Daily Archives: Mar 7, 2014
Somatics, painting exhibitions and gigs for music lovers. There is plenty to do this weekend
Back on track
SecSat Pondy is organising two performances a��Powerlyne with ace guitarist Johnny Bedford backed by Anthony Bastien on rhythm guitar, Joel Bruce on bass guitar and Uma Shankar on drums. Their line-up includes rock favourites from Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and more. And Abhijith Kishan aka Abi will perform pop hits from MJ, Skrillex and Daft Punk. At Segulls restaurant, tomorrow, from 7.30 pm onwards. Details: 0413 2338643
Root out pain
Head to Auroville and attend Somatic Exploration, a workshop by Maggie Sission that will focus on muscular and joint pain. Somatics is the term given for a field of alternative medicine and therapies. Aurovillean Sission has been working on somatics for about 14 years and conducting workshops for the past nine years. Workshop fee: Rs. 240. At Verita Hall, in Auroville. From March 12, on all Wednesdays. Details: 0413 2622320
Doss in focus
DakshinaChitra is organising a painting exhibition by Bangalore-based artist Alphonso Arul Doss, known for using the gemstone effect in his work. Also at the venue, there is an exhibition by Chennai-based artist, C Dakshinamurthy, who focusses on Lord Ganesha in various forms and sculptures. At the Gallery. Till March 10. Details: 24462435
Artika cafe/gallery is presenting the work of Delhi-based, self-taught artist, Vinita Vasu, under the theme Feminine Fables. It explores inner strength and the beauty behind the ghunghat and purdah (veil). Curated by Mumbai-based artist Pankaj Mistry, this exhibition explores the representation of women and talks about their strong-willed personalities. At Artika. Till March 13, 9 am. Details: 0413 4300080
Danstheater Tanjore Quartet Aurodhan presents Heavenly Illumination, a classical and contemporary performance by Bharatanatyam artistes Ram Kishna and Suresh Kishna from the Netherlands. Choreographed by the siblings, along with KPK Chandrasekaran, the son of Tanjore-based professor KPK Kitappa Pillai, the dancers promise an authentic, precise and stylish performance. At Krtashraya, Aurodhan Gardens, Auroville. Today, from 8 pm onwards. Details: 0413 2222795
a�� Team Indulge
SnA� girl Sweta Mathur on the flexibility pop up shops afford and why her clothes may become a summer staple
Sweta Mathur, 29, a design student, launchedA� her western wear line for women, SnA�, almost two years ago. A pret line, she has tops, dresses and scarves, and insists her clothes can easily transform from one occasion to anothera��a vacation, casual outing with friends, evening weara��with minimal maintenance and elegant lines. a�?Since my student days I wanted to design a brand for women with beautiful, elegant cuts and soft, rich fabric. For me richness in fabric is its colour, weave and feel. I mostly work with natural fibres,a�? she says. Her second collection is inspired by soft viscose rayon. a�?It has a lovely fall and is very comfortable to wear and is perfect for a hotter climate,a�? she continues.
Mathur believes that comfort is the most important thing in clothingA� as , a�?in my experience, when clothes fit just right, there is an elegance in posture that emerges. This is the SnA� ladya��she is a person who is confident, simple, appreciates beauty, is elegant, fun and a traveller at heart,a�? says the designer from Bangalore who now calls Pondicherry her home. She believes in taking inspiration from everythinga��be it a flower, leaf, dance, photograph or a fish. a�?And thata��s why Pondicherry is so good for me. There is inspiration at every corner, a picture to be taken, a story to be written about. Hence, I always carry a sketch book with me.
It has a beautiful mA�lange of culture and visitors from elsewhere, giving you a glimpse of their world,a�? explains Mathur, who came to Pondicherry six months ago. For the time being, Mathur prefers retailing from pop up shops as it gives her a chance to meet customers directly. a�?Ia��m in talks with retail stores in Pondicherry, Bangalore and Chennai. I will have a store soon in Pondy. However, one can always sayA� a�?helloa�� on Facebook and order something from the collection,a�? she concludes.
