Monthly Archives: April 2015
Shop till you drop
Update your wardrobe with Shoppers Stop’s spring/summer collection. Featuring pop tints and supple silhouettes, expect dresses, pencil skirts, jumpsuits, crop tops, graphic tees and shorts.There’s also printed bags, sunglasses, jewellery and footwear to choose from.From Rs 699 onwards.
Print on mundu
With motifs that stir memories of Kerala—from tea shops and bicycles, to people climbing coconut trees—Kerala-based brand Rouka by Sreejith Jeevan brings its summer collection to town. Titled Coming Home, it reinvents the traditional white mundu (sarong) and features classic silhouettes in tops and palazzo pants. At The Amethyst Room. Till April 30. Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. Details: 43042099
The desi mix
Inspired by the season of sunshine, Designer Priyanka Gupta presents Summer featuring saris, lehenga saris and maxi dresses in georgette and chiffon fabrics. The colour palette ranges from pastel shades of peach, pink, yellow and turquoise blue to coral green. Available at Evoluzione. The products begin from Rs 18,000. Details: 28333627
Over 90 women get set to perform at Dance Hour with Athma Laya
Dance Hour with Athma Laya, the brainchild of Bharatanatyam dancer Mala Bharath, stands by the belief that it is never too late to start something new. Having danced from when she was four, Bharath, in her 40s, understands the profound effect dance can have on a person. “From learning mythology to understanding music and dance, or even getting a good workout, dance brings out positive emotions,” says Bharath, who founded Athma Laya, the dance school, to encourage women to follow their passion.
Dance Hour is a weekly session—conducted at different centres across the city, like Adyar, Anna Nagar, Mylapore and Velachery—that is open to women of all age groups. It uses Bharatanatyam as the base and incorporates simple steps and meditation techniques. “Not all women are fortunate enough to continue dancing once they begin working or start a family. This is an effort to help them help themselves. There is no better form of therapy. We have a three-part programme: dance steps to bring out physical flexibility and body-mind coordination, expressions to bring out positivity and various techniques of meditation,” she says.
This Sunday, over 90 women—who participated in these sessions over the last year—will get together to perform at Athma Laya’s Dance Nite. A cause for celebration, indeed.
Sunday, at Chettinad Vidyashram Auditorium, RA Puram, from 6 pm. Free entry. Over 90 women are expected to perform. Details: www.athmalaya.in
Preethi Ann Thomas
In his first theatre workshop here, Salim Ghouse wants to take the imitation out of acting
For many of us, he is the Krishna of Shyam Benegal’s TV serial, Bharat Ek Khoj, and the villain in movies like Vettaikaaran and Vetri Vizha. But according to Salim Ghouse, he is first and foremost a theatre artiste. “I call myself a cosmic fool,” he begins. “I sign one silly-named film a year, invest my time and professionalism, and make enough money so I can take the next six months off—to do something that doesn’t give me any money, which is theatre.”
The Mumbai-based creative director of The Phoenix Players, a theatre group established in 1984, is on a mission—to approach every production with originality and to dispel the belief that acting is imitation. In his very first theatre workshop in the city, Ghouse says he wants to reinforce the fact that “acting is interpreting and not projecting. Most actors mimic—like they believe an angry person will act a certain way. But my approach is difficult, it’s more real—I insist that acting is behaving and only comes when you interpret a scene with the truth of your understanding. It needs to come out of your personal truth and experiences.”
Titled Simple Secrets: Play Around, the two-day workshop will cover callisthenics, movement, improvisation, character and scene study. “I have structured it as a journey that begins with learning the basics of fitness—from something as simple as how to stand or walk correctly. If you look like a sack of potatoes on stage, the audience will immediately disconnect,” says the 50-something actor. A grandmaster in karate, besides being trained in martial art forms like Tai Chi and Kalari, Ghose also gives a lot of importance to movement. “I am going to ask people to sit, move and discover what they know and don’t know. I will also use a lot of improvisation—they will be given situations that they may not know everything about. So they’ll have to make up lines, be spontaneous. I call this discovering behaviour, where one has to keep one’s instincts and impulses open,” he explains.
