Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Viewers choice or Thackeray’s Choice ??

Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray has said that if he feels that the film Black Friday glorifies Dawood, then he’ll shut it down.

The controversial film on the 1993 Mumbai blasts had finally made it to the theatres two weeks ago.

“I haven’t seen the film. I plan to watch it, and if it glorifies Dawood, I will make sure the film is never shown again,” said Bal Thackeray, Leader, Shiv Sena.

But the threat has shocked the makers of the film. They say that they had already screened the film for the Thackeray family and even accepted the cuts that they had asked for.

Moreover, they say that there’s no attempt to glorify Dawood or the underworld, but instead it is a graphic depiction of the city’s darkest hours – the 1992 riots, communal polarization and the coming together of the underworld to trigger a series of blasts on March 12, 1993.

However, Bal Thackeray’s threat is just the latest in a line of setbacks for the film, which has already faced legal censorship.

The film’s release was earlier stopped for two years by the court hearing the 1993 blasts case. The reason for that was that the film could bias public opinion.

Now that the trial is over and the film is out, it appears that it has run into Mumbai’s moral censors. I feel its better to leave the choice to the viewers. After all they are the once who pay for the tickets. For once why cant these politicians look into something which really requires their attention ? Poverty, Disease, Unemployment, Pollution, Gov officials who accept bribe and so on… The list is endless.. Mr Thackeray are u listening ??

The Kala Ghoda Gazette is BACK

February comes and Mumbai and the pedestrian plaza around South Mumbai’s lively historic art district ‘Kala Ghoda’ comes alive to the tune of the Kala Ghoda Art Festival. The setting is marvellous, the crescent shaped plaza is nestled around an array of heritage buildings such as Elephantine College, the David Sassoon Library and the Watson Hotel.

The Festival promises rich events in Arts, Literature, Music & Theatre – Seminars, Workshops and more. This years an entire host of events including a vintage car rally also expect performances from famed percussionist Shivamani. History buffs should also look out for the special heritage walks organised as part of the festivities. Also scheduled are many book readings including a “TETE A TETE WITH SHANTARAM” a freewheeling chat with author of the best selling book Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts this time without the cumbersome presense of Dolly Thakore.

The festival kicks off on the 4th February and continues up to the 11th February.

But what is really exciting is that the Kala Ghoda Association is blogging the event. The blog promises to bring the festival live to you with a mix of previews and impressions, reviews and reports, text and photographs, maybe even some audio and video. JUST LIKE LAST YEAR.

Here is all you need

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival [A schedule]


The Kala Ghoda Gazette. [The Blog]

Festive Season Begins At Prithvi Theatre

Legendary Prithviraj Kapoor

When one mentions Stage Plays and Coffee in a single sentence then the only place that instantly comes to mind is Prithvi Theatre in Juhu, Mumbai. Other than Bollywood, Theatre is the only form of entertainment and art that I feel passionately about. Blame it on my schooling days when I performed for the first time at this very theatre or my college days which were mostly spent at the Prithvi canteen rather than the classroom.

A theatre company called ‘Prithvi Theatres’ was started by the famed actor Prithviraj Kapoor around the 1940s with the aim of giving something to the society in return of the celebrity status and honor they had bestowed upon him. He commissioned original plays on circumstantial topics of the day, which his group then performed across India. In 1978, Prithvi Theatre was built several years later in memory of his extraordinary commitment and enthusiasm for theatre.

Prithvi Theatre has come a long way since then – with annually 400 shows, 100 plays, nearly 50 groups participation and an outreach of around 70,000 thousand audience.


Madame Tussaud’s Comes to Town

The Mid-Day reports that Madame Tussauds, the world renowned wax museum is going to open shop in Bombay. That is a great fillip for the city.

Madame Tussauds, London’s most famous tourist attraction known for its life-size waxworks, plans to open a branch in Mumbai, featuring replicas of Bollywood and cricketing stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar.

The plan to open a Mumbai office is part of a concerted push by Madame Tussauds’ new owners — Dubai International Capital — to expand beyond the UK. [ link ]

My only concern is, what will be the entrance fee ?? Here in NYC it is about 33 US$ and in London upward of 20 pounds.

Let’s hope they follow the “horses for courses” policy and don’t price it out of the market.

No Excess for INXS

No Excess for INXS
[A store in Bandra – the name and logo are purely coincidental I think]

One of the sad parts about living in Mumbai or any other Indian city for that matter is the lack of any worthwhile live music. It is so disconcerting to find only 3 entries in The Time Out Mumbai music listings. Two of which are Indo-Jazz fusion gigs at 5 star hotels and the third is “Bollywood Hollywood Karaoke Night” at Not Just Jazz by the bay. Gigpad adds a few more gigs to the list but let’s face it Mumbai is starved of good live music. Yes we do get a good gig are our way once in a while but than again Mumbai often magically disappears off the list whenever a good band announces a world tour.