Her dresses are priced from Rs. 890 onwards. Details: 7708273140, facebook.com/snoindia
a�� Mrinalini Sundar
EVERY TIME you visit DakshinaChitra, you are treated to something cultural or handcrafted or encouraged to bring home a new skill. This season, the cross-cultural living museum on the ECR celebrates design accents, with a workshop on the Chettinad Athangudi tiles today and a week-long course on the Spanish Cuerda Seca technique, starting Monday. For the latter, they have brought down Miguel Angel Lancha Sanchez from the historic city of Toledo, though the Indophile admits he did not need much persuasion. Back from a refreshing spell on Varkalaa��s beaches, he hopes to head to Kodaikanal after the workshop.
Cuerda Seca literally translates as a�?dry ropea��, though the art that goes back to the 10th century (a�?a�?during the Islamic period in Spain,a��a�� according to Sanchez), deals with lines, not rope. The surface decoration technique sees the design outlined with a resist made of manganese dioxide. Coloured glazes are filled in between the lines. Popular on clock faces, vases, jars, plates and tiles, this decoration techiniqe can be applied to any culture, shares Sanchez, 57, who has been inspired by Indian iconography in the past. Extinct even back home, it has many takers in Japan and Australia. Sancheza��s plates are covered with blooms and arabesque and geometric motifs. A plate (33 sq cm), which takes a day to make, is retailed at 90 euros.
Journey of life
Practising karma yoga in right earnest, after his many visits to India, Sanchez calls himself a�?a vehiclea��, and looks forward to sharing his skills with the experimental potters at DakshinaChitra. Since this is an advanced class, participants are encouraged to bring bisqued tiles, plates and vases to experiment on.
From March 10 to 16, Dakshina-Chitra, 10 am to 5 pm. Rs. 5,000 per head. Details: 9841436149
a�� Team Indulge
The 3 Days to Kill actor talks about movie choices and using a gun with grace
BETTER known as Johnny Deppa��s girlfriend theseA� days Amber Heard has great screen presence, is charismatic and is often regarded as a sex symbol. Yet the actress has not got her due in the industrya��not surprising considering her repertoire of films like Never Back Down, The Stepfather and The Rum Diary. While her cameo in the horror-comedy Zombieland created quite an impression, her latest film, 3 Days to Kill, directed by McGa��where she co-starred with Kevin Costner as one of the CIAa��s elite assassinsa��has destroyed any credibility by going belly up.
The media, it seems, is more interested in her personal life. Her relationship with Depp has been going through some interesting phases. Earlier this year, the Texas native reportedly wanted to announce her love to the world and even gave Depp the go-public-or-else ultimatum. However, when he did not budge, Heard walked out on the actor and went back to her former lesbian lover, Tasya van Ree. It appears our actor finally gave in and Heard now sports her ring at every award function and launch party. Meanwhile, shea��s also been quite active on the social circuit. The actress recently visited the California Science Center, along with other stars like Sharon Stone, Larry King, Anna Kendrick and Lupita Nyonga��o, to meet his Holiness the Dalai Lama.A� She tells us about 3 Days to Kill and being selective in Hollywood.
What attracted you to the role?
I liked the liberty and freedom that is awarded to a character that isna��t bound by the physical or social laws that the rest of us, or the rest of the characters in the story, are governed by. She exists in her own world. You get the idea that shea��s created a kind of niche role for herself within the organisation, and that shea��s the only one for this sort of work.
Are you selective with your work?
I try to be as selective as I can. Ita��s hard to balance the selective approach with the reality of the nature of the industry. Being selective is a moot point when therea��s absolutely no options or selection out there.
Do you show the actors how to use guns?
It depends on the gun. It also depends on the nature of the scene.
Tell me about your next film, London Fields.
It is one of the most compelling and difficult characters Ia��ve done. It was one of the most difficult, exhilarating, rewarding and compelling processes Ia��ve ever gone through. Matthew Cullen directed it and ita��s based on the novel of the same name by Martin Amis. I think ita��s going to be an incredible movie.
