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Everything Cool at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival ’13

Music, films, theatre, stand-up comedy, b-boying… it’s all happening at the 2013 edition of Mumbai’s favourite arts festival.

31 Jan, 2013


Indiecision Staff

Brace yourselves, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2013 is coming.

And y’all know what that means… ATTACK OF THE DLSR-TOTING HIPSTERS!

In all seriousness, though, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is scheduled to take place from February 2 to 10, and the usually quiet Rampart Row will be transformed into a mela-cum-art fair, with events galore. While that’s the most recognisable feature of the festival, it’s worth actually perusing the festival schedule to find more interesting events being organised. Over the week, there will be film screenings, music events, plays, panel discussions and more, taking place at various venues in the south Mumbai art district including Horniman Circle gardens, the Asiatic Library steps, NGMA and Max Mueller Bhavan. Here are some events we think you should definitely check out.

February 3

Avid Brings Multipolis Mumbai (Music & Our City) – 4pm to 5.30pm, Gallery ICIA
Multipolis Mumbai is a nine part series by Avid Learning that seeks to explore the changing cultural landscapes of the city. In Music & Our City, award-winning Hindustani vocalist Sunita Bhuyan deconstructs Bombay’s musical culture and its independent music scene.

Animal Farm – 7.00pm, Horniman Circle
Orwell’s renowned novella has been adapted by Atul Satya Koushik to be more relevant to Indian situations. The play relates Animal Farm to the Indian freedom struggle and further developments.

February 4

Music In Bombay, 1930s – 1960s: Sidharth Bhatia and Naresh Fernandes In Conversation – 6.00pm to 7.00 pm, Arbour
Bombay’s musical history goes way back, and this talk seeks to explore it. Taj Mahal Foxtrot author Naresh Fernandes and prolific journalist Sidharth Bhatia will discuss the rise and spread of Bombay’s unique music culture.

Why So Serious: Freestyle Football by Baldevsinh Chauhan – 8.35pm to 8.50pm, Cross Maidan
The audience for freestyle footie in India is getting larger every year, what with Red Bull Street Style now holding qualifying rounds in India. What’s freestyle football? It’s exactly what it sounds, hip-hop dancing (of sorts) using a football as a prop. Gujarati freestyler Baldevsinh Chauhan will showcase his skills with the ball in a 20-minute session.

Check out this dub-steppy video of Red Bull Street Style action taking place in Kolkata.

February 6

The East India Comedy Show – 7.30pm onwards, Max Mueller Bhavan
Founded by Sorabh Pant, East India Comedy holds regular shows across the country. EIC’s show at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival will feature stand-up comedy, gags and sketches by Pant, along with Sahil Shah and Sapan Verma.

Check out Sorabh Pant’s take on lecherous Indian men below.

Freak N Stylz performance -  7.30 pm -8.30 pm at Cross Maidan
India’s first b-boying crew have performed at the festival before, and they’re coming back this year with an hour-long set. If you haven’t seen them perform or battle before, now’s a good time.

February 7

Avid Brings Multipolis Mumbai (Film & Our City) – 4.30pm to 6.30pm, Gallery ICIA
In yet another of the Multipolis Mumbai talks, Time Out assistant editor and film critic Aniruddha Guha speaks of the progress of Mumbai’s films, and their various stylistic influences on our culture.

Waltz With Bashir – 6.00pm to 8.00pm, Max Mueller Bhavan
The critically-acclaimed animated Israeli film revolves around director Ari Folman’s search for his forgotten memories of the 1982 Lebanon War. Waltz With Bashir won a Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language film, and was nominated for an Oscar in the same category.

Check out a trailer for the film below.

SlumGods – 7.00pm, Cross Maidan
Hip-hop crew SlumGods aren’t just about the breaking. Their performances are a combination of b-boying, emceeing and art, and that’s what they plan to bring down to the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

February 8
NSPA Presents Neeraj Arya and Dhammarakshit Ranadive – 5.30pm, Cross Maidan
National Streets for Performing Arts, the organisation responsible for reclaiming public spaces with performances at railway stations, is bringing two of their artists to the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Neeraj Arya will perform an acoustic set of songs inspired by the teachings of Saint Kabir. Satara performer Dhammarakshit Ranadive performs folk music to bring about social change.

Check out a video of Arya performing ’100 mein 70 aadmi’ at a Crusade For Creativity (pics) below.

Soumik Datta – 8.10pm onward, Cross Maidan
The British sarod player forms one half of experimental duo Circle Of Sound, who recently toured India. Datta is a sarod virtuoso himself, and often veers away from the traditional arrangements associated with the instrument.

Check out a live video of Datta performing with Shankar Mahadevan in London

February 9
Talvin Singh and Friends – 7.30pm, Asiatic Library steps
Those who missed percussionist-producer Talvin Singh‘s set at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, Pune, can catch him here. We’re expecting Singh’s two-hour set to bring a little bit of Indian-inspired drum ‘n’ bass to the festival, along with some guest appearances. While the steps of the Asiatic Library aren’t exactly conducive to dancing, one can of course grab a spot with a good view and sit back to watch.

Check out the video for Talvin Singh’s ‘The Traveler’ below.

Champloo presents White Caps – 8.45 to 9.45, Cross Maidan
Champloo, a UK b-boying company, presents White Caps, a multimedia performance that combines film with b-boying to tell the story of two young men embarking upon an epic journey. Most of us see b-boying as an aggressive, explosive dance form, but White Caps will showcase it in a more fluid manner.

February 10

Photography: The Changing Lens – 11am to 1pm, Gallery ICIA
Photographer David De Souza and Bina Sarkar Ellias, founder of the International Gallery Magazine, will speak about the changing medium of photography and photo galleries and archives, as well as the relevance of photography and its relation to new media.

How To Start Your Own Music Band – 12pm to 2pm, Artisans’
Coshish drummer Hamza Kazi talks about what it takes to put together a band.

Talking Photos – 12pm – 4pm, Artists Centre
National Geographic Traveller India photo editor Ashima Narain’s four-hour workshop will include techniques to compelling compositions, making images, and photographing strangers, amongst other subjects.

Salim-Sulaiman – 7.30pm onward, Asiatic Library steps
The Bollywood composer duo will close the music component of the festival on a high note, with a two-hour set comprising most of their hits.

Check out ‘Let Go’ which is Salim-Sulaiman’s collaboration with Fin Grenall and Shafqat Aman Ali which they debuted on The Dewarists.

Check out the full festival schedule here (the film section looks particularly enticing). The complete schedule is also available on the NH7 Festivapp

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