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First Published: Sun, Sep 14 2008. 10 15 PM IST

Steel sense: A Vishal K. Dar sculpture.
Steel sense: A Vishal K. Dar sculpture.
Updated: Sun, Sep 14 2008. 10 15 PM IST
DELHI
Art
Ekant: my mindfulness is my world
Ongoing
An exhibition of sculptures crafted from stainless steel by Vishal K. Dar. In his first solo exhibition, Dar explores “archi-sculpture”, the idea that much of architecture is sculpture in disguise. The gallery where the exhibition is taking place has also been designed by the artist.
Steel sense: A Vishal K. Dar sculpture.
11am-8pm. The Stainless Gallery, Property No. 1 and 2, Ishwar Nagar, Mira Complex, Okhla Crossing, Mathura Road (42603167).
Metropolis and the Self
Till 2 September
A group show exploring the relationship between the city and a person’s sense of identity. The artists share their experiences of moving from a smaller town to a large and bustling metropolis. Artists featured include Apurva Desai, C.F. John, Debraj Goswami, Pratul Dash.
Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm. Art Alive, S-221, Panchsheel Park (41639000).
Film
Changement d’adresse (Change of Address)
29 August
Emmanuel Mouret writes and directs this wispy, gently amusing French relationship comedy, and stars as the foppish, fumbling and perpetually be-scarfed French-born tutor David. The film opens with him renting a room from ditzy blonde Anne (Frédérique Bel) who swiftly becomes his confidante as he attempts to woo the attractive yet mysterious young student, Julia (Fanny Valette). A trip to the seaside ends in disaster when Julia succumbs to the oily charms of Julien (Dany Brillant), an old-fashioned Lothario who, unlike David, knows the quickest route to a woman’s heart. Adopting a very standard romcom format, it’s all a bit too throwaway to connect on any lasting emotional level. Still, it would have been easy for Mouret to turn David into the kind of point-and-laugh loser that American Indie cinema seems so enraptured by. But, gratifyingly, he never allows for a descent into caricature, presenting David as an endearing, fully-rounded, genuine character, whose time in the world of romantic endeavour delivers him to a satisfying (if hardly groundbreaking) ending.
5.30pm and 7.30pm. ML Bhartia auditorium, Alliance Française de Delhi, 72, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (43500200).
Dance
We Can Make a Difference
30-31 August
Sadhya, the dance company that has given us a decade of memorable contemporary dance productions, has come of age in more ways than the merely chronological. And this fortnight will see the organization’s entry into the emerging area of dance activism. Their production, ‘We Can Make a Difference’, deals with global warming.
6.30pm. Kamani auditorium, 1, Copernicus Marg (23388084). Call Sadhya (26693030) for ticket prices and other details.
Music
A bit of all: Emperor Minge.
Emperor Minge
31 August
The genre-busting Delhi quintet performs at the weekly Sundaze festival. Expect a mishmash of styles ranging from metal to avant garde jazz with a 1960s spy movie soundtrack somewhere in between. Rs1,000 per head (includes unlimited drinks and finger food).
8pm. F Bar and Lounge, The Ashok, 50B, Chanakyapuri, entrance from Niti Marg (26110101).
Pandit Debu Chowdhuri + Shanno Khurana
4 September
Padma Bhushan awardee Debu Chowdhuri will take part in a sitar recital while Shanno Khurana, who is a stalwart of the Rampur gharana, will deliver a vocal performance. The event is part of Sumadhur Hamsadhwani presentation, ‘National Integration Through Music’.
7pm. Habitat World, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (43663333).
