On stage: The biographical play Nati Binodini.

Nati Binodini

8 March

The South Asian Theatre Festival organized by the National School of Drama, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Centre for Women Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, is themed around women’s empowerment. It opens with this play directed by Amal Allana and based on ‘Aamaar Katha’, the autobiography of actor Binodini. Born into a family of kept women, Binodini was, in fact, the fifth woman in Bengal to take up acting as a profession in the mid-19th century. At the time, men typically portrayed female roles. Learning to sing from the famous Gangabai, Binodini’s talent was discovered by enterprising producers and she soon found herself under the tutelage of Bengal’s most famous actor-writer-manager Girish Ghosh at the Bengal Theatre. Over a span of 11 years, Binodini and Ghosh became an unprecedented pair on stage, with Binodini receiving accolades for the range and depth of her performances.

5.30pm. Kamani Auditorium, 1, Copernicus Marg (23388084).


Another Me

Till 13 March

Achinto Bhadra, an independent documentary photographer, presents a series of photographs of 126 women who have survived trafficking, rape or abandonment, or are the children of sex workers.

11am-8pm. Alliance Française de Delhi, 72, Lodhi Estate (43500200).

Around town

The Magic of Letters

6 March

The Habitat Children’s Book Forum features The Day It Rained Letters by Nury Vittachi (Hachette India). Storytelling and other activities will be conducted by Neel Debdutt Paul, editorial assistant, Hachette India. For ages 6-8.

9.30-11.30am. Habitat World, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (24682222).



7 March

On the eve of International Women’s Day, dancer Geeta Chandran and her Natya Vriksha Dance Company will perform a dance recital titled Aval (She).

6.30pm. Chinmaya Hamco Auditorium, Chinmaya Mission, 89, Lodhi Estate (24643301).

Contemporary dance

7 March

Contemporary dance artiste Eszter Salamon from Berlin will perform her interpretation of John Cage’s lecture on “Nothing". She aims to create “non-intended" movements, which will be juxtaposed against the “non-intended" sounds of the text.

6.30pm. Arts.i, 7, Atmaram Mansion, Scindia House, Kasturba Gandhi Marg (43727000).



Enrico Rava

Trumpet tamer: Jazz musician Enrico Rava performs in Mumbai this weekend.

7 March

Over his 40-year musical career, the silver-maned Enrico Rava has earned a reputation for playing jazz that is from nowhere—and from everywhere. His buttery trumpet tone and beautiful melodies reference his heroes Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker and Miles Davis, as well as aspects of the broad range of styles with which he has experimented over the years.

The acclaimed Italian trumpeter will be in town this week with his jazz quintet, comprising Rava on the trumpet, Gianluca Petrella on the trombone, Giovanni Guidi on the piano, Pietro Leveratto on double bass and Fabrizio Sferra on the drums.

7pm. Tata Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, NCPA Marg, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point (66223737). Entry by invitation only. Passes available at the consulate general of Italy, Kanchanjunga, 1st floor, 72 G, Deshmukh Marg (23804071).



5 March

Chhau is a vibrant and vigorous dance from Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand that uses masks and heavy headgear and draws its movement vocabulary from the Natyashastra. Spic Macay brings Chinivas Mahato’s troupe from Purulia, West Bengal, to present the stylish stunts of Purulia Chhau.

Noon. National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Vihar Lake, Powai. For details, call Jayant Madhav on 9833221972.



6 March

Electronica poster couple Nikhil Chinapa and wife Pearl of electronic dance music initiative Submerge warm up the dance floor for Montreal’s popular DJ Sultan (aka Ossama al Sarraf) from Canada. Sultan’s blend of techno, Progressive and House balances groovy tech beats with melody and vocals.

10.30pm. Blue Frog, New Mahalaxmi Silk Mills Compound, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel (40332300). Entry charge, Rs700.


Karle ki Koshish

10-13 March

Artist Shreyas Karle has won a host of awards, including the Bodhi Art Award in 2008. However, Karle ki Koshish (Jeevan ka Samanya Gyan) is his first major show in the last couple of years. Divided into two parts and spread across two galleries, Karle ki Koshish uses simple palettes and eccentric humour. Some of Karle’s works on display are SEZ—Solution for Erection Zip, The Mannequin Society and Save the Sauce… Kill More Tomatoes. Also featured are books and video art by Karle.

11am-7pm. Project 88, BMP Building, NA Sawant Marg, near Colaba Fire Station, Colaba (22810066).

10am-6pm. Pundole Art Gallery, 369, Dadabhai Naoroji Road, next to American Dry Fruits, Flora Fountain (22841837).


The Sun Behind the Clouds

11 March

Film-makers Tenzing Sonam and Ritu Sarin will be premiering their new documentary at a screening organized by Friends of Tibet in Mumbai. This feature-length documentary explores Tibetan identity, resistance to Chinese rule and the movement to free Tibet. Despite the tumult within the Tibetan exile community, the documentary itself is a sober and searching account of the differences of position within it, on how “the Tibet question" should be resolved.

