The Ishara International Puppet Festival 2010
Bling babe: From Katkatha’s Bollywood Bandwagon at the Ishara festival.
27-28 January; 11-18 February
The eighth Ishara International Puppet Festival, which will bring together puppeteers from all over the world, will commence on 27 January at multiple venues across the city. Performances include ‘Bollywood Bandwagon’, directed by Anurupa Roy of Katkatha, which is a peek into the world of India’s biggest obsession. The festival includes ‘Swaagat’, a traditional performance by Puran Bhatt and his Aakaar Puppet Co. from Rajasthan, about a king who returns victorious from war, expecting his people to receive him with great pomp. The Ishara schedule also includes a presentation by choreographer Sudesh Adhana, Kathak danseuse Aditi Mangaldas, and puppeteer Dadi Pudumjee, titled ‘Dre’.
Bollywood Bandwagon: 6.30pm. Habitat World, India Habitat Centre (IHC), Lodhi Road (41220000). Tickets, Rs200, available at the IHC programme desk
Swaagat: 7.30pm. Epicentre Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon (0124-2715000). Tickets available at venue, call for details.
Dre: 7.30pm. Kamani auditorium, 1, Copernicus Marg (23388084). Entry by invitation, passes available at venue. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ghalib in New Delhi
Directed by M. Sayeed Alam, this is a play by Delhi-based group Pierrot’s Troupe. The story goes thus: Somewhere
between hell and heaven, the two Urdu poetry giants, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, meet. Faiz tells Ghalib about all the awards, seminars and literary conferences that now happen in his name. Struck by this glowing account of his posthumous fame, Ghalib decides to revisit his beloved city. In Delhi, however, Ghalib is greeted with half-hearted curiosity or bemusement.
7pm. Shri Ram Centre, 4, Safdar Hashmi Marg. Tickets, Rs100-500, available at the venue. For details, call 9810255291.
This is a biopic on Lou Majaw, the celebrated rock musician from Shillong. Skilfully combining Majaw’s thoughts on music, rock poetry and today’s India with dynamic images of various performances, film-maker Ranjan Palit evokes the spirit of his own generation and of contemporary India.
6.30pm. IIC auditorium, India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (24619431).
Films on wildlife and the environment
The screenings are being hosted by the India International Centre in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The films include Ahmed and the Return of the Arab Phoenix, which tells the story of Ahmed, a Bedouin shepherd who has committed his life to saving the bald ibis, a critically endangered bird; Last Season: Portrait of a Trawler is about a fishing vessel, the ground trawler Isabel S. from New Bedford, Massachusetts, US, and its motley crew.
6.30pm. Conference Room I, India International Centre, 40, Lodhi Estate, Max Mueller Marg (24619431).
22 and 24 January
The festival will start with a felicitation of Pakistani vocalist Mubarik Ali Khan and Gwalior gharana singer Laxman Rao Shanker Pandit by Kathak doyen Birju Maharaj. The festival includes Dwivarna, a performance juxtaposing Odissi and Bharatanatyam, presented by Sonal Mansingh and her disciples in ensemble choreography. The festival will include Shakti, a Kathak performance by students of Kalahetu (an organization that promotes Kathak and other Indian dances) and Deepak Maharaj. The festival also includes Hindustani vocal music performances by Ustad Imran Nasir Khan, Meeta Pandit, Ustad Javed Bashir, Amir Ali and Akbar Ali.
Dwivarna, 22 January, 7.30pm. Shakti, 24 January, 10am. Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon (0124-2715000). For entry details, contact the venue; limited passes available at the programme desk.
Future of Indian classical music, a talk
This discussion, to determine where Indian classical music is headed, is being organized by the India International Centre in collaboration with the Alain Danielou India Committee. Panellists include Ustad Asad Ali Khan; Ustad Debu Chaudhuri; Lakshmi Chowdhury, professor of cultural history at Jamia Millia Islamia; Vibodh Parthasarthy, head of the department of culture, media and governance, at Jamia Millia; and
S. Kalidas, a musicologist and music critic. The session, chaired by sociologist Dagmar Bernstorff, will begin with a discussion on Danielou’s book, The Situation of Music and Musicians in the Countries of the Orient.
