Je crois que je l’aime (could this be love?)
Lucas, a rich, divorced industrialist, is irresistibly attracted to Elsa, a renowned ceramist commissioned by him to create a fresco for his office foyer. But, still smarting from a recent disappointment in love, he asks Roland Christin, a private detective from his company, to find out why this lovely woman is still single. Without the slightest scruple, Roland puts the most modern of surveillance methods into operation. Will Elsa find out? French, with subtitles, directed by Pierre Jolivet. 1 hour 30 minutes.
5.30pm and 7.30pm. ML Bhartia auditorium, Alliance Française de Delhi, 72, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (43500200).
Director, Arvind Gaur; writer, Bertolt Brecht; adapted by Amitabh Srivastava; cast, Shilpi Marwah, Viren Basoya, Ritu Soni, Puneet Verma, Sonam Saxena, Bajrangbali Singh, Rishi Soni.
Bollywood-izing Brecht: A scene from Arvind Gaur’s Ramkali.
Arvind Gaur is Bollywood-izing a play by Bertolt Brecht. The German playwright’s form of stylized theatre was developed as an instrument to incite and inform, rather than simply entertain. But Gaur told us that his “modern adaptation” of Brecht’s didactic morality play, ‘The Good Woman of Szechwan’, is his own “unique mix of Bollywood and Broadway”. Gaur’s ‘Ramkali—The Good Woman of Delhi’ is set in the walled city and the story remains the same as the original, only the characters’ names have changed, to fit in with Delhi.
7pm. Siri Fort auditorium, main auditorium, Asian Games Village Complex, Khel Gaon Marg. Tickets, Rs150-500 (24693370).
Sonia and Harmeet + Indic Mist
Gifted vocalist Sonia Saigal will present Jazz standards, backed by Harmeet on piano. The other act is the band Indic Mist that will present an all-original set. The gigs are part of F Bar’s weekly music festival held on Sundays, promoting some of the country’s best talent. The grand finale is on 26 October.
8pm. F Bar and Lounge, The Ashok, 50B, Chanakyapuri, entrance from Niti Marg (26110101). Rs1,000 (covers unlimited booze and finger food).
Italian Genius Now
From 15 September
Travelling from Tokyo, Seoul, and Taipei to New Delhi, this exhibition celebrates Italian art and design through photographs, industrial products, advertisements and editorial materials. It traces the development of style from the iconic Vespa scooter, experimental 1960s Pop Art to Toscani’s controversial Benetton adverts.
11am-7pm, closed on Mondays. Travancore Palace, Kasturba Gandhi Marg (23382067).
The Nature of the City
From 18 September
An exhibition featuring Nitin Mukul, Alexander, Sheba Chhachhi, Budhaditya Chattopadyay, Atul Bhalla, Parvathi Nayar, Jagganath Panda, Ravi Agarwal, Sumakshi Singh, Gauri Gill, Jenson Anto, Pradeep Krishen, Abul Kalam Azad. The theme of the show is the environmental consequences of India’s rapid urbanization.
10am-8pm. Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (43662026).
Six Degrees of Separation
Till 20 September
An exhibition that explores the connectedness (or lack of) in a constantly shrinking world, ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ features works by 13 South Asian artists, including Salil Subedi Kanika from Nepal; Anoli Perera from Sri Lanka; Huma Mulji, Bani Abidi and Masooma Sayed from Pakistan; Riyas Komu, Aastha Chauhan, Anup Mathew Thomas, Surekha, Abhishek Hazra and Hema Upadhyay from India; and Mahbubur Rahman and Syeda Farhana from Bangladesh. Some of the themes are urbanization, state suppression, public versus private spaces and domesticity.
11am-7pm, closed on Mondays. Anant Art Gallery, F-213B, Lado Sarai (41554775).
N.N. Rimzon, Tushar Joag and Juls Kraijer stay true to the title of the show. Kraijer and Jog edge towards the eerie with their depictions of human organs.
10am-6.30pm, Saturday, 11am-4pm. Galerie Mirchandani+Steinruecke, 2, Sunny House, Mereweather Road, Colaba (22023030).
Saas, Bahu aur Sensex
There’s nothing Indians love more than sex and the Sensex. The country’s billion-plus population is evidence for the former. The hysteria that radiates through newsrooms every time the stock market rises or falls by a few points is proof of the latter. Shona Urvashi’s ‘Saas, Bahu aur Sensex’ aims to examine the far-reaching economic changes taking place in India through her comedy about a group of housewives who ask a stock broker (played by Farooque Shaikh) to help them invest in stocks.
A slice of life: A scene from Saas, Bahu aur Sensex.
The director hopes that ‘Saas, Bahu aur Sensex’ will be regarded as a slice-of-life comedy in the same vein as ‘Chashme Buddoor’, ‘Katha’, ‘Khatta Meetha’ and ‘Hiro Hiralal’, all movies produced by PLA Entertainment, the banner owned by her grandfather, Parmanand Anand.
