Leap Years—Artists Dream of Childhood
From 25 Apr
An after-school multi-activity centre for children hosts a 26-artist exhibition, which includes names such as Jatin Das, Shamshad Hussain, Bulbul Sharma, Arpana Caur, Atul Bhalla, George Martin, Gigi Scaria, Jenson Anto, Kanchan Chander, Mithu Sen, Probir Gupta and Shukla Sawant. Perhaps the theme is an especially inspiring one, as the exhibition includes several lovely works that recall different aspects of childhood. From Caur’s lighthearted New Toy to Das’ ambivalent The Mythical Bird, this is art that both adults and children would enjoy. 10am-6pm (Mon-Fri). Leap Years Centre, 23, Green Avenue, Vasant Kunj (4155-2945).
From 1 May
S. Ayesha’s show is titled ‘Different Faces’, but each of the multimedia works is actually a self-portrait. Meant to illuminate different facets of the artist’s personality, the collages are as reflective as mirrors, and as deeply layered as a mountain landscape. Not strictly a painter, Ayesha—her real name is Ayesha Seth, but she uses S. Ayesha as her nom de brosse—uses a smorgasbord of material to achieve that layered, reflective effect. Combining plastic transparencies with glass paint, any paper she can get her hands on, packing materials, photographs and holographic surfaces, Ayesha transforms wooden boards to sparkling stretches of kitsch-abstract collages that give the effect of digital manipulation even though they are completely handmade. 10am-8pm. Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (2468-2001).
European Union Film Festival
27 Apr-4 May
This annual fest imports films from countries across the European Union, including those not widely known for their film industries. Participating this year are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Bulgaria and Romania. British Council, 17, Kasturba Gandhi Marg (2371-1401).
On the occasion of World Dance Day, Natya Vriksha, in collaboration with India International Centre and Art Karat, presents a lecture by Dr Mrinalini Sarabhai, well-known dancer, choreographer and activist. Sarabhai will assess Indian classical dance through the years. Dancer Geeta Chandran, founder-president of Natya Vriksha, will present a Bharatnatyam performance in the evening. 10.30am. India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg (2461-9431).
Emperor Shahjahan’s illness in 1657 leads to a war of succession amongst his four sons. The prime contenders are Dara Shukoh and Aurangzeb, supported by their sisters Jahanara and Roshanara, respectively. Each character represents a different ideological position. If Shahjahan symbolizes a decadent, self-indulgent romantic aestheticism, Aurangzeb wants to establish an Islamic state, while Dara is a philosopher-statesman striving to preserve a pluralistic society. Natwa’s new production captures the fissures that characterized an important period of history, and suggests that these fault lines are still with us today. 6.30pm (duration: 1 hour 30 mins). Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts, 4, Safdar Hashmi Marg (2371-4307). Tickets: Rs50-300, available at the venue on show days. For telebooking, call 98711-38382 and 98109-77174.
Wickadream DJ Set
DJ duo Wickadream are Leon and Ayesha, Ivy’s resident DJs and hosts to Poison Ivy nights at Ivy. Playing experimental, ambient, deep house and minimal music, this DJ duo will be showcasing their music at Ivy. 9pm. Ground Floor, Lotus Towers, New Friends Colony (4162-7744 and 4162-7755).
“The French are rationalists,” said Maite Delteil. “A cat is a cat is a cat.” Delteil’s paintings are really that simple. There are fruits, there are birds, there are women with Botticelli-esque faces and there is greenery. Precision, often to the point of lifeless accuracy, is the motto in Delteil’s paintings. Her birds are detailed enough to be textbook illustrations. She draws every leaf and shades the swell of every fruit on her trees with the same meticulous attention. In spite of this, most of her paintings belong in a limbo between realism and fantasy. 10am-7pm (daily). 1, Admiralty Building, Colaba Cross Lane (2216-3339).
Riding Solo to the Top of the World
Gaurav Jani’s eye-popping travel documentary is the story of one man’s ambition and gumption. It’s an account of Jani’s journey on a motorbike from Mumbai to the remote Changthang plateau in Ladakh. Jani didn’t just drive, he also shot his own journey. To see how he does it, you have to watch the documentary. A first-person account of a truly amazing 70-day journey into the heart of Ladakh, Riding Solo has the enviable footage with which anybody who visits Ladakh returns. But there’s much more to the film than pretty shots of mountain ranges and clear ice-blue skies. Jani befriends the Changpa nomads who have settled in Ladakh, and gives us a glimpse into their harsh yet noble lives. 6.30pm (duration: 1 hour 33 mins). Alliance Française, Theosophy Hall, next to Nirmala Niketan, New Marine Lines (2203-6187).
