Until 12 June
The show is titled after a famous song—Ary Barrosso’s Aquarela do Brasil. The works are not watercolours, however, but more a way of drawing attention to Brazil as a “watercolour culture”, one in which the different colours bleed into one another and there is no telling what the final result may be. Arthur Luiz Piza’s mesh and acrylic-painted shapes create an effect of looking at an obscured object, so you can see its colour and shape, but not its details. The eye-catching images by Regina Silveira, created using projectors, lights and silhouettes, are a must-see. 10am-8pm (daily). Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (2468-2001).
Early Years—Paintings by Viswanadhan
Velu Viswanadhan exhibits works from the 1960s and 1970s. These include paintings, an archive of personal photographs and Colour and Form, a documentary by Adoor Gopalakrishnan inspired by Viswanadhan. The artist’s paintings often feature Kerala, Chennai and Paris—places where he has spent time. His small-scale mixed media paintings, with their nuanced colour schemes dusted with gold, are particularly worth looking at. 11am-7pm (Mon-Sat). Delhi Art Gallery, 11, Hauz Khas Village (2656-8166).
Vocalist Srabani Mukherjee started by singing Rabindrasangeet in Kolkata, but switched to khayal at her mother’s insistence. With her sensible blending of various influences, she has been a part of a number of festivals and is also a regular performer at various baithaks. 6.30pm. India International Centre Auditorium, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (2461-9431). Free.
M. Sayeed Alam’s play uses hypothetical meetings between Maulana Azad (Tom Alter) and his secretary, Humayun Kabir (whom we never see, only hear occasionally) to explore the life of the famous nationalist. 7.30pm. (duration: 2 hours 30 minutes). Alliance Francaise, 72, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (4350-0200). Tickets: Rs200-500, available at the venue on the day of the show. For advance booking, call M. Sayeed Alam (98102-55291).
Bhavabhuti’s classic 8th century Sanskrit play in seven acts has been translated into Hindi by Satyanarayan Kaviratna, and condensed into a three-act production by veteran playwright-director Prasanna and the members of the National School of Drama’s Repertory Company. On 3 June: 3.30pm & 7pm; On 4 June: 7pm (duration: 1 hour 50 minutes). National School of Drama, Bahawalpur House, 1, Bhagwan Das Road (2338-4531).
A part of the NSD Repertory Summer Theatre Festival, Seema Paar is set in Benaras. It is playwright-director Prasanna’s tribute to Bharatendu Harishchandra (the 19th century Hindi poet who is also credited with being the founder of modern Hindi theatre) and to the Hindi language, with which he has a “love-hate relationship”. 7pm (duration: 1 hour 50 minutes). National School of Drama, Bahawalpur House, 1, Bhagwan Das Road (2338-4531). Tickets: Rs10-100.
Anthony LaPaglia is police detective Leon Zat. He’s trying to jog off a paunch; trying not to let a one-night stand with Jane (Rachael Blake) turn into an affair; trying to reconnect with his wife, Sonja, (Kerry Armstrong); trying to find Valerie (Barbara Hershey), a psychiatrist who has vanished; basically, trying to keep it all together before he implodes. 6.30pm (duration: 2 hours). Grey Zone Film Club, The Attic, 36, Regal Building, Connaught Place (2374-6050). One-day membership: Rs70.
The British Council and British High Commission, supported by the UK department of food and rural affairs, grants fellowships to Indian film-makers annually. The aim is to focus on important conservation issues. The theme of the fellowship this year was wildlife crimes. The seven fellowship films of the year will be screened at the British Council to mark World Environment Day 2007. 6.30pm. British Council, 17, Kasturba Gandhi Marg (4219-9000). Free.
Nritya—The Dance of Bliss
This Odissi performance is dedicated to the cause of protecting the rights of the girl child and women. It is based on an English poem by Bijayalakshmi Nanda, lecturer in sociology at Miranda House, Delhi University, and was originally written as part of a campaign against female foeticide in 2004. The central narrative is that of a young dancer who is found to be carrying a female child and is under pressure to abort it but decides to fight for her rights as a woman. The poem has been set to music by Madhumita Raut and her music director, Harinarayan Das. A group of 10 senior students from the Mayadhar Raut School of Odissi will perform. 7pm. India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (2468-2001). Free.
Mera Naam Joker
Until 6 June
Contortionists, acrobats, clowns and other characters are the stars of Saibal Das’ exhibition. Das accompanied a number of circuses from across the country on their travels and was surprised by the tough life they lead. It is this life that Das seeks to capture through his black and white photographs in Mera Naam Joker. 11am-7pm (Mon-Sat). Piramal Gallery, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737).
Set in the mid-1970s, Vijay Tendulkar’s Kanyadaan is a brutal indictment of the kind of Nehruvian nationalism that rings hollow despite its good intentions. But after getting over your initial impulse to dismiss all that talk about true democracy and classless society as naive, you find that Kanyadaan engages at many levels and is not as far removed from contemporary India as you had thought. The action takes place in the Devlalikar household. Nath and Seva are both left-leaning social activists, secure in the knowledge that they’re doing their bit for India’s downtrodden masses. Their self-assurance is sent into a tailspin when their daughter, Jyoti, decides to marry Arun, a Dalit. 6.30pm. Tata Theatre, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737). Tickets: Rs 120-400.