Michael Frayn’s kinetic farce is easily the funniest play Mumbai has seen in the past year. The vigorous drama could easily have gone the way of the one that it’s parodying—an utter mess in which cues are missed by minutes and actors flub their lines disastrously. But Nadir Khan wrings military-tight performances from actors who pump enough horsepower into their performances to fuel a jet engine.
The play opens with a cast of hams dim enough to try an ascetic’s patience rehearsing the bedroom comedy ‘Nothing On’. The leading dunces of the pack are Sohrab (Sohrab Ardeshir), a doltish alcoholic who reacts to bottles of whisky like Pavlov’s dog, the pompous Zafar (Zafar Karachiwala), who’s incapable of completing a sentence, and Darius (Darius Shroff), a director and Don Juan who has to both instruct his actors and keep his two lovers from scratching their eyes out. ‘Noises Off’ reaches its apogee in Act 2, when the stage is flipped. The audience is now privy to the backstage goings on of ‘Nothing On’ while the comedy is in progress. Jealousies compounded by misunderstandings bubble forth and vengeful actors chase each other like cats and mice in between scenes. Adding to the hilarity is the fact that the act is almost entirely mimed.
7pm. Tata Theatre, NCPA, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point. Tickets, Rs200, Rs240, Rs320, Rs400, Rs500 (66223737).
Russian Modern Dance
Mumbai has seen almost none of the activities that form part of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ Festival of Russia. So, the arrival of Provincial Dances Theatre, a dance theatre company from Russia, comes as a surprise. A princess, trapped in a transparent ball, is surrounded by a herd of jockeys. Women carry men on their shoulders, and later balance balloons on their heads. Dancers sprinkle flour over each other. These and even more bizarre images will appear in ‘Post Engagement: Diptych, Part II’.
7.30pm. St Andrew’s auditorium, St Andrew’s College, St Dominic Road, Bandra (W) (26410926).
Book launch: Empires of the Indus
In ‘Empires of the Indus–The Story of A River’, Alice Albinia takes a 4,500-year journey through South Asia, from the glories of Mohenjadaro to the conflicts of the present. ‘The Guardian’ noted approvingly in its review, “Albinia is a determined and observant traveller with a rare ability to find the right person and listen to their story.”
7pm. Crossword, Mohammed Bhai Mansion, NSP Marg, Kemps Corner (23842001).
Seven musicians, from France, Cuba and Chile, play sizzling Salsa at the Frog.
10.30pm. Blue Frog, Todi and Co., Mathuradas Mills Compound, opposite Empire Mills, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel. Tickets, Rs300 (40332300).
Yamini Muthanna is an exponent of the Padanallur style of Bharatanatyam and will be performing a thematic piece titled ‘Manas’.
This piece is based on shlokas which are selected from ancient texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the Vedas, which illuminate interpretations of “the Supreme Guide”. This piece will be articulated using yoga asanas and jathis (rhythmic sequences).
6pm. Yavanika, YMCA, Nrupathunga Road (22214911).
Carnatic vocal performance
Nisha Rajagopal Carnatic vocal performance by the student of acclaimed vocalist T.R. Subramanya. A former resident of Toronto, Canada, Rajagopal relocated to India in the early 1990s, and has maintained a rigorous touring and performance schedule since. She will perform as part of the Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha’s monthly concerts.
6pm. Purandara Bhavana, 8th E Main, behind Indira Nagar Club, HAL 2nd Stage (26571214).
Director, Anmol Vellani; writer, Georg Buchner (adapted by Anmol Vellani); cast, Anish Victor, Sunitha M.R., Sachin Gurjale, Abhijeet Shetty, Ashish Sen, Shiva Pathak. 1 hour 10 minutes.
Franz Woyzeck, the protagonist of Georg Büchner’s unfinished masterpiece, is a low ranking soldier who lives with his mistress Marie, a beautiful and ebullient woman with whom he has a child. Crushing penury forces him to offer himself up as a candidate for medical experiments conducted by a military doctor in exchange for moderate remuneration. The tests gradually disintegrate Woyzeck’s grip on reality. Meanwhile, Woyzeck’s superior officer, a handsome Drum-major, begins to take a fancy to Marie, who finds herself torn in her feelings for the detached Woyzeck and the propositioning officer. Eventually Marie and the Drum-major indulge in a passionate affair, a mortal blow to Woyzeck’s last reserves of dignity. A desperate man plunging into madness with no consolation in a cruel cosmos, Woyzeck’s final fiendish step seems ironically strengthened by a life of impuissance and abuse.
Saturday, 7.30pm; Sunday, 3.30pm and 7.30pm. Ranga Shankara, 36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar. Tickets, Rs100 (26592777).