Director Kalaprabhu on his new venture, Indrajith, his famous dad and a lot more
Five years ago, director Kalaprabhua��s debut film, Sakkarakatti, was a damp squib at the box office. Since then the son of producer Kalaipuli S Thanu has been working on several scripts. But it wasna��t until he saw his nephew playing Uncharteda��a third person shooter platform video gamea��that he got the inspiration for his second project. An action adventure, Indrajith centres on a protagonist with the ability to be anywhere at any time.
Actor Gautham Karthik, who impressed fans in Mani Ratnama��s Kadal, was the directora��s first choice for the role. a�?He is an energetic person, both on- and off-screen. He also has a face that suits any charactera��be it North Indian or South Indiana��and can adapt to any kind of situation. When the movie comes out, the audience will realise why I chose him,a�? says Kalaprabhu, adding that the filma��s name is inspired by Indrajitha��a negative character from the Ramayana, who was invincible in the Yajna battle between Rama and Ravana.
Perhaps taking off from that mythical reference, the director has signed on Sonarika, the Hindi television actress who played Parvathi and Adi Shakti in the mythological series, Devon Ke Deva��Mahadev. This will be her Tamil debut.
The right moves
For his second outing at the cinemas, Kalaprabhu is making sure all his bases are covered. So he has roped in Shankar Ehsaan Loy to score the filma��s music. a�?They are undoubtedly the top players in Bollywood. And though they are new in Tamil cinema, they are popular. Their songs will be different and will surely entertain the audience,a�? he says. The director has also made sure the locales are interesting, shooting in places like Lingamala near Mahabaleshwar, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
Finding his way
An oft-asked question is why he doesna��t work with his father, the man behind big hits like Thuppaki, Kaakha Kaakha and Kandukondain Kandukondain. But Kalaprabhu is firm: a�?My father does not mix his professional and personal lives.a�? Besides, hea��d like to make a name for himself. a�?There is a good writer in me and I prefer writing scripts for my movies. However, that doesna��t mean I wona��t work with someone who comes to me with a nice script.a�?
After Indrajith, Kala-prabhu wants to make Mummunai, one of the many scripts hea��s been working on over the last five years. a�?I have put the project on hold because it needs a huge budget. I call it my dream project,a�? he concludes.
a�� Nivedhitha Sathyanarayanan
Artist Olaf Van Cleef is back to share his affordable Black and White collection and plans for Bhutan
Fans of Dutch artist Olaf Van Cleef are no strangers to his unique style that combines expert brushstrokes and water colours with kitchy elements like chocolate wrappers and Swarovski crystals. A counsellor with Cartier, Van Cleefa��s love of India (hea��s been visiting since the age of 13) and of jewellery inspired him to start painting and embellishing Hindu gods (a�?your gods have more diamonds than Christa�?), many of which adorn the puja rooms of his clients around the country. But now, the 64-year-old is on the lookout for new ideas.
First off the brush is his Black and White collection. Stark yet intricate, the paintings are a drastic departure from his usual style. In fact, at a recent exhibition in Pondicherry, Van Cleef said he had people asking him, a�?What is this sacrilege?a�? He admits: a�?This style is totally out-of-the-box for me. But I love the juxtaposition of black and white and, moreover, I wanted to create a collection that everyone can afford.a�? The paintings, which cost Rs. 25,000, are on sale at the Van Cleef Hall in Pondicherry.
Piety and penises
Up next is an exhibition in Bhutan (in September next year) and a commission of 30 paintings for the Bhutanese royal family. While he plans to feature a few Buddhasa��a request from the Queen Mothera��he will also indulge his irreverent side and feature some a�?bejewelled penisesa�?. a�?The penis may be taboo in India, but ita��s not so in Bhutan. There, ita��s a symbol of happiness and family. In fact, there are giant paintings of them outside homes with several children,a�? he laughs.