Theatre
Maulana Azad
31 August
Cast, Tom Alter. Sayeed Alam’s dramatic monologue is not an easy play to sit through. It’s two and a half hours long, with no interval and a solo performance with not a lot of action. There are many meandering stories about the Congress party’s politics before independence, It’s also spoken in a chaste Urdu that is often difficult to understand. Two things make the play watchable, though: The fact that the script is peppered with little titbits—Azad’s taste in tea (white jasmine), or how Nehru mumbled in his sleep—and a fluid, measured performance from Tom Alter, who plays Azad. It’s fun to listen to Alter dismiss British-Indian style tea as “liquid halwa”, propose that Ghalib’s Persian ustad Abdus Samad was an imaginary figure he invented for himself, or reminisce about how he taught himself English as a young man after reading Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s statement that Muslims could never progress if they did not take to Western education. But such trivia only makes an occasional appearance—most of the play is concerned with Azad’s views on his contemporaries, his responses to charges made against him or the Congress party, which he represented for much of his political career, or his fears about the future of Muslims in the subcontinent—what most people would consider the stuff of politics proper.
The play is part of the “Best of Pierrots’” festival, where all the plays have been scripted and directed by M. Sayeed Alam and Niti Sayeed.
7pm. Alliance Française auditorium, 72, Lodhi Estate. Tickets are Rs100-500 and will be available at the venue two days in advance and on the day of the show (43500200).
MUMBAI
Film
Wall-E
From 29 August
Smart robot: A scene from Pixar’s Wall-E.
In Pixar’s last film, ‘Ratatouille’, it was a sewer rat who revolutionized French cuisine. For ‘Wall-E’, humans again take a back seat, and it’s a robot with a cube for a belly and binoculars for eyes who’s bleeping for our love. When we do, finally, encounter humans—living on a self-sufficient spaceship, waited on by robots, sucking on straws—they’re fat, sedentary, greedy and unpleasant. Wall-E is battered and fading and the only noises he makes are computerized drawls not dissimilar to ET’s limited lingo. But Wall-E is alluring, and not because he’s got big eyes or dangling eyelashes, but because he’s smart, hard-working, with a romantic side, and is hopelessly addicted to watching clips of Michael Crawford and Barbra Streisand in Gene Kelly’s ‘Hello Dolly!’ on a video screen. He’s everything we should have been if we hadn’t put all our energy into destroying the planet.
Across cinemas.
Theatre
The Prophet
29-31 August
Naseeruddin Shah plays a dying patient on a hospital bed who recites Kahlil Gibran’s spiritual discourse on love, mortality, marriage and other themes to a young boy who shares his room.
The dying man:?Naseeruddin Shah.
6.30pm. Experimental Theatre, NCPA, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point. Tickets, Rs200 (66223737).
Giribala
31 August
Newly married Giribala is deeply in love with her husband. When her father-in-law suddenly dies and all his money and property go to her husband, he is no longer the loving spouse that he used to be. He gets addicted to the theatre. Giribala suspects him of having an affair with the stage actor Lavanga. In a time when women were not allowed to watch or act in plays, Giribala secretly goes to attend a play starring Lavanga and gets curiously transformed by the spirit of the theatre. What follows is a questioning of the merits of her cocooned life.
11.30am. Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Juhu, Vile Parle (W). For ticket prices, call 26149546.
Music
Independence Rock XXIII
30-31 August
Glancing at the list of bands competing in the Mumbai leg of Independence Rock this year might just force you to do a quick double take. Black and Aftertaste? Didn’t they contest in 2007? Medusa? Aren’t they more electronica? And where in god’s name is the death metal? These are just some of the questions that the 2008 selection throws up. Only one of the bands will join those from Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune on stage on the penultimate day of the festival to battle it out for Rs1 lakh worth of equipment from instrument sellers Furtado’s Music.
7.30pm. Chitrakoot Grounds, behind Fun Republic, Andheri (W). Tickets, Rs220.
Dance
Kathakali
1 September
Bhavan’s Cultural Centre brings down artists from Kerala to perform this colourful classical dance.
6.30pm. SP Jain Institute of Management and Research auditorium. Bhavan’s College Campus, Dadabhai Road, Munshi Nagar, Andheri (W) (26237454).