Ode to the Bard
Ghose promises this will be just the first of many workshops to come. He wants to bring down dedicated workshops for speech (“where passages will be ripped apart and studied for pauses and stress”), movement (“with Tai Chi and Chi Kung”) and even a workshop on self defence for women. “I also want to bring down Shakespearewallah, a tribute I created last year on the Bard’s 450th birth anniversary. It is a minimalist play that incorporates some of my favourite Shakespearean characters and is told using the metaphor of an old actor-clown who is dying,” he concludes.
At Studio 360, Gopalapuram, on May 2-3, from 10 am to 4.30 pm. Rs 3,000. Details: 9677172897
Surya Praphulla Kumar
returns with Under the Mangosteen Tree, a revival of stories by writer MK Basheer
It has been a decade and Chennai-based theatre group Perch’s love for VM Basheer’s works has only matured. Starting with Moonshine and Skytoffee, a 2004 play based on two of the Malayalam writer’s short love stories, the group has been giving the audience a taste of his works in regular doses. This weekend, they are ready to stage another sample of Basheer’s satire and wit with the play, Under the Mangosteen Tree.
The one-hour-50-minute show seamlessly interweaves six stories—Poovan Banana (Poovan Pazham), The Blue Light (Neela Velicham), Walls (Mathilukal), Voices (Shabdangal), The World Renowned Nose (Viswavikhayatamaya Mookku) and The Man (Oru Manushyan). “Neela Vilicham— which is about Basheer coming to a house where a girl had committed suicide, and having conversations with her—is the central story. The other five stories are woven into it in a non-linear fashion,” says director Rajiv Krishnan.
Though all the stories take place in Kerala, Krishnan says there was no effort to locate it in the state or a particular period. “But we do have actors sporting the mapla (Muslim) costume or a kurta with mundu, like Basheer did. Also, hits of singers KL Saigal, MS Subbulakshmi and Talat Mahmood will run in the background, as those were Basheer’s favourites,” he says.
The play was staged as Sangathi Arinhya (Have you heard!) several times, before it was revived last year with a new title. “We wanted to make it crisper. So we removed a large scene, trimmed the cast down to seven (from nine), and used six stories instead of seven,” he says. “And we named it Under the Mangosteen Tree after a festival we’d organised for Basheer’s centenary (in 2008),” he signs off.
At Alliance Francaise, on April 25-26, at 3.30 pm and 7.30 pm. Rs 200. Details: eventjini.com
Avial promises fans a mix of favourites as they get ready to play at a mall for the first time
Call them what you will—pioneers, trendsetters or just plain passionate—but Avial would rather be known for their music. The four-member alternative rock band, set up in 2003 and renowned for singing only in Malayalam, is no stranger to the city, but this weekend they are excited to be here. “We’ve been to Chennai before, but this is the first time we will be playing in a mall. So we are eager to see how this goes,” says Tony John, the lead singer who always gets the applause for his signature style—singing in a lungi. Despite criticism that John has been having some trouble with his voice (Rolling Stone magazine commented that he’s been resting his vocals often at recent concerts), the singer says they will be bringing their best sound to town.
How do you see yourselves?
We are very comfortable with each other—we hang out and joke around a lot. We think that really brings the band together. Rex Vijayan is the mastermind—he’s an ace guitarist, composer and producer. Benjamin (bass guitar) and Mithun (drums) are silent boys, but when they are on stage, they bring madness with their instruments. And I bring fabulous stage presence (laughs).
Why the emphasis on social issues with folksy lyrics?
We’ve seen enough social issues while growing up in Kerala. We also grew up listening to bands and artistes who wrote and sang about social issues. But youngsters today don’t know much about folklore. So we decided to revive them. The folksy element also makes our sound more real and relevant, we think. The poetry elevates our music to another level. We feel our songs have made a huge impact—and not just in Kerala. Crowds in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata sing along to songs like Chekele in our concerts.
You’ve experimented with other instruments.
