Coming Up Next

While a play tells you what’s cooking,and a film on a literotica author travels to festivals,along with many firsts in art,the cultural calendar this year is dripping with activities. Talk lists what to watch out for.

Published: January 1, 2014 11:55:36 pm

Centre Stage

The curtains will rise on the 16th Bharat Rang Mahotsav on January 4 with a play that has all the trappings of a classic. Directed by Kerala-based KN Panikkar,Chhaya Shakuntalam will be enacted by the National School of Drama Repertory Company,which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The play is a retelling of Kalidasa’s Abhijnana Shakuntalam. Shakuntala represents the green world of nature and Dushyant,a hunter who shoots down a deer. The play highlights the hunt for a prey as well as the quest of a desirous mind.

On a Classical Note

Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan,one of the most skilled sitar players,takes the stage to commemorate the 75th year of Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan of the famous Rampur Sahaswan gharana. With a specialisation in khayal,thumri and bhajans,Sadiq Khan regaled the audiences for more than six decades. This year will also feature the soulful brilliance of Ustad Rashid Khan (below pic) at Aadi Anant,a festival organised by Mumbai’s NCPA. The concert will be held at FICCI auditorium on January 12. Besides renowned greats who will be performing,keep a watch out for upcoming artistes. US-based Alam Khan,sarod player and the youngest son of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan will embark upon his India tour. His concerts might have music connoisseurs sit in judgement; comparisons will be inevitable. Another concert to look forward to will be by Pakistan-based dhrupad singer Aliya Rasheed. A blind musician and a student of famous dhrupadiyas,the Gundecha Brothers,Rasheed is also the only female Pakistani dhrupad singer. Dhrupad,a genre that emerged from the Vedas has many references to Indian mythology and religion,for which Rasheed has earned quite a bit of flak in Pakistan. We look forward to her favourite Ganesh vandana at India Habitat Centre this January.

Running in the Family

When he came on board Kaun Banega Crorepati as the game show’s host 14 years ago,Amitabh Bachchan set a trend that film stars would have the courage to follow only a decade later. His next big move will hopefully begin yet another trend. He leads the cast of a fiction show on Sony,directed by Anurag Kashyap,which will go on air this year. His wife Jaya,too,is said to have joined the cast of another show for the same channel. Last heard,even daughter-in-law Aishwarya has received a plump offer from the teleworld.

Show Starter

The National Gallery of Modern Art keeps its promise of backing contemporary artists with Subodh Gupta’s retrospective this month (right pic) that covers 20 years of his work. While newly-opened Delhi outpost of GALLERYSKE will host Sudarshan Shetty’s solo show,Vadehra Art Gallery will host Nalini Malani for a solo show for the first time. Meanwhile,a parallel event to India Art Fair,a curatorial collaboration between the Tate Modern,London,and Khoj titled Word. Sound. Power,will see eight international artists exploring the relationship between language and power.


If it was the year of outrage in 2012,and 2013 was a toned-down “business only” for Jaipur Literature Festival,this year brings us personalities such as sportsperson Mary Kom; Samantha Shannon,who has been touted as the “next JK Rowling” because of her debut novel The Bone Season; and British-Chinese novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo known for titles such as A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers and films such as the award-winning She,a Chinese.

Art of the Matter

Reeling from the recent success of Indian art at the Christie’s auction,the India Art Fair 2014 brings to the city Anish Kapoor’s installation,Listen Up,the first city-wide public sound art project,and Dayanita Singh’s much-acclaimed File Room,among others; while the second edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale will be spearheaded by artist Jitish Kallat. And after three years of awarding the most exciting Indian artists,word is out that the Skoda Prize for Contemporary Art will not be doing so this year.

Musically Gifted

Though the submissions for the first-ever VIMA INDIA (Voice International Music Awards) is closed,2014 will host the event to recognise and honour the finest music talent in the country. The winners of VIMA INDIA will be announced by January 5 after all scores are tabulated with the global judges scores. Top winners will move on to compete with musicians from across Southeast Asia at VIMA ASIA,which will be held in Kuala Lumpur in March.

Space Jazz

EDM star Michal Menert’s fascination with India is well-known,so much so that the American music producer delayed the release of his highly anticipated album,Space Jazz,to accommodate his India-inspired tracks. One such song called Sky City Slums,about the duality of life in Delhi,will be a part of the album. He has used six Bollywood samples in the song,and apart from this,Menert also collaborated with Sahej Bakshi aka Dualist Inquiry on a song last month,which will also release this summer.

Milan Bound

After five years of launching his label,designer Rahul Mishra heads to the Milan Fashion Week to showcase his collection (right pic),this February. The winner of the International Woolmark Prize India and Middle East regional final,will join the likes of Altuzarra (USA),fiXXed (Asia),Christopher Esber (Australia) and SIBLING (Europe) for the final face-off in Milan. The Indian designer hopes to bag the trophy at “the Oscars of fashion” and catapult his career to another level. We’re definitely keeping our eyes trained on this talented Delhi boy.

Cookery Show

Theatre director Roysten Abel gave audiences a taste of his new production,The Kitchen,at Ranga Shankara in Bangalore last year (below pic) and generated enough press to make us both curious and eager. At the centre of the action is a gigantic drum called the mizhavu that is,in the director’s words,“the only drum to have a caste and get a burial when it is no longer in use”. The other elements are two large cauldrons in which payasam is cooked so that the audience can see,hear,smell and taste it; the story of a couple whose relationship is undergoing a change; and,in keeping with Abel’s métier,unusual music. His latest feast for the senses will open the International Theatre Festival in Kerala on January 27 before travelling to other cities.

All Lit Up

A generation has grown up on sleazy,Hindi erotica and a name synonymous with this genre is Mastram. Akhilesh Jaiswal,one of the writers of Gangs of Wasseypur,takes the plunge into direction with a fictional account of Mastram,the anonymous author of the legendary Hindi literotica. The movie,starring Rahul Bagga,releases in March,after doing the rounds of a few film festivals.

Sweat and Tears

Aamir Khan’s tears,shed rather easily on national television,had the whole country debating if it’s a staged performance. But what no one denied was the fact that the A-list actor became the first of his stature to shed light on pertinent social issues that plague India,including dowry and the caste system. His home production,Satyamev Jayate,which was simulcast on Star and Doordarshan in the morning slot,will return in its second edition early this year.

Mouse Beats

There’s a mouse in the house. We mean Canadian EDM and house producer Joel Zimmerman,or Deadmau5. Touring India for the first time,Deadmau5 (right pic) is another feather on the explosive EDM cap of the Capital. On September 26,Zimmerman tweeted,“..but man. when it does go down. I cannot wait to come check out India! It’ll be my first time” confirming the news,after a disappointing false alarm in June 2013. Deadmau5 performs at the Sunburn Arena in Mumbai,Delhi and Bangalore,on March 14,15 and 16 respectively.

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