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    The first edition of the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa brings together diverse art forms from music, dance and theatre to culinary arts and photography

    GOA’S River Mandovi will set the backdrop to the Serendipity Arts Festival, billed as the country’s “first interdisciplinary arts festival”. “We understand the need to break the conventional compartmentalisation of art in India, wherein every discipline is evolving in isolation,” says Preeta Singh, Festival Director. “We aim to bring al l these di scipl ines on one collaborative platform to achieve even bigger creative outcomes.” Tiatr of dreams Of the festival’s venues, the Adil Shah Palace will host A Tale of Two Cities, enabling interactions between Indian and Sri Lankan artists. The palace will also host As We See Us, by 34 contemporary photographers studying “our messy and tangled inheritance that deeply permeates our visual culture”.

    Goan photographer Alex Fernandes will take to the Kala Academy to show his documentation of Tiatr (musical theatre) artists enacting ‘Goan Archetypes’. The Tiatr performers will present a series of theatre sketches in The Portuguese Passport, curated by theatre personalities Anuradha Kapur and Lillete Dubey. Dubey will also collaborate with playwright Mahesh Dattani at ‘Script Lab’, a four-day playwriting workshop.“Script Lab is extremely close to my heart as it addresses a huge lacuna in India theatre today, the huge lack of original plays and playwrights,” says Dubey.5

    River crafting

    At the Old GMC Complex, a series of demonstrations will be conducted on traditional craft forms of terracotta, sanjhi (stenciled paper cutting), sarguja (clay work), textiles and Kalighat painting. Noted Sanjhi artist Ram Soni, along with Dinesh Chandra Kumhar, a fifteenth generation craftsman from the Molela region of Rajasthan, will show their work at Indian Crafts: Tradition and Expression. Parag Sonarghare, the art historian and painter from Baroda, will present his work at the Young Subcontinent Project, curated by the artist Riyas Komu, and showcasing 24 artists from across South Asia. Alongside, an exhibition curated by the crafts patrons Manjari Nirula and Dr. Jyotindra Jain will present the works of mastercraftsmen from across India, while Serendipity Street will explore the idea of “serendipity” in a show of street photography. At The Promenade, meanwhile, visitors can engage with open-air installations. 1

    Dancing by the pool 

    Coming Home, curated b y Tanusree Shankar, will have Malaysia born Sooraj Subramaniam (odissi) and UK-born Sonia Sabri (kathak) offering pieces that meld contemporary and classical practices. In NaTyatra: A Journey to Bharatanatyam, eight young practitioners of jazz, ballet, contemporary dance, kathak, odissi and kalaralipayattu will work with bharatanatyam guru Rama Vaidyanathan.

    The Bandod kar Grounds will stage performances in Cross- cultural Conversat ions between Music and Dance, curated by the musician Ranjit Barot, apart from shows by Leela Samson and Priti Patel’s troupe. Barot will also curate a musical session, leading up to the festival’s grand finale. Sanjeev Bhargava’s Samyukt will present four commissioned productions to serve as a confluence of dance, music and literature, featuring pe r formanc e s by Sudha Raghuraman and Amrita Lahiri, Ayona Bhaduri and Bhuvanesh Komkali, among others. The festival’s highlight will be in a tent at the SAG Grounds, in Talatum, reinterpreting Shakespeare’s The Tempest in an Indian context. Directed by Abhilash Pillai, Talatum will combine elements of circus, magic, illusion techniques, gypsy art, puppetry, martial arts, new media, dance, music and theatre.

    Nevri say nevri again3

    The festival will also include projects by artists and performers such as Pranali Shashank Kalkar, Shraddha Rupavate, Ammith ML Kumar, Avantika Bahl, Bhavini Misra, Debjit Mukherjee, Jhuma Das, Sanjukta Ray, and Subhasish Dey, among others, apart from segments curated by the cultural historian Ranjit Hoskote, and the photographer Prashant Panjiar. A Collectors Conclave will focus on archiving, conservation and preservation of Goa’s culture and history, while also hosting a series of discourses curated by Amin Jaffer and Sonal from the Christie’s auction house. On the sidelines, A Selfie Project, curated by Dinesh Khanna, will result in a crowd-sourced work of over 1,50,000 images. To bring things to a wrap, author, TV host and food critic Odette Mascarenhas will curate a culinary smorgasbord at the gardens of Jardim Garcia d’Orta, while chef Manu Chandra will put together the Recreation of Goan C u l i n a r y A r t Heritage project, bringing together an array of Portugese, Christian, Goan and Saraswat preparations. Expect classic Goan dishes like bebinca, nevri, recheado, vindaloo, xacuti and sorpotel with a fusion spin. Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa, December 16-23. Details: serendipityartsfestival.com — Team Indulge

    Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa, December 16-23. Details: serendipityartsfestival.com — Team Indulge

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