Around town
Ganesh Chaturthi
From 3 September
What does an elephant-headed, one-tusked, mouse-riding deity do on his 75th birthday? If the god in question is Lalbaugcha Raja, the Ganesha idol who makes his home at Lalbaug Market every Ganeshotsav, he’ll probably do what he usually does. He’ll receive roughly 1.2 million visitors over 11 days, get birthday gifts valued at about Rs2.5 crore and will patiently listen to every prayerful wish cast in his direction.
“There will be no social messages at the Amrut (platinum jubilee) Mahotsav,” said Sunil Joshi, chairman of the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, which organizes the festivities. “We are just celebrating 75 years of Ganeshji fulfilling wishes.”
The mandal’s job will include increasing security and crowd management for the additional hordes expected this year. They will set up LCD screens to entertain the serpentine queue of devotees and, as always, count the cash offerings, audit and auction the jewellery and melt the unsold precious metal into bars for safe keeping. The collections will fund rehabilitation schemes in the Konkan, tuitions for competitive exams, a yoga centre, a state-of-the-art public library and health care across eight public hospitals in Mumbai.
9am-11pm. Shree Ganesh Nagar, Lalbaug market.
BANGALORE
Art
Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath
Ongoing
This fortnight, three artists will present solo shows at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. Rakhi Kumari, who hails from Varanasi, will present her collection of acrylic paintings in a show titled ‘Spiritual Space’, from 3-9 September. From 3-8 September, Pintu Paul from Kolkata will show his works, while Sushanta Chandra Karmakar from New Delhi will show his paintings from 3-7 September.
Monday-Saturday, 7am-8pm; Sunday, 7am-noon. Art Complex, Kumara Krupa Road (22261816).
Ekadanta
Ongoing
My friend Ganesha: An exhibit from Ekadanta.
Magnitude Gallery is celebrating its second anniversary with the theme, Ekadanta—various avatars of Lord Ganesha. The theme is also a continuation of the year-long Rang De India celebrations that have in the last few months presented shows based on themes such as, Udyama (based on the IT industry), Nritya (on the regional dance forms of India) and Vanitaa (women of India).
10am-8pm. 140/13, 27th Cross, 13th Main, III Block Jayanagar (9900117201).
Film
Shakespeare screening at Teri
29 August
A one-off screening hosted by The Bangalore International Centre, based at the complex of The Energy and Resources Institute.
‘The Merchant of Venice’ (2004): Radford’s Shakespeare adaptation is his best film since 1984, but doesn’t overcome the play’s inherent difficulties. The director prefaces the action with titles that explain the resentful tolerance that the Venice of 1596 showed to the usury practised by the city’s Jews. Radford then emphasizes the virulent anti-Semitism of the time by showing Jeremy Irons’ merchant Antonio publicly spitting on Shylock, proffering a crucial psychological explanation for the Jew’s tragic intransigence over his contracted pound of flesh. This is Al Pacino’s show and thankfully his Shylock is absorbing enough to carry the day. Adopting a guttural staccato, he assumes an intriguing figure driven as much by contempt and pride as he is by revenge; an orthodox authoritarian drawing on wells of controlled rage, he’s also vulnerable enough to be deeply slighted (and isolated) by the desertion of his beloved daughter (a poor Zuleikha Robinson). The rest of the transatlantic cast work surprisingly well as an ensemble, despite individual weaknesses: Joseph Fiennes’ shallow opportunist Bassanio (beloved by Irons’ tortured gay) is slightly underwhelming; Lynn Collins’ bubbly Portia is over-confident to the point of obtuseness; and Kris Marshall’s Gratiano, well, too ingratiating. That said, Radford keeps the drama streamlined and well-paced and cinematographer Benoît Delhomme lights the canals, piazzas and palazzos without resort to pictorial-ism or cliché, minimizing the impact of some embarrassing visual effects (notably those generating Portia’s island castle). The conventional feel-good ending, however, played straight as here, is callous and triumphalist, condemning the play and leaving a very bad taste in the mouth.