We are a rock band, so the music is predominantly guitar, bass and drums driven. Once in a while, though, we like to experiment with new instruments—but only when it fits a song. We used a sitar, with effects, in the Karukara intro and played a mandolin in Ayyo. Both were appropriate and elevated the songs.
What can we expect this time?
We’re going to be to playing our old tracks and a lot of crowd favourites. Some of them will be in a different style and format.
Your music repertoire.
We’ve done one full length album, Avial, and about five singles for Malayalam films. We also did one international collaboration, with Italian band A67. We are currently working on some new tracks and once all of them come together, we will announce an album.
What about collaborations?
We haven’t thought of any collaboration lately, but we know there’s so much of young and upcoming talent in the country. We’ve been listening to a lot of new bands and singers nowadays. At the right time and right place, we might just do something.
On Sunday, at Phoenix Market City. Details: 30083008
Surya Praphulla Kumar
Apparao Galleries looks to the game of chess for inspiration for its latest exhibit
Of kings and queens and pawns and rooks, the game of chess is a popular one—with local heroes, like grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, and cultural echoes harking back to the Mahabharatha. And converting it into art form was an idea that had been in Sharan Apparao’s mind for years. “Over 30 years ago, an artiste had created a chess set out of terracotta and I’d simply loved it. Then a few years ago, a gallery in London had done one with the famous artiste Damien Hirst. The idea kept speaking to me, pushing me into doing this exhibition, The Art of Chess,” says the owner of Apparao Galleries.
With its debut at the Delhi Art Fair in January, the exhibition, which opens in the city on Tuesday, features 20 artistes. “While some of them have used the idea literally, in a decorative way, others have taken an intellectual, even provocative, approach—like Prasanna who used nibs to talk about the battle of words and city-based George K who did several works, including one where all the pieces are white to signify that we never win any battle,” she explains.
For the artists, it was a journey of interpreting the chess board in a variety of ways. “It is an intellectual game that depends on one sense, sight. I wanted to see how things would change if I altered that reality of recognition—if I replaced sight with taste or smell,” says George of his five pieces, which de-construct the game—like a chess board with sugar cubes (each with a different flavour). For local artiste N Ramachandran, newspapers were his inspiration. “We hold them aloft while reading, so the pictures appear vertical. So I made my magnetic chess board vertical—with magnetic pieces—allowing you to hang it on the wall like a painting,” he says, adding that the pieces are finished in gold leaf and newspaper to denote the struggle between society and power.
Check out the others at the gallery, till June 30. Details: 28332226
Surya Praphulla Kumar
Playing with mud
Help your kids get their hand dirty, creatively. Art Houz is organising a two-day terracotta workshop for children above 10, where they will be taught how to work with clay, use techniques like coil pot (stacking coils of clay) and slab method (etching) to create small Ganeshas and other figurines. The workshop will be led by trained sculptors. On April 27-28, from 10 am to 1 pm. Rs 3,000. Details: 8220530777
Form and function
If you are heading to Delhi, drop by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Saket. It is hosting a group show by 30 artists, titled Constructs/Constructions. Featuring names like sculptor Adi Davierwala and artist Dayanita Singh, it explores the relationship between the manifestation of ideas and the act of making. Till December 15. Details: 011 49160000
Of clay and kilns
For a more detailed approach to pottery, register for the Summer Workshops at Pothole, at The Farm on OMR. For anyone above 12, the six-day workshop will include three days of making—learn hand-building techniques to create figurines and ceramic beads, and how to use the potter’s wheel. The last three days will concentrate on loading the kiln and firing the pieces. May 4-9, from 10 am to 12.30 pm. Rs 3,500. Details: 9884144693
‘‘My new film, Kangaroo, will have the flavour of my earlier ones, but sans the controversial elements,’’ assures director Samy. Controversies have dogged him since his first film, mainly due to his unconventional themes. But this time, his plot revolves around sibling bonding. With music by singer Srinivas, the film, which releases today, stars Arjuna (who played a supporting role in Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaya),
Priyanka and Varsha.
