Around Town

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

It has been 12 years since the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival was first held in Mumbai. This February, the Kala Ghoda Association, the non-profit that organizes the street art festival, is back—not only with a host of exhibitions, workshops and performances, but also with a theme: ‘Presence of the Past’. In addition to the kitschy fun that most Mumbaikars look forward to, there will be an attempt to interpret Mumbai’s journey over the years through various sections, including music, dance, theatre and arts.

11am-9pm. Kala Ghoda and surrounding areas. Click here for the complete schedule. All events are free unless otherwise indicated.


DJ Bond Girl

5 February

She’s got a degree in business law, played a model in a Bond film, dated Jamiroquai and sung a version of Time after Time that hit 15 on the US Billboard charts. But that’s not why you should leap to the Blue Frog to hear Catherine McQueen, aka Bond Girl. You should go because McQueen is also one of the hottest deejays on UK’s already bursting House music scene.

10.30pm. Blue Frog Todi and Co., Mathuradas Mills Compound, opposite Kamala Mills, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel (40332300). Entry, Rs500.


18 Reasons We Still Need Superman

5-6 February

Curator Tim Crowley’s show of video art may have Superman in the title, but it’s a phrase that Crowley came up with quite at random, for no reason.

The show has already been to China, Singapore and Malaysia. Mumbai gets to enjoy British artist duo Jake and Dinos Chapman, Chinese artist Xu Bing and American artist Dash Snow. Adding local flavour is Chingari Chumma, a video by Tejal Shah. The video, made in 2000, features Shah in the role of a bandit kidnapping a heroine, played by Anuj Vaidya. However, the point of Shah’s video is to let the heroine’s sexual desires take centre stage. At the end of the 8-minute film, no hero arrives to save the day. You are left to decide who the real heroine is: the woman dressed as a man or the man acting a woman’s part.

10am-6.30pm (5 February) and 11am-4pm (6 February). Chatterjee and Lal, 2, Sunny House, 16/18, Mereweather Road, behind Taj Mahal hotel, Colaba (22023030).


Silent halls: A dining room in an old mansion in Murshidabad, West Bengal, its furniture in gleaming hiatus, frozen in time by British photographer Derry Moore.

From 11 February

Photographer Derry Moore came to India for the first time in 1976, and kept coming back. On each visit, he took photographs of scenes that felt richly historical in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, and various places in Rajasthan and Gujarat. His photographs were shot in moody black and white. This is a selection of the photographs Moore took in India over 20 years. Since the 1990s, he has found it increasingly difficult to find subjects. “People have become more homogenized and it’s a great shame," he says.

10.30am-8pm (Sundays closed). Studio Napean, Matru Ashish, Shop No. 17-18, 39, Nepean Sea Road (23673390).

Around town

Measuring the Planet

Till 20 February

There may not be a ruler long enough to measure earth, but with the National Council of Science Museums’ travelling exhibition, children can learn about Greek mathematician

Eratosthenes, who estimated the earth’s diameter in 3rd century BC. The 25 exhibits also explain the measurement of various features of the earth—shape, size, mass, weight, speed and rotation.

10am-6pm. Nehru Science Centre, Dr E Moses Road, Worli (24920482). Entry, Rs20.




Welcoming spring: Kathak dancer Birju Maharaj will perform on 5 February.

5-7 February

The all-too-brief season of spring in the Capital is marked by the annual celebration of Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj’s birthday. This year’s performances are based on the theme of spontaneity. In keeping with this, the programme includes an unrehearsed ‘abhinaya’ by Maharaj and Kathak doyen Sitara Devi, to ‘thumris’ sung by the renowned Girija Devi; a unique Kathak ‘antakshari’ contest; and a Kathak ‘jugalbandi’ of Birju Maharaj with T.V. Gopalakrishnan, besides several Kathak, Odissi, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi performances.

Kamani Auditorium, 1, Copernicus Marg (23388084). For schedules and invitation passes, email Saswati Sen at

Around town


9 February

Sarai, an initiative of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), completes 10 years this fortnight and celebrates with a four-day festival. A highlight is Dastangoi. Bringing this famous oral Urdu tradition back to life, Mahmood Farooqui and Danish Hussain perform works from the Dastangoi tradition, plus some of their own devising.

6.30pm. Sarai, CSDS, 29, Rajpur Road, Civil Lines (23928391).

Spell Check

6 February

Club 18 Minus, a children’s co-curricular centre, launches its first programme, a three-month theatre and dramatics workshop for beginners. The course will cover different acting perspectives, stage movement, body language, improvisation, mime, monologues, light, sound and stage make-up techniques, and more.