6pm. Teri Complex, 4th Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur II Stage (25359680).
Theatre
City of Gardens
4 September
Director, Jisha Menon; writer, Gautam Raja; cast, Abhishek Majumdar, Hemaa Narayan, Anuja Ghosalkar, Janini Pathy, Pritham Kumar. 2 hours 10 minutes.
Gautam Raja’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s last play ‘The Cherry Orchard’, is an attempt to look more closely at social, cultural and ecological change in Bangalore. The play attempts to make sense of these rapid transitions with an eye for how they are constantly reconfiguring ideas of home and identity for both her newer and older inhabitants. ‘City of Gardens’ looks back, and then looks around; always asking how we can all continue to live humanly in a city of constantly revolving doors.
7.30pm. Ranga Shankara, 36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar. Tickets, Rs100 (26592777).
RECOMMENDED
DELHI
ArtStill Moving Image
From 1 September
After much anticipation, Anupam Poddar’s Devi Art Foundation will finally open its doors with this inaugural show, curated by Deeksha Nath. The show is a selection of video and photography by Aastha Chauhan, Baptist Coelho, Atul Bhalla, Avinash Veeraraghavan, Bharti Kher, Kiran Subbaiah, Mithu Sen, Nalini Malani and many others. This large exhibition is open-ended rather than being organized around a theme, seeking to be an exploratory show.
11am-7pm. Devi Art Foundation, D10-11, sector 44, Gurgaon, behind Apparel House (Epicentre). Visit ‘www.deviartfoundation.com’ for more information.
MUMBAI
Art
Everywhere is War (And Rumours of War)
Ongoing
Curated by Shaheen Merali, ‘Everywhere is War (And Rumours of War)’, a protest against the rising violence of recent times, has works by prominent artists from across the world. The list includes Indian contemporary art superstars such as Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Anju Dodiya and Anita Dube as well as young guns such as Shilpa Gupta, Riyas Komu and Hema Upadhyay. From the international arena, the show offers a glimpse of works by American sculptor Jon Kessler, Italian painter Francesco Clemente and German artist Dieter Lutsch, among others. The show will also include a screening of Rakesh Sharma’s film ‘Final Solution’, which looks at the riots that took place in Gujarat over 2002 and their aftermath. The works in the show turn the exhibition space into a battleground; at Bodhi Space, the gallery in Wadibunder, it comes complete with trenches.
Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm. 28, K Dubash Marg, near Rhythm House, Kala Ghoda (66100124). Also, ground floor, Plot No. 14, Elphinstone Estate, Malet Bundar Road, near Orange Gate, Vadi Bandar. (65255978).
BANGALORE
Art
Dilip Kumar Ghosh and Surajit Chanda
Till 5 September
Symbolic lines: Untitled painting by Dilip Kumar Ghosh.
In an email sent out after calls made in halting Bengali to his home in Midnapore in West Bengal, Dilip Kumar Ghosh wrote back about the “great deal of symbolism” that he involved in his works: the horse, for instance, he wrote, is a “symbol of motion, moving fast, like life and one’s imagination”, while a “black moon and darkness show the death of imagination”.
The one symbol that recurs in his paintings is that of masks; “the mask is the mark of our civilization”, wrote Ghosh. In his works, commonly based on themes of sexuality and desire, Ghosh at times also pieces together jigsaw murals, broken up into little parts that fit into a larger picture.
In a conversation in Bengali, on phone from his home in Kolkata, Surajit Chanda—who is showing his works alongside Ghosh’s—spoke of his desire to travel, if possible with an easel, a palette and brushes in tow. Chanda bases most of his works on his travels and the monuments that he’s visited. Among works that the artist will show is ‘Sonar Kella’, a painting of the Jaisalmer fort, —and a straight connect to the 1974 Satyajit Ray film.
10.30am-6pm. 156, 4th Main road, BEML Layout, ITPL Road (41162622).
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First Published: Sun, Sep 14 2008. 10 15 PM IST