Van Cleef Hall is available on rent. Details: 9786698256
a��Surya Praphulla Kumar
Swarnamalya Ganesh revives dance from the Nayak period, together with an exhibition
Embarking on her doctoral research seven years ago, on the Nayak perioda��s influence on Bharatanatyam, little did renowned dancer and actor Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh know she would find herself entwined in the multifaceted history of Bharatanatyam. Examining the lack of evidence on the dance post the Chola period, Ganesh was keen on exhibiting the rich contributions of the Nayak period to the dance form and reconstructing the repertoire of the same. Born from her exhaustive research, Ganesh will debut her findings as an introductory film, a curated exhibition, a lecture and a grand performance. a�?In order to spread the context and relevance of these lost repertoires, I have also put together a special exhibition of paintings, sculptures, rare portraits, photos, costumes, jewellery, and audio footage,a�? says Ganesh. Along with this, she will deliver a lecture which explores interesting stories and anecdotes from the Nayak period at the MGR Janaki College of Arts and Sciences, titled Tales from the Attic.
Pan Indian connect
a�?Bharatanatyam is not just a dance form. Wea��re dealing with a 1,000-year history, so ita��s not only hard to connect the dots, ita��s also important to involve other art forms such as sculpture and music,a�? feels Ganesh. The highlight of her work, however is the pan-international connections Bharatanatyam hasa��Sufism found its way into the form through the spice route, while the Marathi Lavani and Gondhal traditions permeated Bharatanatyam over time. a�?Plus, the Devadasis were instrumental in the evolution of the dance,a�? shares Ganesh. Having studied the art form rendered by Devadasisa��the hereditary performersa��she reminisces on how they were the true proponents of the dance. a�?They were immersed in all aspects of performancea��they would sing, dance and play instruments, too,a�? says Ganesh.
For her, the reconstruction of dance repertoire in the Nayak period is far more than a history lesson. a�?Wea��re involving Gondhal players and Manganiyar Sufi singers. Only very little of the final product is rehearsed and I want to bring back the extempore tradition to a public that is used to seeing extensively curated solo performances,a�? she says. Explaining the origin of the name From the Attic, Ganesh says, a�?We normally leave things of the past in the attic, but years later, revisiting them grounds us and gives us a sense of identity,a�? she concludes.
FromA� TheA� Attic is at the Music Academy on March 19. A curated exhibition on the Nayak and post Nayak periods is at the Roja Muthiah Research Lab from March 15 to 20. A lecture at the MGR Janaki College of Arts and Sciences is on March 14. Details: 9840424703
a�� Divya Karthikeyan
Block your Sunday for Showboat, a series of three plays and two mimes by theatre group Unarviyam
SATIRE, humour, suspense and guilta��are neatly packaged, as Unarviyam brings to town a mix of genres as part of their experimental theatre. Started in 2011, this theatre group of youngsters brings us three plays and two mimes this season. According to Vatsan Natarajan, from Chennai, who has directed a play and a mime for the event, the evening will split the audience into different moods. a�?There is Prashanth Ramasamy, who is directing a play. Then there is Karthick GJ, who is directing a mime and Karthik TMK,A� who is also directing a play. There are totally 13 actors, five plays, four directors, three composers and a group of production members,a�? he says. As a weekend finale, look out for a�� Cut & Dried, Saving Little Jim, Rage, Inglorious Barber and The Lootera��s Looty.
Love and action
Unarviyam has more than 20 shows to their credit and Natarajan has been a part of the group right from the begining. Dabbling in plays and mimes, he says, a�?If I should consider writing my own script and directing, mime is more challenging. All that a word can express must be conveyed through gestures in mime, which create limitations. Sometimes one word in a play might require five different gestures in a mime. So scripting and directing a mime is more complex and meticulous,a�? admits the 24-year-old, who is a programmer analyst at Cognizant Technology Solutions.A� Though a fan of suspense and satire, Natarajan shares, a�?I also perform and, as an actor, I love all genres. For writing, I wish to explore others like tragedy and action,a�? he says.
