The intriguingly titled illustrated lecture The Mughals Seen From the Netherlands is led by Prof. Sanjay Subrahmanyam. In this, texts and images will be used to bring alive the 17th century Mughal court. These will then be used to provide a framework within which to understand the connected histories of the two countries.
6.30pm. India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (24619431).
On the Trail
On the Trail, is an interactive 3D “exploration” that incorporates animation, poetry, dialogue, video, folk painting and music. Tamiko Thiel’s techniques (such as bringing out the narrative and dramatic capabilities of interactive 3D virtual reality as a medium for addressing social and cultural issues) have been incorporated with Surajit Sarkar’s travelling digital media installations to bring together tribal and folk art and modern media. The exhibit will be based on content collected by tribal artists from the Museum of Memory Project (www.jatantrust.org), which collects oral recordings of the personal memories of non-literate communities in India.
11am-4pm. Room No. 11, Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, 3, Kasturba Gandhi Marg (23722573).
Marvellous Reality festival
Until 19 December
This theatre and cinema festival is based on the theme of magic realism. It is curated and presented by the Abhyas Art Initiative, an NGO managed by Delhi-based journalist, film-maker and curator Sunil Mehra and Bharatanatyam dancer Navtej Johar. Also part of the festival are scholar and curator Aruna Vasudev and project coordinator Leena Namjoshi.
Various timings. Alliance Française de Delhi, 72, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (43500200); British Council, 17, Kasturba Gandhi Marg (41497123); Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi, 48, Hanuman Road (43681900); Italian Embassy Cultural Institute, 50E, Chandragupta Marg, Chanakyapuri (26871901); Max Mueller Bhavan, 3, Kasturba Gandhi Marg (23329506). Call the venues for timing details.
South Asian Bands Festival
Presented by Seher in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the ministry of external affairs, the third edition of this festival has a line-up of 15 bands, with bands from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, among others. The Indian contingent is represented by varied acts such as Faridkot, Raghu Dixit Project, Avial and headliners such as Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Pentagram.
6pm. Purana Qila. For details and the schedule, log on to www.sehernow.in
15, 16 and 18 December
As part of Christmas celebrations, the Capital City Minstrels presents the Nelson Mass, composed by Franz Josef Haydn. The choral group will be conducted by Gabriella Boda Rechner on 15 December. On 16 December, attend the Prayer Before Birth Vocal, a fusion of theatre, poetry and music celebrating the many facets of Christmas at the same venue. On 18 December, listen to the Canticle Choir Western classical, an evening of Christmas music conducted by Pramod Kingston.
15 December (Nelson Mass): 7.30pm. Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon (0124-2715000).
16 and 18 december: 6.30pm. India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (24619431).
Sanjeev and Ashwani Shankar
Sanjeev and Ashwani Shankar belong to the Benares gharana of shehnai players and are disciples of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. Frenchman Alain Lutic, who plays Western classical guitar, will also perform with the duo. They will be accompanied by Anand Shankar on the tabla.
7pm. ML Bhartia Auditorium, Alliance Française de Delhi, 72, Max Mueller Marg, Lodi Estate (43500200).
Shiv Ahuja—Rock and Roll Photography
Till 31 January
A couple of years ago, Shiv Ahuja offered to photograph a gig in the hope of getting free entry. Now at the age of 20, he has published in various publications, he has shot a number of festivals, such as Eastwind, Big Horn and Great Indian Rock, and photographed some of India’s biggest bands and artists, including Indian Ocean, Shaa’ir n Func, Parikrama, Faridkot, Advaita and Raghu Dixit Project.
A musician himself, Ahuja plays the keyboards for two Delhi bands, Five8 and Jester. At the opening of his first solo exhibition, there will be live music featuring some surprise guests.
11am-1pm. The Living Room Café, 31, Hauz Khas Village (46080533).
Game of Dice
Contemporary Indian dance group Sadhya returns with an old favourite that dramatizes key events from the epic story of Mahabharat. Game of Dice is choreographed by Santosh Nair, with music by composer and violinist Sharat Chandra Srivastava.
7.30pm. Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon (0124-2715000).
16, 18 and 20 December
If you’ve read the stories of celebrated Malayalam writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, you will be familiar with his ironic world in which a love affair blossoms between prisoners on opposite sides of a wall, where a politician’s gigantic nose is put on trial for fraud, and a pickpocket tries to persuade a card sharper to let him marry his daughter. In Sangathi Arinhya! (Have You Heard!), Chennai-based theatre collective Perch gives Mumbai a taste of both the writer and his stories.
6pm and 9pm. Prithvi Theatre, 20, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Vile Parle, West (26149546). Call the venue for ticket prices.
