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All About the Arts

The sight of a white swan in a duet with a handsome prince is both beautiful and graceful.

Written by Afsha Khan | Published: February 3, 2012 12:06:35 am

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival returns with several international acts and many firsts

The sight of a white swan in a duet with a handsome prince is both beautiful and graceful. Taking one’s eyes off the two lovers is near impossible even if it’s on a tiny screen on YouTube. But then suddenly the ballerina playing the white swan is lifted onto her partner’s shoulder where she stands on one leg,performing a series of acrobatic steps even as her partner continues to move around the stage. Next thing you know,she has climbed on his head and the two start twirling in opposite directions. Whether this is a ballet or a acrobatics is hard to tell when watching The Guangdong Art Troupe from China,who have enthralled audiences all over the world with their version of Swan Lake. This troupe,brought down in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Chinese Consulate,will be opening the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival at Cross Maidan on February 4 with a traditional piece from the Cantonese Opera.

“For the first time since we started,we’re going to have international artists participating in the festival,” says Pallavi Sharma,CEO of the Kala Ghoda Association. In addition to The Guangdong Art Troupe,the nine-day-long event will host international acts by the Raga Boys,a music band from Pakistan,and Tracey Lee Strum,a 3D street painter from America. Another attraction at the festival will be German artist,Tobias Megrele’s interactive art piece Pushers and Pullers — A homage to the Hand-cart.

What started off as a festival celebrating the arts outside the confines of galleries and theatres,has given Mumbai’s cultural scene a whole new dimension over the last 13 years. Returning to its heritage ground this year,the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival will celebrate all aspects of art — theatre,music,dance,literature.

This year,the association will organise a series of events dedicated to the culinary arts with noted celebrity chefs from Mumbai. The Food Section,as they call it,will be held daily at 5 All Day in Colaba,and will feature interactive demos and workshops with chefs such as Busaba’s Nikhil Chib,Le 15 Patisserie’s Pooja Dhingra and Mukhtar Qureshi from Neel.

“Food is integral to Mumbai’s cultural scene. All our food events are varied because our city is such that they take to everything with enthusiasm,” says Sharma. “As always,all our events will be free and will welcome people on a first-come-first-served basis,” she adds.

Festival Highlights

48-Hour Music Video: A contest for all aspiring filmmakers,this is a challenge to make a video inspired by the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Winners get to make a video for Ram Sampath’s song.

Tributes to Legends: The festival will pay tribute to legends such as Shammi Kapoor,Bhupen Hazarika,Dev Anand and Rabindranath Tagore.

Heritage Treasure Hunt: Kitab Khana in association with writer Deepak Dalal will send children from 15 schools on a treasure hunt. They will search through the history and heritage of Mumbai.

Marimba artist Lukas Ligeti: On Sunday,an interactive workshop with Austrian musician Lukas Ligeti will revolve around the Marimba,a type of electronic xylophone.

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