Science is made fun for kids, who will conduct simple experiments on Visvesvaraya’s birthday, also known as Engineer’s Day. They will learn to create a volcanic reaction and will also experiment with chemical concoctions.
5.30pm-6.30pm. MyMitra Children’s Library, 32nd Cross, 7th Block, Jayanagar. Fee, Rs75 (9945499737).
Alexander Devasia was born in Paravoor Punnapra in Kerala in 1963. In 1988, 10 years after completing his studies in fine arts, he moved to Munich, Germany, where he now lives, and as he likes to say, “works as a free artist”. Devasia has, over the years, displayed his works in several shows in Mumbai and Munich. He also works on documentary films with his film-maker wife Sylvie Bantle. A request to the artist resulted in a poetic reply from his wife Bantle, about the concept of Devasia’s new show, and a short verse that she wrote for her artist husband: ‘The eyes see, what the fingers can touch and the mind can reach/The heart can feel what the eyes never perceive/Yet the soul is everywhere, that fills unlimited space/Which is the largest but unseen part of the world.’ “Once, I tried to express in four ordered lines, in my own way, what Alexander Devasia, as a painter is speaking about in his series Soul Mountain,” she wrote.
Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-6pm. Gallery Sumukha, 24/10, BTS Depot Road, Wilson Garden (22292230).
When Anjolie Ela Menon, one of India’s most celebrated artists, calls the works of Radhika Chand—whose next show Menon will curate—“Pollock-like”, you’d expect a stated reason behind the equation. Chand, who was born in Mumbai in 1972, moved to Hong Kong, then to Sydney, and returned to Delhi in 1991, combines watercolours and acrylics in her works which, in colourful patterns, often look like they’re made of textile, beads and embroidery. Chand has, in past shows, spoken about her work as “truly obsessive”, with a “repetitive character like the chanting of a mantra”. The paintings, as the Pakistani artist Laila Rehman said, appear to emerge out of a need “to create order and harmony out of our chaos”. That’s one aspect, based on which, perhaps, Menon chose to draw the parallel. In her ‘curator’s note’, she speaks about the “freedom and vigour” in Chand’s work, which she says is also “reminiscent of the ‘dot’ paintings of Australian aboriginals”.
Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm. Gallery G, 38, Maini Sadan, 7th Cross, Lavelle Road (22219275).
PSBT’s Open Frame 2008
The Public Service Broadcasting Trust is organizing its annual international film festival and forum, ‘Open Frame 2008’. Each year, the festival is organized in partnership with Unesco, and with the support of Prasar Bharati, Max Mueller Bhavan, International Public Television, and the India Habitat Centre. While showcasing films on varied themes and subjects, the Open Frame, this year, will focus on issues related to conflict to understand films as a medium of representing, interrogating and confronting conflict, ranging from the political to the personal.
Various timings. Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (24682222).
It’s a Shakespearean tragedy with a comic twist that has been adapted a number of times all over the world. In Rajat Kapoor’s version of ‘Hamlet’, a company of clowns runs amok with the script.
Hamlet’s mother will spank his bottom, his father’s ghost will appear wearing only his boxers and the Prince of Denmark will find Yorrick’s imaginary skull tossed to him like a ball. Or not.
Since Kapoor and his clowns are keen believers in making it up as they go along, there’s no telling exactly what will happen from show to show.
9pm. Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu. Call venue for ticket prices (26149546).
Voices from the Waters
Shamala Nandesh’s installation titled ‘Celestial Clock’ will be on display at ‘Voices from the Waters’, the film festival on water hosted by the Bangalore Film Society. Since its inception as a small Bangalore-based festival in 2005, it has become the biggest international gathering of its kind on the theme of spreading awareness on issues related to conservation of water. Nandesh said her installation is a celestial or mythical fish, meant to be a metaphor for urbanization. The fish is fragmented with its tail placed in another room, “creating a ruptured effect”. The piece is “celebratory, and at the same time fearful of the inevitable consequence of unplanned urbanization and the problem of water”, said the artist. An accompanying note quotes the translation of a verse by the 18th century Telugu composer and writer Nareyanappa: ‘Oh look here dear fellow/A new fish has come into the waters that sustain us/Drinking our own source of life/Leaving us with this barren wasteland.’
The festival is spread across six days and will include film screenings, conferences on water issues, exhibitions of paintings and photographs. A programme called Water Voices will feature grassroot-level water activists narrating their personal experiences. The festival will be inaugurated on 13 September, at 5pm by the film director, Shekhar Kapur. Contact the festival coordinator at 9448064513 for details, or visit ‘www.voicesfromthewaters.com’
10am-9pm. For details, contact the Bangalore Film Society on 25493705. Jnana Jyoti, Bangalore University city auditorium, Central College Campus, Palace Road.