Shine Shivan Show
From 17 December
Inspired by Carl Jung, John Galliano, Jesus Christ and Vastu Shastra, installation artist Shine Shivan’s show will begin with him wearing an elaborate dress that is “designed to confuse” with its frills and layers of net that will “cover my nudity without hiding its beauty”. Shivan’s preoccupation is with the idea of masculinity in a “post-feminist” world.
11am-7pm (Mondays closed). Warehouse Gallery, 6/7, 3rd Pasta Lane, Colaba (22023056).
At My Doorstep
A closer look at those who come to the film-maker’s door becomes a way of entering a parallel world of garbage collectors, domestic workers, delivery boys, watchmen—all those who labour long hours in difficult conditions to make middle- and upper-class lives in Mumbai more comfortable.
The film looks at the criss-crossing of various lives in the film-maker’s housing colony, gleaning from this microcosm a sense of how millions work, interact and struggle for a firmer foothold in an indifferent, often hostile megacity.
6.30pm. Theosophy Hall, opposite American Centre, New Marine Lines, Churchgate (22036187).
Laura Marling + Mumford and Sons
Two of the most acclaimed new folk artists from the UK, Marling and Mumford and Sons, perform in the city as part of a nationwide tour. Marling’s debut album ‘Alas, I Cannot Swim’ elicited comparisons to everyone from Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez to Beth Orton and Regina Spektor. As influences, Marling has cited artists such as Jeffrey Lewis and Diane Cluck, American acts said to be pioneers of the “anti-folk” movement that emerged in New York in the mid-1980s.
8pm. Lands End Amphitheatre, Bandra Bandstand. For tickets and other details, log on to www.indiecision.com/soundpad
Sowmya Jaganamurthy, a classical and contemporary dancer, will present ‘Three Knots’, a performance centred on three major themes. Jaganamurthy intends to involve the audience in the performance. “These are works-in-progress and I’m looking for feedback,” she says.
7pm. Seva Sadan, 14th Cross, West Park Road, opposite MLA College, Malleswaram (23347830). Tickets, Rs100.
Seeking the Beloved
Kathak dancer Aditi Mangaldas is incensed that women don’t get their due when it comes to Kathak. In her production, Seeking the Beloved, she seeks to deliberately blur the lines between “male” and “female”, posing questions to the audience, and making them wonder: What is it that we seek? Is it the feminine or the masculine?
6.45pm. Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Vyalikaval, Malleswaram (23345810).
Sattva Svadha, the Canvas Thali
Until 19 December
The artist Om Swami, who has previously shown at San Francisco and Houston in shows hosted by Gallery G last year, is presenting a new collection called the Sadhak series. It is based on the flavours of the sattvik diet, that is said to calm and nourish the mind, body and emotions.
Noon-6pm (Monday-Saturday). Gallery G, Vivanta, Taj Premium hotel, ITPL Whitefield (65325093).
Maarten Visser and Group
Maarten Visser is from Holland and a long-time resident of Chennai who has been making headlines for his wizardry on the saxophone. Visser came to India in 1998, smitten by Carnatic music. Though his affair with Carnatic music was short-lived and his jam with saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath was panned by Chennai’s music critics, Visser stayed on to become a regular on the Indian jazz circuit.
7.30pm. 517, RMV Extension, Sadashivanagar, UB City (23610920). Limited passes available at the Artistes Foundation for Arts.
First staged in 1961, Happy Days, like Samuel Beckett’s most influential earlier texts Waiting for Godot, Endgame and Krapp’s Last Tape, maintains a mordant disposition over the nature and possibility of happiness and ultimate meaning.
7.30pm (also at 3.30pm on Sunday). Ranga Shankara, 36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar (26592777). Tickets, Rs200.
Shylock—Merchant or Menace?
The annual Christmas pantomime is back with its 15th edition. Boo the baddies and laugh out loud even as the actors try to present the serious story of Shylock, interspersed with song and dance. After all, ’tis the season to be jolly.
3pm and 7pm (14-15 December, 6.30pm). Museum Theatre, Egmore (93819411977). Tickets, Rs50 and Rs100. Tickets are available at Landmark, Nungambakkam High Road; Oxford Bookstore, Haddows Road; and ProMusicals, Casa Major Road.
Through the Eye Of the Needle
Alliance Française de Madras, in association with Jean-Francois Lesage, presents a travelling embroidery exhibition, which will commence the Artsphere Contemporary gallery, and go on to Puducherry and New Delhi. This exhibition attempts to connect Indian and French culture through embroidery, an age-old tradition of both the countries. It presents the production unit through the ambience of the workplace (sound and pictures), skill and rich and varied work.
