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First Published: Sun, May 24 2009. 08 49 PM IST

Old magic: A ballet recital at Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra’s annual summer festival
Old magic: A ballet recital at Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra’s annual summer festival
Updated: Sun, May 24 2009. 08 49 PM IST
Body as Vessel
Curated by Geeti Sen, the show, which explores the body and its physicality, displays paintings and mixed media works by Anupam Sud, Gogi Saroj Pal, Mithu Sen, Puneet Kaushik and Shambhavi Singh.
11am-7pm, Monday-Saturday. Art Alive, S-221, Panchsheel Park (41639000).
Summer ballet festival
Old magic: A ballet recital at Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra’s annual summer festival
8-12 May
This fortnight, the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra is organizing its annual summer ballet festival. The institute is known for presenting some of the best dance dramas in the city and Ram, its annual performance around Dussehra, which is revamped and contemporized every year, has been going strong for at least 50 years. This summer, old favourites such as Meera are getting a fresh airing. There’s even one production that’s now so old that it’s likely to be new for many, if not most, people in the audience. Khajuraho, which debuted in 1984, is returning to the stage after a gap of 25 years.
Kamani auditorium, 1, Copernicus Marg (23388084). Contact Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (23386428).
13 May
M. Sayeed Alam is finally giving his many plays on Ghalib a break. Instead, this tongue-in-cheek comedy is about the trials and tribulations of staging a play. J.K. (Harish Chhabra, in an over-the-top, yet somehow effective performance), a harassed and hottempered director, is trying very hard to get his bunch of actors to, well, act. A week from the performance, the play seems doomed—everything that could go wrong does. Problems keep popping up during rehearsals and various mishaps and mix-ups take place backstage, setting the stage for some genuine laughs. At one point, the lead actor leaves for his “big Bollywood break” and a hapless chowkidar (watchman) is forced to fill in for him.
Two other actors fall in love during the rehearsals, further complicating matters. Yet another actor is an annoying know-it-all who constantly interrupts the director with his opinion on everything and everyone.
7.30pm. Alliance Française auditorium, 72, Lodhi Estate (43500200). Tickets available at the venue, Rs100-300. For tickets, call 9810255291, or 9810460366, or write to pierrotstroupe@gmail.com
The world of puppets
From 18 May
Katkatha is organizing a puppet lab for children so they can learn to create their own characters and stories, experiment with material, craft their own puppets and present their own shows.
The workshops will culminate with an exhibition of puppets made by the children or in small puppet shows for parents, friends and family.
Children can enrol in the following categories: Shadow puppetry workshops, classes V and above, 2 hours daily; rod and glove puppetry workshops, 4-14 years, 2 hours daily; masks and puppets, 11-14 years, 1 hour daily. Duration: five and 10 days.
Cambridge Primary School, New Friends Colony. Registration closes on 15 May. Katkatha will have a desk at the venue on 15 May for registrations. You can also call Anurupa Roy (9810511360) and make a booking. For details, email royanurupa@hotmail.com , or visit www.katkatha.org. Fee, Rs1,500 per child for five days, Rs3,000 for 10 days.
A Son for Hunting
9 May
Saving the tiger: From Jaimini Pathak’s play Once Upon A...Tiger!
This fortnight, Koodiyattam, Kerala’s 2,000-year-old dance theatre form, will be seen not on stage but on screen. In A Son for Hunting, director Soudhamini uses Kerala’s colourful performing arts such as Koodiyattam, Kathakali, Arjuna Nrityam and Ottanthullal Ganam to tell the tale of Eklavya, the tribal hunter who sacrificed his thumb to ensure Arjuna’s supremacy in archery. The film takes Koodiyattam out of its traditional space in the temple to shoot the artists in a forest without their colourful make-up.
6.30pm. Little Theatre, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (66223737).
Once Upon A…Tiger!
10 May
Director/writer: Jaimini Pathak. Duration: 1 hour 30 min; English.
Two families (one father, a scheming industrialist and the other, a selfish politician) visit a tiger reserve, hoping to spot the elusive striped animal. A series of amusing yet insightful events follow which make Once Upon A…Tiger! a fun and unforgettable play for children. The children are even encouraged to hoot, hiss and snarl.
The industrialist’s children, Mani and Gauri, befriend Babushka, who is spoilt silly by her politician father. With the help of the forest guards, the trio sets about saving the tiger. On the other hand, the adults are only interested in manipulating the forest for their interests. Who will win? As things come to a head, the cast asks the audience to decide the fate of the tiger. “Will you? Won’t you? Will you save the tiger?” they ask.
Keeping the tiger in focus, both as a symbol and as an endangered species, this play uses puppets, masks, music, dance and humour to spark concern among young (and adult) audiences for the environment and the need for conservation where environment education textbooks couldn’t succeed. This play succeeds.
8pm. Horniman Circle Garden, opposite Asiatic Library, Fort.
Around town
Harappa photo show
Until 11 May
This fortnight, thanks to photographer Makarand Khatavkar, there will be a whole batch of new pictures of the Harappan civilization to ponder over. Khatavkar will display 19 full-length panels, featuring a total of 70 photographs of excavated sites across India and Pakistan at the Nehru Centre. Some of his images of Lothal, Dholavira, Mohenjodaro and Harappa may seem familiar.