1pm. Club 18 Minus, K-7/30, DLF City, Phase II, near Central Arcade, Gurgaon (9650201114). Charges, Rs2,000 for the junior batch (7-16 years); Rs2,500 for the senior batch (18+), for 10 sessions a month. For details and registration, call venue.


Ambedkar aur Gandhi

6 February

A play about two of India’s biggest political personalities, B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi. The plot revolves around their personal relationship and their political differences, which led to many a heated argument.

6pm. Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts, 4, Safdar Hashmi Marg (23714307). For details, call 9899650509. Tickets, Rs50, Rs100 and Rs200.


7 February

Mirza Ghalib’s 19th century clothes, tehzeeb and persona all lent themselves to a great deal of humour in M. Sayeed Alam’s play Ghalib in New Delhi. But Alam’s latest, again with the Urdu poet as its protagonist, is a solemn biography starring Tom Alter.

7.30pm. Epicentre at Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon (0124-2715000). Tickets, Rs150, Rs250 and Rs350 (available at The Pastry Shop, Epicentre).




The Game

Till 20 February

Bangalore-based artist Ravikumar Kashi remains preoccupied with media, consumerism and his new solo show ‘The Game’. “It’s a mini ‘leela’ played out in my studio," the artist declared. His colourful creations often resemble the experience of flipping through magazines and newspapers, or watching television, or participating in some sort of cultural fair.

10.30am-6pm (Sundays closed). Gallery Sumukha, 24/10, BTS Depot Road, Wilson Garden (22292230).


Robinson and Crusoe: Ranga Shankara’s new play is a modern fable.

5-7 February

Those who think they will encounter some version of Daniel Defoe’s classic tale will quickly find its connection to the current production is subliminal at best. Initially devised as an improvisatory exercise by two Italian actors, Nino D’Introna and Giacomo Ravicchio, Robinson and Crusoe is a modern fable that puts two very different people in a predicament of unrelenting, involuntary closeness: a place where the only viable options are violent extermination of the other or genuine reconciliation and embrace. The play is Ranga Shankara’s latest and has been made possible through a partnership with Schnawwl, the children’s and young people’s theatre of the Mannheim National Theatre, Germany.

7.30pm, also 3.30pm on 7 February. Ranga Shankara, 36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar (26592777). Tickets, Rs100.


Sufi Kathak

11 February

Sandeep Mahavir belongs to a family of musicians and vocalists of the Jaipur gharana and is the son of the late K. Mahavir, a legendary singer. He learnt Kathak under Madhurita Sarang at Nritya Darshan in Mumbai while he trained in the gharana. He is now the director of the institute. In this show, Mahavir will perform Kathak set to Sufi music.

6.30pm. Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Vyalikaval, Malleswaram (23445810).



7 February

Music producer, composer, singer, songwriter and pioneer of the Indipop scene, Biddu Appaiah returns with a band in tow to perform in the city where he picked up his first guitar.

8.30pm. B-Flat, 776, 100 Foot Road, Indira Nagar (42414000). For entry charges, call the venue.

S Shashank

7 February

S. Shashank has a signature finger technique that has established him as a maestro of the bamboo flute. Shashank stormed the Carnatic music scene in 1991 at the Music Academy in Chennai when he was just 12 years old and was brought in as a replacement for the scheduled violin trio by L. Subramaniam, L. Shankar and L. Vaidyanathan at the Sadas concert, a stage traditionally reserved for senior classical musicians. This time, the flautist leads a concert, accompanied by B.U. Ganesh Prasad (violin), Arjun Kumar (mridangam) and U.N. Giridhar Udupa (ghatam).

5.45pm. Bangalore Gayana Samaja, KR Road (26506049).



— By Karuna Amarnath



5-16 February

Artist Puneet Kaushik has put together a unique collection using traditional techniques such as weaving and crochet, mixing in steel and cotton in handcrafted embroidery. Inspired by cultural growth in contemporary society, with a focus on religious diversification, tradition and heritage, this series also explores the alter ego: beauty in ugliness and vice versa.

11am-7pm. Apparao Galleries,7, Wallace Gardens, 3rd Street, Nungambakkam (28332226)


Winding Up the Charm

5-7 February

When the three witches from Macbeth make a mistake while casting a spell, a miserable Ophelia from Hamlet appears out of a magical box kept in their lair. Winding Up the Charm is a fun, quirky play, directed by Hans Kaushik for Stella Maris College’s annual drama offering..