6.30pm. Annexe auditorium, India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (24619431).
The Gas Meters fusion
The Delhi-based band Gas Meters fusion consists of Varun Mathur (guitar), Gautam Aurora (bass) and Paul Schneiter (drums), and they call their music, which is all instrumental, “progressive psychedelic fusion”.
9.30pm. Ai, MGF Metropolitan Mall, second floor, District Centre, Saket (40654567). For more details, contact the venue.
Techfest 2010, the annual event organized by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, is the motherboard of all technology festivals. Since it began in 1998, the fest has gone on to become Asia’s biggest science and technology festival. This year, the lectures, workshops, exhibits and competitions will be organized around the theme ‘Unleash the Future’. Look out for the night segment, ‘Scintillations’. Visitors will be able to write graffiti using lasers, play with light and sound via LED touch screens at the ‘Light Ripples’ installation, and immerse themselves in ‘FlickrGettr’, a three-dimensional installation of image and voice. Another highlight is the ‘Pa-li-Tchi’ fire show, a blend of fire art, dance, acrobatics and martial arts.
Exhibitions (10am-4pm); lectures (11.30am onwards) and night segments (7pm). IIT, Powai (25764045). Click here for the complete schedule.
NCPA Anubhuti’s Natya Rang
In celebration of Maharashtra’s 50th year of statehood, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, has collaborated with the directorate of cultural affairs to put up this year’s edition of the annual multi-arts festival, Anubhuti. The Natya Rang: Art of Theatre series, a part of this festival, highlights both traditional and contemporary theatre. The events include Natyasangeet, the Lokadharmi and Natyadharmi theatre traditions, traditional one-man shows, and a series of monologues and duologues.
Timings and venues vary. Most events are free; passes and tickets are available at the venue (tickets, Rs50). Click here for details or call 66223737.
The Kathmandu-based deejay has been spinning tunes since the time electronica gigs were few and far between. His mix features tech-House with blends of jazz, funk, tribal and folk, and a bit of progressive towards the end.
10.30pm. Blue Frog, Todi and Co., Mathuradas Mills Compound, opposite Kamala Mills, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel (40332300). Entry, Rs500.
JanFest, the annual festival of the Indian Music Group of St Xavier’s College, is held under the stars and boasts a star-studded line-up. On the first day, there is a duet by percussionist Taufiq Qureshi and tabla player Yogesh Shamsi, a solo recital by sitar player Shujaat Khan, and a vocal performance by brothers Rajan and Sajan Mishra. On the second day, hear santoor player Rahul Sharma and khayal exponent Rashid Khan. Vocalist Parveen Sultana and flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia perform on the last day.
5.30pm. First Quadrangle, St Xavier’s College, 5, Mahapalika Marg (22634548). Tickets, Rs50 (baithak), Rs200, Rs350, Rs550, Rs600, Rs700, Rs850, Rs1,000, Rs5,000 (donor sofa for two people). Tickets available at the venue (10.30am-6.30pm).
Le Cercle Rouge
Corey, a thief recently released from prison, finds himself caught up in a dangerous triangle with a mysterious woman and an ex-cop with some issues of his own. Film-maker Jean-Pierre Melville’s film is a crime genre classic, with muted moody cinematography and stellar set design.
6.30pm. Theosophy Hall, opposite American Center, New Marine Lines, Churchgate (22036187).