Mohenjodaro’s famous Great Bath and Lothal’s dockyard, for instance, look like clearer, more updated versions of the illustrations you’d see in a school textbook.
The exhibition also displays what doesn’t usually make it to textbooks: Bead-making kilns and functioning wells in Lothal, Buddhist shrines that are said to have been erected after the fall of the civilization and circular brick platforms that formed Harappan grain-husking stations.
10am-6pm. Nehru Science Centre, Dr E Moses Road, Worli (24920482).
11-25 May
‘Vivid’ promises to demonstrate curatorial astuteness with three well-established participating artists—Sujata Achrekar, H.R. Das and Sachin Jaltare
10am-7pm, Monday-Saturday. Kynkyny Art, 104, Embassy Square, 148, Infantry Road (40926202).
9 May
Rukmini Vijayakumar, a Bharatanatyam and modern dance practitioner, has delved into the Puranas and her own experiences of having lived in a city to tell stories of the rain. Vijayakumar will perform with Parshwanth Upadhye, also a Bharatanatayam dancer.
The various stories that will unfold range from one in which Radha expresses her longing for Krishna by comparing her tears to raindrops, to another in which a city dweller sinks into loneliness at the sight of rain streaming down the window.
6.30pm. For donor passes, contact Rotary Club of Bangalore on 9845201290. Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Vyalikaval, Malleswaram (23445810).
71st Sree Ramanavami celebrations
Until 10 May
The month-long celebrations come to an end with Carnatic vocalist, playback singer and granddaughter of D.K. Pattamal and Palghat Mani Iyer, Nityasree Mahadevan leading a Carnatic concert on 8 May, Ravikiran performing on his chitraveena with Mysore Nagaraj on violin, K.V. Prasad on mridangam and B.N. Chandramouli on kanjira on 9 May, with Padma Shri awardee, Hindustani classical singer Parveen Sultana concluding the month-long musical festival on 10 May.
6.30pm. Fort High School ground, Krishna Rajendra Road, Chamarajpet (9448079079). Tickets, Rs100 and Rs200.
13-19 May
“Let’s get one thing clarified, I’m a photographer, not an architect or a specialist in town planning,” wrote Stéphane Herbert in an email. Born in 1968 in Guatemala, Herbert spent his teen years in one of several buildings designed by the architect Le Corbusier in the French town of Firminy. For 20 years, Herbert, now based in Paris, worked on assignments across west and central Asia, and the Americas.
The exhibition Brasilia-Chandigarh will present Herbert’s pictures of Chandigarh, next to a series that he shot of Brasilia, the Brazilian capital city that was built on a plateau in the 1950s and 1960s. In an interview, he explained that his core idea was to focus on two “great open cities”, the “genius” of Corbusier’s work and the significance of the architect’s statement: “Architecture is the erudite, correct and splendid play of the volumes assembled under the light.”
Monday-Friday, 9am-7pm; Saturday, 10am-5pm. Alliance Française de Bangalore, 108, Vasanth Nagar, Thimmaiah Road (41231345).
It has got 61 keys, just like in a standard piano, 128 different synthesized tones and 100 preset rhythms you can play with, apart from features such as MIDI and speaker out, and a 3.5mm headphone jack—all of which can be rolled up like a rug. The roll-up synthesizer piano comes with a power adapter and a carry case.
Rs5,550, www.ebay.in. Jaideep Sen
The popularity and brand recognition of the Moti Mahal Delux chain of restaurants is testament to the power of tall tales and family mythology. Monish Gujral, grandson of the original Moti Mahal founder Kundan Lal Gujral, worked in his grandfather’s kitchen in Daryaganj, Delhi. It was here, supposedly, that an experiment with tomato gravy, butter and tandoori chicken yielded butter chicken. However, ‘On the Butter Chicken Trail’ is a comprehensive, if not overly creative, collection of recipes. If you’re looking for anecdotes, you’re going to be disappointed.
Penguin India, Rs250.Sonal Shah
At primary school, saying someone read the dictionary was a particularly disparaging way of calling them a geek. What would your classmates have made of Ammon Shea, who gave a year of his life to devouring all 20 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary? In ‘Reading The Oxford English Dictionary’, he digs up treasures such as the eight delightful adjectives describing different types of drunkards. Still, unless you’re a linguistic trivia obsessive such as Shea, this is not exactly a page-turner.
Allen Lane, £12.99.Jennifer Lipman
Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel memoir ‘Maus: A Survivor’s Tale’ converted Jews and Nazis into mice and cats to portray his parents’ survival of the Holocaust. It won him the Pulitzer Prize. In the new introduction to this reissue of his 1978 title ‘Breakdowns’, Spiegelman shows himself being pursued by an enormous mouse that represents his famous creation. “It’s a monument I built to my father,” he tells his own son. “I never dreamed it would get so big!” Subtitled ‘Portrait of an Artist as a Young %@&*!’, this is a series of stories published in underground magazines in 1972-77.
Viking, $18.15. Oscar Rickett
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First Published: Sun, May 24 2009. 08 49 PM IST