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Monthly Archives: November 2013

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Sound Awake brings together international EDM DJs for an audio-visual treat with Steve Aoki taking centrestage

After starting his label Dim Mak in 1996, Steve Aoki, has changed the face of EDM by signing on artistes such as Infected Mushroom and Datsik and collaborating with greats like Tiesto and The Bloody Beetroots. He has revolutionised crowd surfing and cake throwing (no matter what the flavour!) and now, for the first time, Aoki brings his antics to the city, headlining for the second edition of Sound Awake. We get a glimpse of the man behind the console.

Describe your sound.
My music is the kind you would hear at clubs and festivals. I play electro-house music.

Starting out.
I was in punk rock bands before I got into DJing. Once I started Dim Mak, I started producing and recording and eventually became a DJ.

On crowd surfing.
I introduced the raft at the Coachella festival in 2009 and the cake in 2011. People seemed to love both. It’s fun and interactive.

Changing sets.
At every performance, my aim is to touch as many people as possible. I try to keep things interactive and fun, but most importantly, I want everyone to feel something special when they hear my music.

Dream collaboration.
My favourite one so far has been with Linkin Park. Once more familiar with Indian music, I’d love to collaborate with an Indian artiste.

Cross over of EDM.
Music is evolving faster than before. Interests are changing. Artistes have to mature their sounds rapidly to keep up with audiences. This puts a lot of pressure on producers like myself. I am very proud of Dim Mak and the artistes we have.

Clothing line and restaurants.
I am a DJ, a producer and a designer. I look at both business and music as creative processes. My father taught me a lot on how to manage my time as well as how to work smart rather than just hard.

Beyond the console.
I love to create, explore and experience. Developing and being part of different cultures is important to me.

The show in Bangalore.
It is going to be my first large scale gig in India so I am very excited. Last year, I played intimate shows at Delhi and Mumbai. I want the Indian audiences to see what a Steve Aoki show is really like. I want to see how crazy it will get.

Your influences.
I have been more influenced by bands rather than by DJs. Bands like Nirvana, The Beatles, Rage Against The Machine, Imagine Dragons, Tragedy to name a few.

In 2014.
I have my new album coming up next year, Neon Future. I am excited for people to hear this. I’ve collaborated with great artistes like Snoop Dogg, Mac Miller, Will.i.am, Machine Gun Kelly and a lot more.

December 1. At Supernova Arena, Yelahanka.

—Aakanksha Devi

 

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The Last House on the Left, Zee Studio, 10.30 pm
Cast: Garret Dillahunt, Monica Potter (Thriller)
After arriving at her family’s secluded lake house, Mari Collingwood (Sara Paxton) borrows the family car to meet her friend Paige. The horror begins when they are abducted and raped by a sadistic prison escapee and his crew. Paige is stabbed to death while Mari, while trying to escape, gets shot. Later, a storm forces the gang to seek refuge with Mari’s parents who are unaware of their daughter’s fate. This is the adaptation of Wes Craven’s controversial 1972 movie of the same name.

Salmon Fishing in The Yemen, HBO Defined, 10 pm
Cast: Ewan McGregor,
Emily Blunt (Romance)
Fisheries expert Dr Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is approached by financial adviser Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt), for a project to bring salmon fishing to the Yemen, which he dismisses as ‘unfeasible’. But the situation has come to the notice of the British Prime Minister’s overzealous press secretary, Patricia Maxwell, who wants it to happen in order to improve relations between Britain and the Islamic world. McGregor had to learn the art of fly fishing for his role.

Hotel Transylvania, Sony Pix, 2 pm
Cast: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez (Animation)
Dracula (Adam Sandler) has built a lavish five-stake resort called Hotel Transylvania, hidden from the humans. It is a vacation getaway for monsters and their families. Dracula invites his friends—Frankenstein and his wife Eunice; Wayne and Wanda, the werewolves and others to celebrate the 118th birthday of Mavis (Selena Gomez).The party takes a wild turn when a human boy stumbles into the festivities. Miley Cyrus was cast as Mavis, but she withdrew to focus on other projects.