6.30pm. Goethe-Institut, K Dubash Marg, next to Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Colaba (22022085).

Around town

Women’s Day Walk

8 March

Take a few steps in the right direction and you could be supporting women’s rights. Celebrate International Women’s Day by participating in a walk with feminist and women’s organizations from across the state.

4pm. The walk will start from the Police Club, opposite Azad Maidan. For details, call the Forum Against the Oppression of Women (24010482), or the All India Democratic Women’s Association (22621007).




5 March

To commemorate the birth anniversary of Rukmini Devi Arundale, Tripti Bhupen, a former student of Kalakshetra, Chennai, presents an evening of pieces originally choreographed by Arundale. The idea was to revive certain aspects of classical dance from Arundale’s era, which reached its zenith in the mid-1990s. Bhupen will be accompanied by Priyashree Rao, Ramya Ajay, Mrinalini Rajaram and Preeti Vishal, all former students of Kalakshetra.

6pm. Seva Sadan, 14th Cross, West Park Road, opposite MLA College, Malleswaram (23347830).


Cartoons on Climate Change

5-13 March

Top toon: Anurag Makhija of Delhi got the first prize for this work in a recent contest.

This exhibition, hosted by the Indian Institute of Cartoonists and the British Council, features entries from a recent contest (results are up on the British Council India website,; look for “Low Carbon Futures"). The event includes a cartooning workshop on 5 March with British artist Michal Boncza Ozdowski, one of the contest judges.

10am-6pm (Monday-Saturday). Indian Institute of Cartoonists, No. 1, Midford House, MG Road (41758540). For registration, call V.G. Narendra at 9980091428 or email

Around town

Mystery of Chickpet

5 March and 10 March

For decades, 24 teak sculptures of apsaras watched over the Sri Adinath Jain Shwetamber Temple, Chickpet. Now they are up for auction. The 10 March auction is open only to registered participants—but all are welcome to a 5 March preview of the divine dancers, as well as a Pahari School painting of Mahaveera, colonial dwarpals (door guardians), silver doors and vintage art nouveau Majolica ceramic tiles from the 139-lot collection.

11am-7pm. Bid and Hammer, 226-1/1, 39th C Cross, 8th Main Road, 5th Block, Jayanagar (32029681). To register for the auction, call Bid and Hammer.

The Mind of a Woman—a talk

5 March

Dinesh Bhugra, a specialist in psycho-sexual medicine and cross-cultural psychiatry, talks about the portrayal of mental illness in Hindi cinema. He is president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK, and professor of mental health and cultural diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry, London.

6pm. Bangalore International Centre (BIC), The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) Complex, 4th Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur II Stage (25359680). Open to registered BIC members; registration is free. For details, call 9886599675.



5-6 March

Nirman Kala Manch’s Bhojpuri play Bidesia is about a woman determined to get back her wayward husband, who goes to Kolkata to find work and takes off with another woman. The play draws on the folk theatre form of bidesia, which focuses on migrants.

7.30pm. Ranga Shankara, 36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar (26592777). Tickets, Rs200.


— Karuna Amarnath


Corporate Crime

8-10 March

The Alliance Française de Madras is hosting a three-day film festival, highlighting the “social injustices" perpetrated by big companies, which often go unnoticed.

On 8 March, watch ‘The Corporation’ (directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, written by Joel Bakan), which explores the rise of the dominant institutions of our time and their grip on our lives.

Shriprakash’s ‘Buddha Weeps in Jadugoda’, being shown on 9 March, chronicles the impact of the radioactive material dumped around Jadugoda, Bihar, over 30 years.

On 10 March, catch ‘The Yes Men Fix the World’ by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, a documentary about the exploits of two political activists disguised as top executives in giant corporations in an expose of the ‘yes men’ in these companies, whose kowtowing results in shockingly familiar human and environmental disasters.

6.30pm. AFM auditorium, Alliance Française de Madras, New No. 24 (Old No. 40), College Road (28271477, 28279803).


The Blue Mug

6-7 March

Sacks’ story: The cast of The Blue Mug has some well-known faces.

Inspired by Oliver Sacks’ The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, Mumbai-based The Company Theatre presents a bilingual (Hindi and English) performance revolving around the theme of memories. Directed by Atul Kumar, the cast includes Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Konkana Sen Sharma, Munish Bharadwaj and Sheeba Chadha.

7.30pm. Music Academy, 168, TTK Road (9884570784). Tickets, Rs1,000, Rs500, Rs300, Rs200 and Rs100, available at all Landmark outlets and at the venue (on the days of the show).

Moulin Rouge

6-7 March

Chennai-based choreographer Denver Anthony Nicholas makes his directorial debut under the banner Nicholas Productions, with a musical based on the Hollywood blockbuster Moulin Rouge! The dance sequences, to live music, are stunning.