Mr Bean’s Holiday
Thanks to a church raffle, Mr Bean has won a holiday to the South of France, and he’s determined to make it to the Mediterranean in one piece. This entails negotiating the Eurostar and Parisian taxis while not losing his passport or the camcorder with which he’s documenting the trip. And all this on three words of French: “oui”, “non” and “gracias” (well, he thinks it’s French). It is an astute set-up which has plenty of room for individual set-pieces—you’ll never look at a lobster in quite the same way again after Bean takes on the plate of fruits de mer. (duration: 1 hour 39 mins). Major cinemas.
The Cantata Choir, conducted by Olga Collaco and featuring soloists such as soprano Natasha Collaco, contralto Zarin Ghadialy-Hodiwala, tenor Kersi Gazdar and baritone Ferdinand Miranda, will sing a concert that will include works such as Mozart’s Piccolomini Mass and excerpts from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus. They will be accompanied on the piano by Marilynne Chhabra. 7pm. Experimental Theatre, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737). Tickets: Rs160, Rs120.
Entertainment is a big thing with Hindu gods. Shiva dances, Vishnu has a personal bard, Narada, and Indra’s court has dancing apsaras. Next to such heavenly delights, dhrupad, with its determinedly slow and sombre style, may not seem too exciting. But legend has it that this ancient form of Hindustani classical music was staple fare at Brahma’s court. Brahma has almost disappeared from public religious memory today and some would argue that his favourite musical genre is suffering much the same fate. But brothers Ramakant Gundecha and Umakant Gundecha would beg to differ. The singing siblings perform in Mumbai at the annual concert organized by the Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Yaadgar Sabha to pay tribute to legendary Hindustani classical singer, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. The brothers will be accompanied on the pakhawaj by Akhilesh Gundecha. 6.30pm. Tata Theatre, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737). Tickets: Rs160, Rs120, Rs80.
Out and About
Showcase South Asia
Seven years into the new millennium, it’s heartening to know that however brightly India shines, the sadhus of Allahabad and the boatmen of Srinagar still haven’t fallen off the foreign photographer’s viewfinder. Indian staples feature prominently in Showcase South Asia, a collection of 70-odd images by photographers of the news agency, Agence France Press. Organized by Alliance Française de Bombay, the exhibition showcases the best and worst of the subcontinent over the past 15-odd years. Among the featured events are the 2004 tsunami, Manmohan Singh’s return to prime ministership the same year and the earthquake in Pakistan in 2005. 11am-7pm (daily). Piramal Gallery, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737).
Fourteenth-century Kashmir is in religious and political turmoil. Kashmiriyat, the beautiful amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim traditions and cultures, is slowly but surely being destroyed by fundamentalists on both sides, and Lalla’s voice is heard in the valley. Who is Lal Ded, this child of ordinary Hindu Brahmins who grew up to be a woman of transgressions? Who was this great woman mystic of Kashmir, whose words have tripped off the tongues of common people for centuries, whose richly radical vaakhs drowned out the fundamentalist and dogmatic voices of her time, whose brilliant and powerful poetry was political, personal and spiritual all at once? Who was this woman who discarded her clothes at an early age in quest of the spirit of sahaj, the greater self beyond the body? Meeta Vasisht tells us who. 8pm. Stein Auditorum, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (2468-2001). Tickets: Rs50-200, available at the Habitat programme desk.
The play will also be held in Mumbai on 28-29 Apr. 6.30pm. Experimental Theatre, NCPA, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (6622-3737). Tickets: Rs200.
27 Apr & 30 Apr
Vikalp: Films for Freedom presents two screenings of Shai Carmeli-Pollak’s exciting debut documentary, Bil’in Habibti (Bil’in My Love). Ever since the 11 September attacks on America, Israel’s occupation of Palestine hasn’t made much news in this corner of the globe. More newsworthy these days are the acts of Israel’s biggest ally, America, in its own occupied territory, Iraq. However, the biggest story in the Israel-Palestine conflict is being put in place brick by brick. The continuing construction of the 700km-long security fence that cuts across the West Bank, signifies, like never before, the divide between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Israeli film-maker’s documentary is the story of one Palestinian village that is resisting the barrier, which peaceniks call the “apartheid wall”. Even viewers who don’t agree with Carmeli Pollak will find much to enjoy in the documentary’s stunning guerrilla aesthetics. English, Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles. 6.15pm on 27 April, 7pm on 30 April (duration: 1 hour 23 mins). The screening on 27 April is at Bhupesh Gupta Bhavan, Leningrad Chowk, opposite Shaman Ford showroom, Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi (2437-4930).
The screening on 30 April is at Prithvi Theatre, Prithvi House, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Juhu (2614-9546).