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Object Theatre comes to the city in a novel adaptation of Alice In Wonderland

Using Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice in Wonderland, Choiti Ghosh and her team bring to the stage something that is new and unconventional. With origins in Europe at the start of the Industrial Age, Object Theatre uses puppetry to bring to life inanimate, everyday objects.
“What we do is attach meaning and significance to everyday mass-produced objects, almost like we did as children,” shares Ghosh.

Carroll’s guide-map
The play starts with a stage filled with mundane objects and the four characters carrying out their routine chores in a listless fashion to the ticking rhythm of a metronome. “They enact performing the same tasks over and over again until they simply can’t anymore. That’s when they decide to play a make-believe game and unleash their imagination,” explains Ghosh of the performance that goes onto show the characters transform from doing the ordinary to using objects around them to move into a world of their imagination that even includes falling down a rabbit hole. “We use the book as a starting point but often stray away from the story, sticking to Carroll’s plot only broadly and as a guide map,” Ghosh tells us.

A moment in time
The story twists and turns unexpectedly, and has all the classic ‘wonderland’ elements woven in for effect. From objects coming to life as the Cheshire Cat and Alice growing bigger and smaller with the help of magnifying props, it really ‘brings magic to the mundane’.
“The girl (Alice) begins to imagine she is living an alternate life and sings, dances, laughs and falls down the rabbit hole as she begins a madcap adventure. But all this happens within a moment of imaginative thought arising from the need to break away from the mundane,” adds Ghosh.

Worlds collide
The performance promises to be intriguing. Ghosh, a professional puppeteer and stage actor says, “I had heard about object theatre but did not know much about it till I went to the Institut International de la Marionnette in France, that specialises in this form of theatre. I came back and realised that this is where my love from puppeteering and acting stemmed. Now I can do both at the same time!”
Saturday and Sunday at RangaShankara, JP Nagar. Tickets (Rs200) at bookmyshow.com

—Susanna Chandy

 

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A unique show based on traditional Indian games by Visual Respiration 

A GRIPPING duet inspired by Indian games like Paramapadham, Pallanguzhi, Pacheesi and Kabaddi, Re:play, by Visual Respiration, is an 80-minute journey that weaves in Indian folklore, mythology and contemporary events. Expect an immersion of sounds, rhythms, structures and colours that will take you down memory lane.
“I grew up playing Hop Scotch, Snakes and Ladders, Kabaddi and Ludo, but had no idea that these games had interesting stories and significance,” says Aruna Ganesh Ram, the director and designer, who is also an alumni of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London. But recently, she read that such games were slowly disappearing and quickly looked for the digital version. “I started researching these games and soon, I had so many interesting bits of information, I began weaving into a performance,” Ram tells us.

It’s play time
Re:play explores how these games have inspired people and situations, by literally playing with the audience. “It is about the performers and audience getting into a relationship with one another. From passive spectator to co-creator, the audience goes through an experience of sharing, creating and deciding,” Ram tells us.
Traditional games have been used as a canvas so expect marbles, Cowrie shells and metal dice. “Their sounds, rhythms, patterns and colours inspired me in different ways and shaped this performance,” Ram explains, assuring us that it will trigger off a sense of nostalgia in the audience. “My aim was to construct an environment where the audience is not passive. The challenge was to facilitate an intimate environment of sharing and togetherness and we have devised simple, yet unique ways in which audience members will get a touch and feel of this performance,” she hints.

Tonight at 7pm, November 30 and December 1 at 2.30 pm and 7 pm. At Atta Galatta,
Koramangala.
Tickets (Rs250) on
visualrespiration.com

—Aakanksha Devi

 

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Parental Guidance, Star Movies, 9 pm
Cast:  Billy Crystal, Bette Midler (Comedy)
Artie (Billy Crystal) and his wife Diane (Bette Midler) agree to babysit their three grandkids when their parents go away for a business trip. Artie tells the kids to call him Artie and never ‘Grandpa’. He is quickly nicknamed Fartie by the cheeky five-year-old Barker. Problems arise when the kids’ 21st-century behavior collides with Artie’s and Diane’s old-school methods and old-fashioned games. Billy Crystal’s first lead role since Analyze That (2002).

