Advaita Mane, kathak dancer Manasi Deshpande and Mazumdar. 3pm. Mini Auditorium, P.L. Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Academy, Sayani Road, Prabhadevi, near Siddhivinayak Mandir (2431-2956) Free.
The Arabian Night
Fatima dreams of life in a harem. Her flatmate Franziska is often overcome by uncontrollable sleep. A building caretaker finds happiness in a desert. Fatima’s boyfriend Akhbar is desperate to catch a glimpse of the sleeping Franziska. Across the street from Franziska, a peeping Tom finds himself trapped in a brandy bottle. Five stories criss-cross through changing landscapes in director Jaimini Pathak’s production of German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig’s comedy, Arabian Night.
The play was directed a year and a half ago by playwright Ramu Ramanathan and returns to the stage with a new cast. 16 Jun: 7pm; 17 Jun: 6.30pm. (duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes). Godrej Dance Academy Theatre, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737). Tickets: Rs150.
Carry on Heaven
Glittering apsaras, imitation Lalu Prasads and Yamrajs in biker leather could only come together in a Bharat Dabholkar play. The result is a production that’s kitschy and often trite, but with large doses of frivolous humour.
In this tale of politics in Indra’s court, a politician modelled on Lalu stirs up a mutiny in the heavenly ranks. He launches the Combined Revolutionary Organization To Change Heaven (CROTCH) to challenge Indra’s authority. Not to be outdone, Indra meets the ever-randy Lalu, disguised as a woman, to elicit the politician’s plans.
In the process, Carry on pokes fun at every thing, from money-grabbing hospitals (to get his hernia operated on, Lalu visits a hospital whose operation theatre functions as a part-time multiplex) to dandiya (a pest control expert suggests that Indra should swat away flies by performing dandiya). 7.30pm (duration: 2 hours). St Andrew’s Auditorium, St Dominic Road, Bandra (W) (2645-9667). Tickets: Rs150-400.
Garam Kamra & Marhoom ki Yaad Mein
A double bill of Hindi drama at Prithvi. In Sunil Shanbag’s Garam Kamra, two men strike up a conversation in a sauna. A relaxing steam becomes a game of one-upmanship. On the heels of Garam Kamra is Ashutosh Datar’s adaptation of Pitrus Bokhari’s short story about a boy who desperately wants to own a bicycle. A friend offers to sell him a cycle at a ridiculously cheap price.
But there’s more to the machine than meets the eye. 9pm. Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Juhu, Vile Parle (W). Tickets: Rs50-150.
Out & About
The think tank, Partners in Urban Knowledge and Research, has invited Tim Marshall, the dean of The New School for Design, New York, to deliver its annual lecture. Marshall will be talking about design and urban spaces in a globalized world.
He will talk about how good urban and building designs can have a positive effect on the economic, physical, aesthetic and social aspects of the lives of people. 6.30pm. Godrej Dance Academy Theatre, NCPA , near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737).
Romeo and Juliet
In its performance of Romeo and Juliet this fortnight, Taal—the Beat, a Kolkata-based dance company, will present a piece of experimental choreography that brings Shakespeare, Rabindranath Tagore and Martha Graham together on the same platform. The performance is a piece of—loosely defined—contemporary dance, a combination of traditional Indian and modern dance movements and structure. Romeo and Juliet makes extensive use of Rabindrasangeet, with about a dozen of Tagore’s songs featuring in the 80-minute production. 7pm. India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (4366-3090). Free.
In his debut show, Valay Shende is exhibiting seven works. Each one is a monument to his disillusionment and fury. As a commentary with the show, Shende has selected an extract from B.R. Ambedkar’s The Buddha and his Dhamma, recounting how the Buddha came as a glorious warrior to shame a gang of bandits into restraining their greed. Next to the text stands a white sculpture of Buddha as the warrior. It is the one sign of optimism allowed into his show but by the end of Shende’s exhibit, the hope embodied in it is virtually forgotten. 11am-7pm (Mon-Sat). Sakshi Gallery, Tanna House, 11A, Nathalal Parekh Marg, near Regal Cinema, Colaba (6610-3424).