7pm (5 February), 3pm and 7pm (6-7 February). Alliance Française auditorium, College Road (9840795390). Tickets, Rs100 (available at Landmark, Nungambakkam; Fruit Shop on Greams Road outlets at Greams Road, Kilpauk, Besant Nagar, Anna Nagar and Spencer Plaza, Phase 3, Anna Salai).


Odissi Leela

5 February

The Madras Craft Foundation presents an Odissi dance performance at DakshinaChitra by Ramli Ibrahim, an acclaimed dancer and choreographer of Bharatanatyam, Odissi and contemporary dance forms.

4.30pm. DakshinaChitra, East Coast Road, Muttukadu (9841423149).


Utsav 2010

6 February-6 March

Well-known city-based artist A.V. Ilango will exhibit some of his recent paintings through the month. Depicting rural and festive themes, the paintings play with earthy colours and bold strokes.

11am-6pm. 57, 5th Street, Padmanabha Nagar, Adyar (42115596).

Bold type: A collage from Times New Roman and Countrymen.

Till 15 February

Don’t miss this exhibition of graphic collages by artist Vishwajyoti Ghosh, inspired by real classified ads from newspapers, vintage Bollywood posters, Raja Ravi Varma paintings and Bhangra concert tickets. You can also pick up the artist’s book of the same name, published by Blaft Publications, including 25 postcards on this theme.

11am-6pm. The Madras Terrace House, 15, Sripuram 2nd Street, Royapettah (45038391).

Around town


Till 7 February

A not-to-be-missed, 75-minute acrobatics event featuring European acrobats, laser artistes, unicyclists, illusionists and other performers who have turned the “impossible" into a profession.

7pm. Music Academy, 168, TTK Road (9380514803). Tickets, Rs1,500, Rs750, Rs500 and Rs250, available at the Music Academy and at Landmark, Nungambakkam.


Sugar and Spice Film Festival

9-13 February

Alliance Française de Madras celebrates women with five movies, which have been selected for their wonderful depiction of the different aspects of womanhood.

7pm. South Indian Film Chamber Theatre, 605, Thousand Lights, Anna Salai (28172437/28279803). Seating on a first-come, first-served basis.



— By Indranil Bhoumik and Manidipa Mandal


Disappearing Professions in Urban India

6-14 February

The recent economic growth in India, much documented across the world, is changing the country, and particularly its cities. Malls and chain stores are replacing the smaller stores. Technology, mechanization and large firms producing cheaper goods are marginalizing the specialist, the craftsman and the alternative professional. Bangalore-based British photographer Clare Arni has been documenting these disappearing professions in Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai: the ‘attar’ producer and the brass tinker, the piano tuner and the Chinese cobbler, the calligrapher and the water-seller. This exhibition of her images is presented by Gallery Sumukha and the Seagull Foundation for the Arts.

6.30-8pm (6 February) and 2-8pm (7-14 February). Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre, 36C, SP Mukherjee Road (24556942/43).

Around town

Flower Show 2010

Till 7 February

Rare bloom: Several species of orchid grace this year’s flower show.

7am-7pm. Main Lawn, RPG Hall and HB Kanoi Exhibition Hall, Agri-Horticultural Society of India, 1, Alipore Road (24791713/0834). Click here for the schedule

Bhinno Swader Paturi

Till 28 February

A paturi is a dish steamed in a wrapping of banana leaves. The Peerless Inn’s traditional Bengali restaurant dishes up several kinds this month. There’s a paturi of poppy seeds and one of cauliflower; the classic shrimp with banana blossom; several freshwater fish (pabda, koi, chanda and bhetki), and chicken.

12.30-3pm (lunch) and 7-11pm (dinner). Aaheli, The Peerless Inn, 12, Jawaharlal Nehru Road (22280301). Rs300-700 per dish.

Darwin Now

Till 7 February

Why are there are so many species? How did music evolve? Find out at this exhibition on the life and works of Charles Darwin at the British Council pavilion at the Kolkata Book Fair, marking the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.

Noon-8pm. Milan Mela Prangan, JBS Haldane Avenue, behind ITC Sonar. Tickets, Rs5. For details, call 23604588/544417.



6 February

Bengali literature often laughs at the antics of the gods. In this liberal tradition, Ektidal’s comedy sees god as “one of us". God (bidhata in Bengali, hence “Bidhu-da") is angry with priest Ambika, who gobbles up choice offerings. Bidhata wants to teach him a lesson, but Ambika has Mahadev (Shiva) on his side!

6.30pm. Sisir Mancha, 1/1, AJC Bose Road (22232451, 22235317). Tickets, Rs60, Rs40 and Rs20.

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