Horror at work
With its plot centered around the happenings in an IT company, Yoogan promises to be an exciting horror-suspense flick . Kamal, an editor with three films to his credit, debuts as producer-director. “The treatment will be different from the routine horror flicks of recent times,” he says. Hitting theatres today, it stars Yashmith ( who has essayed brief roles in films like Irandam Ulagam) and Sakshi Agarwal.
The film releasing today is the comic-thriller, Iridium. Directed by debutant Sai Mukundan, it has newbies Mohan Kumar and Arushi in the lead, with Powerstar Srinivasan for comedy. The director says, “It’s about a temple struck by lighting and of how the rumour of the presence of iridium—exposure to which can cause burns and other ill effects—affects the lives of the people there.”
Three to go
At a time when actors are striving to look younger, we have Akshay Kumar sporting a salt and pepper look. Incidentally, the selection of films the 47-year-old has signed for this year, starting with Gabbar is Back is also worth discussing. A remake of the Tamil film Ramana, Kumar will be seen playing a vigilante. Next up is Brothers, which also has Sidharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez and Jackie Shroff in pivotal roles. The actor, who recently tweeted a picture of Jacqueline and him, with director Karan Malhotra, said, “The last of the love and hugs of #Brothers. My final shot of a film that my body and soul will never forget!! Many thanks.” Finally, there is Airlift, in which he plays a millionaire involved in the biggest evacuation in the world that took place in Kuwait.
Irrfan Khan and Deepika Padukone’s refreshing chemistry in the upcoming Piku is doing the rounds. While the two had a blast shooting, we hear they also pulled a prank on the cast and crew, including director Shoojit Sircar. Recalling the incident, a source said, “Both Irrfan and Deepika were discussing an important sequence when, all of a sudden, both of them started yelling at each other. Not knowing what to do, the entire crew along with director Sircar, gathered around the actors and tried reasoning with them. But it was of no use.” The actors then stormed to their vans and didn’t come out for half an hour. Later, when they were called for a scene, everyone on set was tense. But turns out, seeing their faces, the stars burst into uncontrollable laughter. That’s when they realised the duo had planned it all.
Blast from the past
Mohenjo Daro will once again bring together Ashutosh Gowariker and Hrithik Roshan, after Jodha Akbar. “The film is going very well. The shooting is progressing fantastically. We are working very hard, in the middle of dust storms. It is a tough shoot. People are fainting on set. But we are at it,” the actor said in a recent interview. The film is an epic love story set during the Indus Valley Civilisation. Southern actress, Pooja Hegde, will make her Bollywood debut with this film. It is also said that Roshan worked for three months with UK-based trainer Joshua Kyle Baker to perfect his physique—as Gowariker wanted him to look agile and less muscular.
The ultimate lavani
Dance of Envy from Dil Toh Pagal Hain—with Karisma Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit—had left us spellbound. Then came Dola Re with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Dixit from Devdas, another iconic number. But what has us excited now is the dance number featuring Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone in the upcoming drama, Bajirao Mastani. The two divas have been busy rehearsing the lavani number. But we are curious to know if it is a jugalbandi or a dance-off. The two friends recently took to Twitter to express their excitement about the dance performance
and even engaged in some friendly banter.
The film Non-Stop sees an air marshal (Liam Neeson) spring into action during a Trans-Atlantic flight. Returning after being on forced leave, he begins to receive messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account. But things
get worse, and all fingers begin to point back to him. Sunday at 9 pm on Star Movies
Hunt for quirk
Host Jason Bradbury uses quirky science and eye-witness accounts to explore the down-right peculiar on World’s Strangest. The series aims to discover the mysteries and scientific truths behind some of the most intriguing places, vehicles, jobs, inventions and explosions. April 22, Wednesday, 9 pm on Discovery Turbo
Past catches up
Lead couple Kate Beckett and Rick Castle face deadly consequences when they have disturbing and recurring dreams, on the thriller Castle. Titled Sleeper, expect to find out where Castle really was, when he went missing earlier in the season. Dark shots and guns hint at a mysterious
episode. Wednesdays at 10 pm on Star World Premiere
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