For once, a play about Parsis that doesn’t make them out to be congenital oddballs. Maia Katrak’s debut play is tautly written and intensely dramatic. The Bharuchas are a tense lot. Rustom, the patriarch, has just died. His daughter-in-law, Meher, is pregnant with a child she’s not sure she wants. The spectre of a previous miscarriage continues to haunt her. His wife, Freni, is trying hard to keep her head above Meher’s hysterics and her own grief, and his son, Freddy, just wants the old Meher back. As the threesome teeter on the edge of paranoia, Rustom’s ghost returns to sort things out. 7pm (duration: 1 hour 25 minutes). Experimental Theatre, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737). Tickets: Rs200.
Ravindra Chary + Gauri Pathare
Jugalbandis between sitar players and singers are rare because it’s difficult for the musicians to match pitches. This fortnight, Swarmauli will present a jugalbandi by sitar player Ravindra Chary and vocalist Gauri Pathare at which they will render raga Bageshri. Pathare sings in A while D is the normal key for Chary, so the duo will have to make some adjustments. 5.30pm. Savarkar Kendra Hall, M.G. Road, Swatantraveer Savarkar Garden, opposite Sun City Talkies, Vile Parle (E) (2611-5712). Free.
From March 2005 to June 2006, a team put together by Yotam Agam and Sonya Mazumdar, the founders of Chennai-based music label Earth Sync travelled through Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar and India to record the traditional music of coastal communities that were affected by the December 2004 tsunami. Laya Project is a documentary about their journey and it unfolds as a collection of exquisitely shot music videos of the songs they recorded on location or later put together in the studio in Chennai. Catch the screening organized by the Alliance Française. 6pm. Alliance Française, 40, New Marine Lines (2203-6187). Free.
Out & About
Pukar Youth Fellowship Programme
Could our train designs be made more women-friendly? What are the problems faced by blind hawkers peddling trinkets on trains and at railway stations? Why don’t we see many women under 20 wearing saris? These are just some of the questions being explored by a group of researchers who have been scouring the city, survey sheets in hand, for the past year. They’re not sociologists, but ordinary Mumbaikars—fisherfolk, blind office workers, textile designers, struggling theatre actors and burka-clad girls among others—who are a part of the annual Youth Fellowship Programme of the city-based think tank, Partners in Urban Knowledge and Research. They will present their findings at a public meeting on 3 June. Exhibition of the projects: 3-6pm; public meeting: 6-8pm. P.L. Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Academy, Sayani Road, near Siddhivinayak Mandir, Prabhadevi (6574 8152). Free.
Access to Justice 1991-2007
Majlis, an NGO that has been helping women fight legal battles since the 1980s, has been providing fellowships to women lawyers in small towns across Maharashtra to study laws regarding women’s issues. On 3 June, a report on the initiative will be released. The programme will also include a solo performance on domestic violence by Sheeba Chhada and another by Meenal Patel on the life of the Dalit woman writer, Urmila Pawar. There will also be a dialogue with some of the women that Majlis has helped fight for their rights in the last 16 years. 11am-6pm. Indian Merchants’ Chamber, IMC Lane, next to Churchgate Station (6601-7723). Free.
Surabhi Sharma’s documentary, Jahaji Music, which has its first screening this fortnight, explores the evolution of chutney music in the Caribbean. Shot in 2004, the documentary is a high-concept exploration of an infectious music form. Chutney’s fast rhythms were developed by the Indian community that was shipped to Trinidad in the 19th century. Jahaji Music grew out of Bangalore-based academic Tejaswini Niranjana’s recently published book, Mobilizing India: Women, Music and Migration between India and Trinidad. Niranjana suggested to Goan singer Remo Fernandes that he record songs with Caribbean musicians, and documentary film-maker Sharma went on board to bear witness to the exchange. In between sequences of Remo jamming with local stars, Rikki Jai and Denise Belfon, we get glimpses of the other throbbing music scenes of Trinidad and Jamaica. 7.30pm (duration: 1 hour 52 minutes). New Mahim Municipal School, Miya Mohammed Chotani Marg, Teesri Galli, Mahim (W) (2444-5871). Entry: Rs 50.
Out & About
Solar System Marathon
An overnight astronomy camp to make the most of a rare astral event when all the planets of our solar system will be visible on one night. The Solar System Marathon will be an overnight workshop where participants will learn about the planets and be able to use the equipment provided to track four major celestial events that are expected to take place on that date. 5pm onward. Nehru Planetarium, Teen Murti House (2301-4504). Free.
“I had never lusted for a woman before,” says the priest in Girish Karnad’s first play written in English. “I could not control the fire raging in my loins.” Directed by the Delhi-based Roysten Abel, Karnad’s latest venture is the riveting confession of a conflicted mind, crammed with lyrical memories of duty versus desire. These play out on a mystical set embellished with white jasmine flowers scattered on the floor, the aroma of incense sticks and the soothing noise of the water from the urli. 7pm. (duration: 1 hour 15 minutes). Experimental Theatre, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737). Tickets: Rs 200.