What To Expect When You’re Expecting, Sony Pix, 9.15 pm
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, J Todd Smith (Drama)
The story is about five couples whose lives are turned upside down by impending parenthood. Excited TV fitness guru Jules (Cameron Diaz) and dance show star Evan find their celebrity lives getting affected by the surprise demands of pregnancy. Photographer Holly (Jennifer Lopez) is prepared to travel the globe to adopt a child, but her husband Alex isn’t sure yet, and tries to calm himself by attending a ‘dudes’ support group, where new fathers get to tell
it how it really is.

Notting Hill, Zee Studio, 10.30 pm
Cast:  Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts (Romance)
William Thacker (played by Hugh Grant) is a bookseller at a shop in the Notting Hill district in West London. His life changes the day Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), a well-known actress from the United States who is in London working on a film walks in to buy a book. They start meeting each other and soon fall in love. But complications are bound to arrive with the involvement of his family and press. Roberts was paid $15 million for the role.

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The sound of classical music through the Trio Bircher Internationale

Bringing together pieces composed exclusively for a joint performance of the clarinet, cello and piano, Daniel Bircher, Joelle De Jonge and Bethel Tsuzu from the Trio Bircher Internationale promise a rendezvous with the classical greats. Their repertoire will include eight pieces by Max Bruchner, Serenade by Emil Hartmann and Beethoven’s Piano Trio op 11, famously known as the Gassenhauer – all composed to augment the sound of these three instruments played in unison.

Musical collision
Daniel Bircher is co-founder of the famous Winterhurer Symphonika from Switzerland. Playing the clarinet on a professional level from age 16, Bircher has performed in over 200 concerts. “I played with four other musicians from the Bangalore School of Music last year and wanted a repeat. So I contacted Joelle and Bethel,” says Bircher, describing the trio’s unconventional style of using the clarinet instead of the violin in a piano trio. Bethel Tsuzu, with her first studio recording at age 12, has played in orchestras around the globe including the Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The Belgian German Joelle De Jonge has played with the Bangalore School of Music numerous times and is an avid environmentalist and photographer.

Intimate chamber
“The clarinet actually beautifully complements the cello, and the piano is always a wonderfully strong base,” shares Bircher of the off-beat musical trio that Beethoven was one of the first to compose for. While the famous Gassenhauer, with its popular third movement that mimics an opera composition, is cause for much excitement, Bircher tells us that the Hartmann is what they are ‘most keen on’. The performance will be more intimate than a large orchestral one, so look out for an evening to be enjoyed by those with a love for ‘chamber music of the late classical and early romantic eras’.
November 30. At Alliance Francaise, Vasanthnagar. Entry through donor passes. Details: 41285017

— Susanna Chandy

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Turistas, Movies Now, 5 pm
Cast: Josh Duhamel, Melissa George (Horror)
While traveling on vacation through the country of Northeastern of Brazil by bus, Alex (Josh Duhamel ) with his friend and sister meet foreigners Pru Stagler and his group. When their bus meets with an accident, they follow a track through the woods and find a hidden beach. They decide to stay and party with the locals. When they wake up the next day they find all their belongings have been stolen. The entire filmwas shot in Brazil.

The Dust Factory, MGM, 9 pm
Cast: Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Kelley (Fantasy)
After his dad Ryan senior’s death in a truck accident, school boy Ryan Flynn (Ryan Kelley) becomes a recluse. One day, while roaming the countryside, Ryan falls off a bridge and finds himself transported to a strange fantasy world called The Dust Factory, where he encounters his Grandpa Randolph (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and a pretty girl named Melanie (Hayden Panettiere). It is a parallel universe for those who are on the brink of death. The movie is the first directorial credit for Eric Small, who also wrote the film’s screenplay.