7pm (6 March); 2.30pm and 7pm (7 March). Tapovan, inside Chinmaya Heritage Centre, Harrington Road (9940195883).Tickets, Rs500, Rs250 and Rs150, available at the venue.

Around town

Greek Food Festival

Till 6 March

Join chef Hristo Todorov Aleksiev for a guided tour of Greek cuisine: gigantes (“giant" baked beans), yemista (vegetables filled with meat and rice), keftedes (similar to koftas) and more.

7pm. Rainbow, The Raintree Hotel, 120, St Mary’s Road, Alwarpet (42252525). Charges, Rs844 (inclusive of taxes) per person.

Leather Puppets

6 March

At this workshop organized by The Madras Craft Foundation, children will be taught to make, paint and animate puppets. Participants can assemble at The Madras Craft Foundation in Adyar for a pick-up and drop to and from the venue. Prior registration required. Registration closes at 6pm on 5 March.

10am-4pm. DakshinaChitra, East Coast Road, Muttukadu (9841777779). For ages 10-15. Registration fee (this includes cost of materials and conveyance), Rs500.


— Indranil Bhoumik


Narir Mancha

6-12 March

Theatre troupe Nandipat celebrates its 30th anniversary year with plays on the lives of women, each with a woman protagonist, directed by a woman director from Kolkata. See ‘Rudali’, directed by Usha Ganguly, on 6 March; ‘Sonata’ by Sohag Sen on 7 March; ‘Kanan Pisir Japamala’ by Suranjana Dasgupta on 8 March; ‘Bijlibalar Mukti’ by Adrija Dasgupta on 9 March; ‘Ranjabati Sen’ by Abanti Chakraborti on 10 March; ‘Jal Chobi’ by Seema Mukhopadhyay on 11 March; and ‘Madhabi’ by Swatilekha Sengupta on 12 March.

6.30pm. Madhusudan Mancha, 2, Gariahat Road (South), Dhakuria. Tickets, Rs60, Rs40 and Rs20, available at the venue. For details, call 9830254562.


Opera: The Undoing of Women

11 March

The consulate general of France and Alliance Française du Bengale present this Catherine Clément opera, featuring Mumbai-born soprano Aude Priya and French pianist Philippe Engel, with costumes designed by Manish Arora and Rohit Bal.

7.30pm. Marble Palace, 46, Muktaram Babu Street. Invitation cards available at Alliance Française du Bengale, Khaleel Munzil, 217, AJC Bose Road (22815198/15538/30769).


Lightness of Being Anxious

Till 13 March

Ashoke Mullick’s art focuses on modern perspectives mingled in traditional cultures in the city’s development, with dreams and hallucinations as a motif of frustrated hopes.

Noon-7pm (Sunday closed). Aakriti Art Gallery, First floor, Orbit Enclave, 12/3A, Picasso Bithi (formerly known as Hungerford Street). For details, call 22893027/5041.

Mythology in Monochrome

6-11 March

Nandan Purkayastha trained as a fashion designer. Small wonder, then, that his monochrome ink drawings, inspired by Indian mythology, stylistically recall Japanese kimono art.

10am-7pm. Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts, 94, Ballygunge Place (24613145).

Around town

Teen Kanya

8 March

On International Women’s Day, Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts presents three talented women: a talk by author Sunita Banerjee on the Bengali woman’s journey into modernity in the 19th century; khayal, thumri, dadra and bhajan by vocalist Indrani Mukherjee; and a sitar recital by Joyeeta Sanyal.

6.30pm onwards. Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts, 94, Ballygunge Place (24613145).

Architecture 101

6 March

Architectural trends in the transition from modernism to postmodernism are the theme of a three-way conversation between Bangalore-based architect Gita Balakrishnan; Sanghamitra Basu, associate professor, architecture and regional planning at IIT Kharagpur; and Anutosh Kanoria, student of architecture at IIT Kharagpur. Also see the three-part BBC documentary Visions of Space and an exhibition of architectural projects by IIT students.

Exhibition: 2-8pm; film screening: 2.30pm; discussion: 6pm. Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre, 36C, SP Mukherjee Road (24556942/43).


2nd Rukmini Devi Arundale Dance Festival

5 March

The Eastern Zone Cultural Centre and Garia Ajanta Kala Sangam present Manipuri dance by Sruti Banerjee and troupe, classical-contemporary dance by G. Saarbani’s troupe, Mohiniattam by Chandreyee Basu Thakur and Kathak by Sourav Roy of Kolkata; Odissi by Advaita Mane of Pune; Bharatanatyam by Aarthy S. Natarajan of Kalakshetra, Chennai; and an Odissi-Bharatanatyam duet by Manasi Pandya from Vadodara and aghunandan S. from Bangalore.

5.30pm. Madhusudan Mancha, 2, Gariahat Road (South), Dhakuria. For details, call 9831179353.

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