Director Amitabh Chakraborty uses his film camera to start a dialogue between the Bishar ‘fakirs’ and other communities in rural West Bengal. He begins by striking up a conversation with his friend Liaquat Ali , on the “marfat” philosophies of the Bishar, a liberal-minded and largely outcast stream of Islam. The following conversations (Bengali, with English subtitles) with Ali and the ‘fakirs’ summarize the life of Mohammad, the rise of Islamic culture, and the basis of religious positions on “forms and the formless”. The mystics refute the need for prayer, fasting and pilgrimages. As one ‘fakir’ sings, “Knocking your forehead black on the altar of God can’t bring you light.” This screening is co-hosted by the India Foundation for the Arts.
6.30pm. Bangalore International Centre, Teri Complex, 4th Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur, II Stage (25359680).
The Ram Gopal Archives
Five Point Someone: Evam’s play is based on Chetan Bhagat’s book.
Bangalore-based film-maker and artist Ayisha Abraham has always been fascinated by forgotten photos, films and anything related to an
archive or a dustbin. Poking about Bangalore’s Cooke Town nine years ago, Abraham unearthed old films and photos from neighbourhood homes—and chanced upon a short video of dancer Ram Gopal performing. The dancer, who was born in the city to a Myanmarese mother and a Rajput barrister, had the knack of spotting talent: Classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and Bharatanatyam dancer M.K. Saroja were two of his discoveries. Using the footage she found, Abraham began to recreate the dancer’s life. The result: The Ram Gopal Archives.
2-8pm. Samuha, ADA Rangamandira, Third Floor, 109, JC Road (41516531).
Suad Amiry is an architect and founder-director of Riwaq, the centre for architectural conservation in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. Amiry is here to launch Menopausal Palestine: Women at the Edge, an
irreverent account of 10 women for whom Palestine (or its absence) is the centrifugal force in their lives.
5pm. Yavanika, YMCA, Nrupathunga Road (22214911).
Five Point Someone
Hostel mates Alok, Hari and Ryan get off to a bad start in IIT. They try to make amends, but things only get worse. Their five-point-something grade point average (GPA) ranks them near the bottom of their class, affecting their friendship, future, love lives. Evam’s play is adapted from Chetan Bhagat’s book of the same name. The play’s national tour starts from Chennai on 24 January, and will go on to cities such as Delhi, Ahmedabad and Pune.
7.30pm. Ranga Shankara, 36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar (26592777). Tickets, Rs200.
Till 31 January
A new collection of collages by this reclusive self-taught artist from Belgaum, known to shun computers and telephones. His is a trademark blend of pop culture symbolism and surrealism.
11am-7pm (Sundays closed). Abstract Art Gallery, 8, Cunningham Road (41235444).
— By Karuna Amarnath
Cultural organization Prakriti Foundation’s annual Indian music festival will commence with dhrupad exponent Indra Kishore Mishra on 22 January. Another dhrupad performer, Falguni Mitra, follows on 23 January, while Arun Kumar Mishra performs on 24 January. There will also be a Bettiah ‘gharana’ khayal and tappa performance by Ruchi Kumari Mishra, accompanied on the tabla by Aditya Srinivasan. Each performance is preceded by a talk by eminent performers, such as vocalist Gajendra Narayan Singh, and scholars, including Sumitra Ranganathan, University of California, Berkeley.
6.30pm (22 and 24 January), 7.30pm (23 January). Chandra Mandala, Spaces, No. 1, Elliots Beach Road, Besant Nagar (66848517/506). Donor season passes, Rs500; daily passes, Rs200 and Rs50 (students only), available at the venue.
Surfaces Actives—Urban Space
Art on wheels: French street artists commandeer a car as canvas.
French artists Antonio Gallego and Jose Maria Gonzalez display their urban art, representing different periods of the contemporary artistic movement. Using the streets of Chennai as their canvas, these artists will work on collages, mosaics and paintings. Over 23-24 January, catch them painting a poster that will be displayed at the Kapaleeshwar Temple Tank.
4-6pm. Kapaleeshwar Temple Tank, Mylapore (28279803).
