Winged Pilgrims—A Chronicle from Asia
Until Saturday, 19 January
New installations by Sheba Chhachhi. Chhachhi integrates birds, Buddhist pilgrim robes and a “plasma action” electronic TV toy to create art about globalization and migration. Somehow though, the lack of preciseness and varied elements don’t really detract from this fascinating show of installations and light-boxes. 11am-7pm (Mon-Sat). Nature Morte, A-1 Neeti Bagh (4174-0215).
Striking a pose: Devayani.
French Bharatanatyam dancer Devayani will present a traditional recital as part of the HCL concert series. She will begin with “Bho Shambho Shiva Shambho Swayambho”—a prayer in praise of Shiva and then move on to a shabdam, a varnam, a padam and a tillana. The performance will conclude with an item called ‘Om namah Shivaya’ that Devayani has choreographed. 6.30pm. India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (2468-2001).
It’s not often that children’s books find the space for book launches, but publishers ‘Katha’ have good reason to celebrate the arrival of these two books. ‘The Famous Smile’ by Meenakshi Bharadwaj (illustrated by Iranian illustrator Rashin Kheiriyeh) and ‘Kaleh and the Singsong Castle’ by Rizio Yohannan Raj (illustrated by Iranian Anahita Taymourian) are beautiful books. The illustrations, in two distinct styles, make the books a must read and see for all young kids. 6.30pm.
India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (4366-3333).
Manjari Asnare-Kelkar is among a handful of other artists, whether young or established, can claim to have to have been part of practically every major festival in the country—Sawai Gandharva in Pune (while she was still in her 20s), Dover Lane and ITC Sammelan in Kolkata, Shankar Lal in New Delhi and Harballabh in Jalandhar. Asnare-Kelkar, who has featured at all of these before even reaching 40 years of age, is the disciple of Pandit Madhusudan Kanetkar of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana. 10.30pm. Auditorium, India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (2461-9431).
Now a Delhi tradition in its own right, the India Habitat Centre’s Lohri celebrations promise to be fun and festive. Lohri will be celebrated with songs sung by lyricist, composer, singer and Sufi scholar Madan Gopal Singh and Rekha Raj, a Punjabi folk artist. There will be a fantastic food buffet and, of course, a nice warm bonfire. 7.15pm. India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (2468-2222). Buffet Rs400 plus taxes.
The devadasi and the saint
A talk by V. Sriram on the life and times of Bangalore Nagarathnamma, the Carnatic music exponent of the early 1900s. Bangalore Nagarathnamma was the first woman to be tried for obscenity in India. She was a devadasi and an activist for devadasi rights. She was also one of the first women to record her music on gramophone and the first woman artist to pay tax. A scholar and writer, she was fluent in four Indian languages and she could speak English. 6.30pm. Lecture Room, India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (2461-9431).
The official and popular perception of forest people is that of isolation and primitivism. Contrast this with the self-perception of forest dwellers—of their society as casteless, classless and egalitarian with community-based economic systems and symbiotic with nature. This film attempts to present the struggles of tribal and other forest dwellers for their rights over forest resources from a socio-historical point of view. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the film-maker. English; directed by Deepak Roy. 1 hour. 4pm. Kriti Team Workplace, S-35 Tara Apartments, Alaknanda (2603-3088).
9th Auto Expo
The auto expo, spread over 120,000 sq. m, is the largest in Asia. It is jointly organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. The theme for 2008 is “Mobility for All”, to highlight the inclusive focus of the event’s current edition. 3-7pm (Mon-Fri), 10am-7pm (Sat-Sun), Pragati Maidan (2337-1801). Tickets: Rs100 weekdays, Rs500 weekends.
11 January onwards
Jonathan Meese, darling of the European art critics, comes to India with “a suitcase full of toys”. Organized in collaboration with Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, the exhibition will have Meese’s sculptures and paintings. 10am-6.30pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-4pm (Sat), Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, 2 Sunny House, 16/18 Mereweather Road, behind Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba (2202-3030).
Rock of Ages
Conceptualized by film journalist and Sunday school teacher Sangeeta Kumar, Rock of Ages is a Christian music concert with a difference. Unlike most contemporary Christian music concerts Mumbai has seen recently, it does not feature a big-name act (Kumar did not even audition the bands, many of which will be making their debut at the event). However, unlike Hillsong or Delirious? the dozen-plus acts that will take the stage at Rock of Ages won’t have to share the mike with a visiting evangelist. 5pm. St Andrew’s Auditorium, St Andrew’s College, St Dominic Road, Bandra (W) (2641-0926). For passes, call 98190-23441 or 98922-27729.
Global Unity + Carl Clements and Russ Spiegel
New York-based musicians, saxophone player Clements and guitarist Spiegel jam with one of the city’s best-loved jazz bands. 10.30pm. Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel (4033-2300).
Phèdre in India (Hindi)
This play is part of the Third Satellite Festival, the shorter version of Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the National School of Drama’s annual festival. The festival has been brought down in collaboration with the government of Maharashtra.
In Racine’s greatest tragedy, Phèdre falls in love with her stepson Hippolyte. Keeping her thoughts secret drives the queen mad. Director Astrid Bas also reads extracts from the diary of French theatre director Jean-Christophe Bailly who had travelled to India and wanted to stage Phèdre here. 1 hour 30 mins. 7.30pm. Nehru Centre Auditorium, Dr Annie Besant Road, near Shiv Sagar Estate, Worli (2496-4680). Tickets will be available from 2 January at Nehru Centre. Tickets: Rs200, Rs150, Rs100, Rs50.
Kissa Yoni Ka
“Phuddi, phukki, yonimarg, sangampath, nunu, mayaan, izzat”: These are among the host of cutesy terms that Indian women use for their vaginas. But often, as anyone who’s ever witnessed a brawl in the subcontinent knows, references to female genitalia usually involve angry, abusive epithets. That’s the main reason Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal and her son Kaizad Navroze Kotwal are producing ‘Kissa Yoni Ka’, a Hindi version of Eve Ensler’s ‘The Vagina Monologues’. 7pm. Tata Theatre, NCPA. Tickets: Rs500, Rs350, Rs300, Rs250, Rs200, Rs150.
Mita Huq is one of the leading vocalists of Bangladesh and has earned much renown for her beautiful rendering of the songs of Rabindranath Tagore. She is currently training under Sanjida Khatun and runs Surotirtha, a school for music in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is part of a three-day programme by Impresario India to mark the new year. 7pm. India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (4366-3333).
Past is Simulation
In writer Henrik Ibsen’s world, unlike Ekta Kapoor’s, there is no room for second chances. In 1879, Nora’s decision to leave her husband and kids in ‘A Doll’s House’ stupefied readers. More than a century later, one Norwegian’s outlook on marital relationships has become food for another’s creative appetite. Only dancer and choreographer Monica Emilie Herstad’s Nora uses dance to express her turmoil.
This fortnight, at the National School of Drama’s Third Satellite festival, herStay, a rising troupe from Norway, will present “Past Is Simulation: The Ladies of the Sea vs Nora and Other Stories of the Society”. Largely inspired by Nora and Ellida, the protagonists of Ibsen’s acclaimed plays ‘A Doll’s House’ and ‘The Lady from the Sea’, Herstad uses the characters to criticize the stereotypes attached to contemporary women. 7.30pm. Nehru Centre Auditorium, Dr Annie Besant Road, near Shiv Sagar Estate, Worli (2496-4680).