11am-6pm. Artsphere Contemporary, 7, III Street, Wallace Garden, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam (28332226, 28330726).
Plan B, a show by the French group Compagnie 111, combines the best of circus, theatre, music, dance, shadow play and video art. Directed by New Yorker Phil Soltanoff, don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
7.30pm. Sir Mutha Venkata Subbarao Hall, Lady Andal School, Harrington Road (28279803).
The Pink Cocoon
12 December-9 January
C.P. Krishnapriya’s paintings and installations are a vibrant play of colours and shapes, with each piece of art exploring some aspect of the modern world. The Meaning Leaks From Molecule painting will leave you mesmerized.
10.30am-7.30pm. Forum Art Gallery, 57, 5th Street, Padmanabha Nagar, Adyar (42115596, 42115597).
Known across the world for his stunning musical compositions, “Mandolin” U. Shrinivas will present a recital accompanied by Mullaivasal G. Chandramouli on the violin, Thiruvayur Bakthavatsalam on the mridangam, T.V. Vasan on the ghatam and G. Guruprasanna on the kanjira.
6pm. Sri YGP Auditorium, 16, Thirumalai Road, T Nagar (28343045).
Best of Kalakshetra
The students of dance academy Kalakshetra will present the Best of Kalakshetra, a performance that will encompass all the nuances and techniques of Bharatanatyam. Enjoy the graceful moves and expressions of the dancers.
7.30pm. Narada Gana Sabha, 314, TTK Road, Alwarpet (24993201, 24990850).
By Karuna Amarnath
Until 18 December
Experience Santineketan’s famous Poush Mela closer to home, with textiles and handicrafts sourced directly from Santiniketan artisans. Besides the typical batik and tribal-style jewellery, there are also jamdani weaves, kantha-embroidered pieces and contemporary ceramics.
10am-7pm. Kamala (an outlet of the Crafts Council of India), Rabindranath Tagore Centre, ICCR, 9A, Ho Chi Minh Sarani (9830105433).
Lady with her Magic Accordion
In association with event management company Learning System, Weavers Studio presents an evening with Ratna Seth, one of the few musicians in Kolkata who plays the piano accordion. Her repertoire includes both Western and Indian music on this versatile instrument that seems to have sadly fallen out of fashion of late.
6.30-8pm. Weavers Studio Center for the Arts, 94, Ballygunge Place (24613145).
Tanvir ka Safarnama
Tanvir’s travelogue (as the name of the film translates) is the enthralling journey of a pipe-smoking urban sophisticate—the late thespian Habib Tanvir—who travelled through Europe and came back home to Chhattisgarh to create an essentially Indian theatre. Working with villagers (three generations of whom, form the core of Tanvir’s Naya Theatre group), Tanvir produced theatrical masterpieces, adapting Shakespeare, Brecht and Sanskrit classics for audiences around the world. This film follows Tanvir and the Naya Theatre on the road in 2005-07, in India and abroad. Director Ranjan Kamath will introduce the film and meet viewers after the screening.
6.30pm. Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, 8, Ballygunge Circular Road (24866398/6424).
Society of Contemporary Artists
Until 31 December
The Society of Contemporary Artists, founded in Kolkata in 1960, is celebrating its golden jubilee this year with a series of events at two venues. An exhibition of sculptures by all 22 of its contemporary members, including Ganesh Haloi, Sunil Das and Manu Parekh, is on at Aakriti Art Gallery, and the Birla Academy of Art and Culture is hosting an art exhibition.
3-8pm (closed on Mondays and 25 December). Birla Academy of Art and Culture, 108, Southern Avenue (24662843); 12-7pm (15-31 December, closed on Sundays) Aakriti Art Gallery, 1st floor, Orbit Enclave, 12/3A, Hungerford Street (22893027/5041).
Call of Harmony
Until 15 December
An exhibition of drawings and paintings by Atish Mukherjee in acrylic, mixed media and ink on paper. Mukherjee’s compositions bring together living and non-living elements from nature to depict human instincts, emotions and relationships. His work reflects the influence of Indian folk traditions, including the Patachitra of Midnapore, Madhubani art of Bihar and the Maharashtrian Worli.
2-7pm. Chemould Art Gallery, 12F, Park Street (9883221522).
Gnan Briksher Fall
Sayak’s newest production is based on Tolstoy’s Fruits of Culture, as translated to early 20th century Bengal. Decadent babu culture, feudal vagaries and luxuries, and flamboyant remnants of the “young Bengal” movement form the backdrop of the play.
6.30pm. Madhusudan Mancha, 2, Gariahat Road, Dhakuria. Tickets, Rs60, Rs40, Rs30 and Rs20. For details, call 9830503108.
By Indranil Bhowmik
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