With over 20 theatre groups in the city, a play a week is no surprise. While theatre members in the city like Krishna Kumar from Evam and P C Ramakrishnan from The Madras Players have insisted thatA� the status of theatre in Chennai is improving, smaller groups like Unarviyam hope for a bigger audience. a�?There isA� quite a good number of people following theatre here. Every team has their own loyalists. But I feel common audiences who watch and follow all theatre performances are less. They should also try the lesser-known groups.a�? And who does Natarajan consider as inspiration? a�?Every good theatrical act I witness inspires and motivates me continuously. There are so many passionate performers around, and watching every performance is a lesson. I have of late loved the work of Evam,a�? he concludes.
At Music Academy on March 9, from 6 pm onwards. Tickets at Rs. 200. Details: 8939507885
a�� Mrinalini Sundar
Music, speech and drawings intertwine in Line of Fire at The Alliance FranA�aise, as a soldiera��s diary comes alive
Alliance FranA�aise is always buzzing with activity. But March 11 is special, as renowned French illustrator and writer Stephane Barroux showcases an onstage graphic representation of his book, On Les Aura (Line of fire). Barroux discovered a notebook, hidden in a pile of garbage, few years ago in garbagea�� it turned out to be a soldiera��s diary from the war in 1914.He saw the discovery as a sign and sketched the events in a graphic novel. The event will have Barroux accompanied on stage by French guitarist Julien Joubert. a�?a�?I feel very comfortable because I play my own style, inspired by rock and blues. I use quite a lot of effects, loops and layers. I work on the atmosphere according to the story Barroux is reading. Then, when he draws, I push the musical parts further,a��a�� says Joubert.
Both the artists share the same studio in Paris, so the collaboration came easily. a�?a�?Barroux was asked by this famous French museum to do a public reading of his book and he asked me to join him on the musical part.A�The first rehearsals where all about long musical improvisations along with Barrouxa��s reading. So we defined the spine of the interpretation pretty quickly. Now we allow ourselves some improvisation,a��a�� says Joubert, who is also working on music for videogames while touring Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram.
While Barroux is coming to the city for the first time, this is Jouberta��s third visit. He had previously played at Alliance FranA�aise in 2009 with the French rock band Kwak, and recorded in the city with classical singer, PriyaA� Chandramouli. However, this time Joubert hopes to spend time by the sea and traverse the city.
At Alliance FranA�aise, on March 11, from 7.30 pm onwards. Free entry. Details: 28271477
a�� Mrinalini Sundar
THAT Arya Rajam has not followed her mother into the world of dance maybe surprising to some, but the apple has not fallen far from the tree when it comes to determination and being a free spirit. The 27-year-old did learn a dance forma��the Russian balleta�� all for the sake of her first novel, Blood, Sweat and Tears. Launched last year, the novel talks about Zaria, an aspiring ballerina. a�?The book is about her journey of life and the drama as a ballet dancer,a�? says Rajam. She then shares her mothera��s role in her own life. a�?She has always asked me to follow my heart,a�? she says. For Womena��s Day, the writer will be reading passages from her book, at 136.1 Yoga Studio in Alwarpet. The session will end with a Q&A session with Shekinah Jacob, the Chennai playwright. Also look out for soulful music by Vedanth Bharadwaj.
Strength of a woman
Rajam shares what she learned as a young woman,a�?a�?be ambitious and let nothing stop you. My mother always told me this.a��a��Jacob has already read the book and hopes to find out more about it through the session and, for the occasion, she says, a�?a�?Our sensibilities and experiences give us a voice that is not only uniquely enjoyable, but can also show us the way forward.a��a��
The upcoming novelist wishes to tour schools in the country to encourage students to read and write stories and poetry, a�?I want youngsters to consider a career in writing,a�? she concludes.
At 136.1 Yoga Studio, Alwarpet, tomorrow. Details: 42347670
A�a�� Mrinalini Sundar
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