A dynamic group of musicians from New York City, Jonathan Singer (xylophone), Carmen Staaf (piano) and Bridget Kearney (bass) of Xylopholks, mostly play novelty ragtime music from the 1920s, dressed in fuzzy animal costumes. Singer, aka Skunky, received a scholarship to study in India last year, and the band has followed him here to tour this year.
7pm. The Madras Terrace House, 15, Sripuram 2nd Street, Royapettah (45038391).
Grand French cuisine revisited
Taste a delicious dinner with fresh black Perigord truffles, lobster, duck, goat’s cheese and other vegetarian specialities from France. The dishes will be paired with French wines as you enjoy a jazz performance by musicians Marten Visser and Holger Jetter.
7pm onwards. Summit Hall, Hotel Taj Mount Road, Club House Road (66313131). Charges, Rs5,000 per person.
Village Heritage Festival
Till 31 January
The Madras Craft Foundation presents a festival of rhythms, movements and colours, depicted through the different folk dances of south India. From Karnataka’s Kamsale and Andhra Pradesh’s Kommu Koya to Tamil Nadu’s Therukoothu and Kerala’s Panchavathyam, get a glimpse of unique, rich and varied folk performance arts while you shop for intricate and colourful handicrafts and indulge in some delicious meals alongside.
10am-6pm, closed on 26 January. DakshinaChitra, East Coast Road, Muttukadu (9841777779). Entry, Rs90 (adults) and Rs20 (children).
— By Indranil Bhoumik
Kolkata Book Fair
27 January-7 February
At the 34th International Kolkata Book Fair 2010, which claims to be the world’s largest book fair (in terms of sheer number of visitors), Mexico is the focal country, and the inspiration for this year’s theme, as it celebrates 200 years of independence and 100 years since its revolution. The fair will also celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore with a special Tagore Pavilion.
Noon-8pm. Milan Mela Prangan, JBS Haldane Avenue, behind ITC Sonar. Tickets, Rs5. For details, call 23604588/23544417, Click here for details.
43rd Annual Exhibition 2010
Till 31 January
The Birla Academy of Art and Culture’s annual exhibition in January received entries from 986 artists this year. However, due to the paucity of space, the works of only 210 artists are on display at the academy’s five galleries. This includes a number of upcoming artists in the competitive section, where the academy offers an award each in six categories every year.
3-8pm (closed on 23, 25 and 26 January). Birla Academy of Art and Culture, 108, Southern Avenue (24666802).
Japanese Food Festival
Till 24 January
Japanese cuisine is an art to be savoured. Waterside Café serves flavours from the Land of the Rising Sun, brought along by chef Ryo Nihei of the Grand Hyatt, Tokyo. The buffet includes
favourites such as sushi, sashimi, tempura and yakitori.
Noon-3pm (lunch) and 7-11pm (dinner). Waterside Café, Hyatt Regency, JA -1, Sector 3, Salt Lake. Rs1,750 plus taxes, per person. For reservations, call 9831962778.
Value crisis: Jailor Amulya Hati takes on corruption. Can he win?
Theatre group Natasena’s production focuses on the conflict between uncompromising jailor Amulya Hati and murderer Phata Gopal, who has used his influence to get another man to serve his jail term. The conflict results in Hati himself ending up behind bars, until he gets the same person to serve his sentence too.
6.30pm. Academy of Fine Arts, 2, Cathedral Road. Tickets, Rs20, Rs30, Rs40 and Rs60. For details, call 9433611158.
Theatre group Sayak will perform Daybaddha, a play about a truck driver, Gagan, who rescues a woman about to commit suicide. He takes the woman and her young child under his wing as his wife and daughter. But the woman is unable to to accept him as her husband. Can they survive living a lie?
6.30pm. Minerva Theatre, 6 and 6/1, Dani Ghosh Sarani, Beadon Street. Tickets, Rs20, Rs30, Rs40 and Rs60. For details, call 9830503108.
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