Assault on Precinct 13, Zee Studio, 10.30 pm
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne (Action)
Notorious cop-killer and mobster, Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne), is unexpectedly brought into the precinct during a blizzard on New Year’s Eve, much to the dismay of police sergeant Jake Roenick (Ethan Hawke) whose police station is about to be shut down for good. Roenick has to rally cops and criminals to save themselves from a mob looking to kill Bishop who will testify against them. Mark Wahlberg was originally offered the role of Jake Roenick but turned it down.

Bhool Bhulaiya, UTV Movies, 4 pm
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Shiney Ahuja (Thriller)
Ignoring the advice of his family, Siddharth (Shiney Ahuja), a descendant of a yesteryear Maharaja and his wife, start living in the palatial home that is supposed to be haunted. When strange incidents take place in the house, and evidence suggests that one member of the family may be suffering from psychological problems, Siddharth asks his friend Dr Aditya (Akshay Kumar), a trained psychiatrist for help. It is the official remake of Malayalam film, Manichitrathazhu.

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Swiss-born Erik Truffaz talks about jazz as his passion

On picking the trumpet.
I was in a marching band when I was a kid, and I chose this instrument. The beauty and the sound had me all dreamy. It is a popular instrument but difficult, like violin or sitar, to master. It has taught me to be modest, humble and to learn how to breathe.

Musical influences.
French Variety from 5 to 10 years and there after rock, jazz, classical, EDM and world music. But not all the music in each section. Perhaps only 10 per cent!

Distinct sound.
I love riff, melodies and atmosphere. That is what rules the compositions.

Future plans.
I am planning to do a piece that I had written with a classical orchestra next spring and then release a record soon too.

Dream collaborations.
Hariprasad Chaurasia, Trilok Gurtu, Anouar Brahem, Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno.

Jazz and contemporary culture.
Sometimes jazz is contemporary and sometimes classical but you just have to imagine that we would never have had rock music without blues! There are so many sub-genres, it will never die out.
At CounterCulture, Whitefield. Tickets (Rs400) at bookmyshow.com

—Aakanksha Devi

 

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    Porsche Design P9982 Blackberry

    Picture 1 of 7

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      On the verge of launching her first experiential store in Bangalore with seven to follow in the south, the head of Vu says that life should be a good mix of hard work, shopping, dancing and travel. By Jackie Pinto

      Devita Saraf is refreshingly candid. About her insatiable taste for luxury, her strict fashion forward dress code at work, her notoriously short attention span, friendly sibling rivalry or even her goal of becoming Prime Minister some day. A successful single woman, Saraf lives with her father Raj, mother Vijayrani and big brother, Akash, in

      Pursuit of happiness
      My father taught me to always dress like top management. I have a strict dress code in the office — anyone wearing jeans is fined `500. I have been known to send shabbily dressed or badly groomed employees home.I love limited editions and buy expensive things that make me happy. But I never waste anything.I document all my clothes so that I don’t have to waste time searching for stuff. When I hit 30, I gave away most of my wardrobe. You have to reinvent your fashion sense every couple of years. I love Aruna Seth shoes, Monisha Jaising, Ritu Kumar, Dolce and Gabbana, Christian Dior, Burberry, Karen Millen I find women who dress like their teenage daughters and men dressed in pink or red trousers highly inappropriate.

      Mumbai but moves between her offices in USA and India, and also explores potential markets all over the world to expand her brand of luxury customised televisions – Vu (pronounced view). “We live together as a family, but with separate spaces and individual goals. My father is the chairman of Zenith Computers, my brother is the CEO of Zenith Infotech and I am the CEO of Vu Technology, ” she begins.
      Saraf grew up in Mumbai, studying at Queen Mary’s school and later at HR college, but found the Indian educational system ‘very limiting’. “I hate studying but I love learning. I find exams an insult to intelligence. I once bunked my accounts exam to attend a Nasscom conference,” she tells us. Saraf went to America at 18 to study business administration and marketing at USC in Los Angeles because her dad believed the Americans were the best in the business. She also studied Game Theory and Strategic Thinking from the London School of Economics, and took lots of b2b marketing and e-commerce classes in between. “This March, I addressed the Wharton India Economic Forum. Which was a big deal, since I was the only young woman amongst their top panelists,” she says, describing how she returned home after her studies to head marketing for Zenith Computers and a couple of years later, co-founded the US-based Vu TelePresence and Mumbai-based Vu Technologies.