Anyways this was supposed to be rant on the band INXS and on a sulk about music. Yes as you may know INXS is going to be playing in Mumbai and Bangalore in the coming week. Personally for me INXS died the day Michael Hutchence was found dead in his hotel room. The former Elvis impersonator and new INXS vocalist J.D. Fortune, a product of the reality television show RockStar INXS, in my book is nothing more than a hutchence impersonator. Then again the reviews of some of the concerts on their recent ‘Switched ON’ tour tell me they have been singing some of the older INXS numbers which could make the concert worthwhile.

INXS was recently dumped by their American label and also had to cancel the European leg of their tour – so this could well be one of your last chances to see them before they split and have to find a another reality television show to find a new vocalist – HA !

If you want to catch them they are playing on 5 th October at MUMBAI MMRDA GROUNDS, Bandra Kurla Complex. The gates open at 6.00PM and the concert suposedly starts at 7.30PM. Tickets are available at Rs 1200 and Rs 700.

For more info you can check out INXS’s website or called the organizer OranJuice at 32923989

Angaan Nahi Guru hai Tedha..

Celebrity Host, Celebrated Choreographer, One-film Old Director and Established Dancer Farah Khan choreographed a dance performance for Shakira in the MTV Awards recently.
The performance starts with a few Bharat Natyam poses. There are two stooges behind Shakira, and all three then get into a few, what-is-supposed-to-be-picturesque, steps and then she grabs the microphone to resume her normal belly shaking flavor of dancing in tune with her very popular number, “Hips Don’t Lie”. While the performers behind, switch from Bharat Natyam to Belly Dancing and back to Bharat Natyam and then back to Belly Dancing.

Farah Khan (I never did like her style of dancing too much anyway) has erased whatever little bit respect she had from the minds of any dancer. Any Bharat Natyam dancer or a Latin Ballroom dancer can point out the smallest of mistakes and crimes(for the lack of a better word) that Khan has committed by choreographing this song.

Its Play Time

For those who know me well are aware that I am a complete entertainment buff. I am always game for watching even the crappiest lot of Bollywood/Hollywood movies and will sit thru even the dullest of stage shows.

But what really gets my fancy are Stage Plays. An important factor responsible for my theatre fascination is the fact that I live just two blocks from Prithvi Theatre in other words the Mecca for stage artists and enthusiasts.

Prithvi Theatre has been responsible for showcasing the best plays by theatre groups from all over India and is affiliated with well-known personalities of the Theatre world. Actors/writers like Kay Kay Menon, Makrand Deshpande, Imtiaz Ali, etc. consider the experience gained as a theatre artist and the time spent at Prithvi to be the main reason for their success today.

In the recent times, thanks to involvement from the corporate world loads of theatre groups have been able to get over the financial hurdle to some extent but on the other hand some have had to compromise on their aesthetics qualities in other to fit in their sponsor’s interests.

And then there are some theatre groups who exist only for the sake of Art, who are not willing to sacrifice their basic aim even if it means letting go off big bucks and commercial success however they do end up winning our hearts and admiration. From the current set of known theatre groups, Aranya seems to fall under the above category.


A poem on Bombay by Adil Jussawala

Adil Jussawala is one of India’s foremost poets. I once had an opportunity to hear him recite some of his poems at a poets evening which had the likes of Dom Moraes and H. Masud Taj sharing the stage.

In a response to the Partition of India in 1947, Jussawala penned this poem.

Sea Breeze, Bombay

by Adil Jussawalla

Partition’s people stitched

Shrouds from a flag, gentlemen scissored Sind.

An opened people, fraying across the cut

country reknotted themselves on this island.

Surrogate city of banks,

Brokering and bays, refugees’ harbour and port,

Gatherer of ends whose brick beginnings work

Loose like a skin, spotting the coast,

Restore us to fire. New refugees,

Wearing blood-red wool in the worst heat,

come from Tibet, scanning the sea from the north,

Dazed, holes in their cracked feet.

Restore us to fire. Still,

Communities tear and re-form; and still, a breeze,

Cooling our garrulous evenings, investigates nothing,

Ruffles no tempers, uncovers no root,

And settles no one adrift of the mainland’s histories.

I came across this poem on Amardeep’s post on Sepia Mutiny. Continue there to read Amardeep’s analysis and commentary.

Anjolie Ela Menon Exhibit opens in Mumbai

aem_anjolie1.jpgAn exhibition of Anjolie Ela Menon’s paintings opened in Mumbai on December 19. This is her first exhibition in six years. On the eve of the exhibition Anjolie gave an interview.

Mumbai’s a vibrant city unlike Delhi’

Your last exhibition was held around five years ago in Mumbai. How does it feel to be displaying once again in the city?

Mumbai remains my favourite city in the world. My last exhibition here was held in 1999. Since then, barring a retrospective of my works held in 2003, I hadn’t really displayed my work here.

When I was driving back from the airport I could just feel the buzz. It’s such a vibrant city unlike Delhi which is so manicured in approach.

Read the interview here.

This is a good link for all you would want to know about Anjolie Ela Menon.

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