      The big picture
      Vu TelePresence is based out of Pittsburgh and provides tele-presence solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. “Our USP is affordable solutions with Fortune 500-level service,” she clarifies. Her Vu product line includes intelligent large-screen LED TVs, 3D video cameras, video walls, customised television panels, waterproof LCDs, car TVs and different touch-screen products. “Customisation is key. We start from 32 inches and let customers build up their TVs up to 84 inches, adding in Windows 8, Apple, Linux or Android operating systems and data storage of up to 500GB. It also comes with a remote and wireless keyboard with a range of 33 feet. You can choose your own frame — a simple wood or mirrored look or a Swarovski bling affair designed by Tarun Tahiliani exclusively for us. Prices range from `9 to 15 lakhs,” she explains.

      All business
      Saraf admits that some of her entrepreneurial ideas did not make the cut. Like her plan to roll out Vu cars. “I was too young and inexperienced to carry it through but I certainly hope to some day,” she adds. But her customer philosophy has always been clear. “We are the only ISO 9000 customer service center in India. Quality to us is most important. We also offer a great in-store experience. After Apple, Vu has the best tech shops in the world. I have often positioned myself as a sales assistant and interacted directly with customers to get valuable feedback,” says the down-to-earth entrepreneur.

      Based on her own loyalty club experiences, she introduced the Vu tech concierge club which offers members privileges, discounts, customised accessories, digital design consultancy for homes and exclusive invitations to Vu events. “We just did a trunk show at the Four Seasons that was quite a hit and are planning the same in Bangalore,” she says.

      Big boss theory
      Saraf’s management style is a mix of hands-on engagement, round table staff meetings fuelled by lots of pizza and a fair amount of delegation. “My first store was a disaster

      In my space
      The last book I read for fun was The Mahabharata Secret by Christopher Doyle.
      I enjoy learning Odissi every week to de-stress, getting creative with Ikebana, and designing silver jewellery.
      My favorite website is India.wsj.com – I wrote for them for two years.
      I like to plan my birthday bashes months in advance, and they always rock.
      I pamper myself at new spas.
      My comfort zone is the Willingdon Club.
      I use Luxe Guides to help me find hidden gems in boutique stores across the world.
      I always take first time visitors to the edge of Marine Drive. Sitting dangerously over the ledge just above the tetrapods is a special kind of experience.
      My fitness regime includes yoga in the morning, gym at night and a dance class every Sunday.

      before completion as the architects ditched us. So I went to hardware markets and finished it myself. One of the hardest things about running a business is hiring and firing people because you have to depend on skill and instinct. When I do have to fire someone, I do it discreetly, face to face but honestly”.

      Saraf feels that being a woman in the world of business has distinct benefits. “While I am clear about breaking sexist stereotypes, I also find being a woman gives you the ‘soft advantage’. And you no longer have to dress like a man to prove yourself. But being a CEO is also relentless hard work along with the perks. After work hours, add on travel, late-night conference calls, business networking, endless Chamber of Commerce events and award functions. Lots of eating out and sleeping less. Plus, you have to look fresh and energised the next morning,” she laughs. Moving back to India at 21 and living with her parents after being totally independent in America was quite the culture shock and one she is still coming to terms with. “We are a business-oriented family though and that helps. I remember sitting on my granddad’s work table at home and learning the basics of business at age 7. By the time I was 11, I was reading Handbook to Marketing. My brother entered the business at 16 and I followed suit. I still say that he is excellent at four things while I’m really good at 14,” she candidly confesses.

      On a personal note, Saraf admits that it is not easy finding a man to measure up to strong role models like her father and grandfather. “He should be business savvy, yet very family-oriented,” she insists. In the meantime, she has her sights set on becoming the Prime Minister some day, launching a perfume and working closely with children in the very near future.

      m jackie@newindianexpress.com
      Location courtesy: The Park, MG Road
      Picture courtesy: Nagesh Polali

       

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