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Must calendar (of things to do in 2014)


Holding a mirror to nature
Cochin-based artist Sosa Joseph will have her solo exhibition at Galerie Mirchandani and Steinrucke at Colaba in February. Embodying images drawn from the world around her -- mainly the graphic experience of coastal living in Kerala -- she tries to investigate the emotional and spatial qualities of her environment and that of her personal life. She blurs the boundaries between the two in her works.

In both her small and large format paintings, she merges reality with fantasy. There is a frequent withdrawal into domestic space with representations of pots and pans and still-life arrangements of cutlery, crockery, flowers and fruit. The mixing of pastel shades with watercolours and oils, enables her to achieve subtle chromatic and textural nuances with thin layers of paint.

Here’s to new beginnings
On July 1, The Drama School, Mumbai’ drama institute founded by Jehan Manekshaw and Tasneem Fatehi’s Theatre Professionals, took shape and started training 16 students in acting, theatre theory, devising and direction. After six months of intensive training, they will stage two plays -- A Two Faced Comedy (an adaptation of Molière’s famous piece) and The Curious Climb of Cutter Chee: A gangster spectacle, inspired by Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui from January 3-5.

Two UK-based theatre directors, Daniel Goldman and Benjamin Samuels, will guide the cast and crew. However, these productions will not premiere at the usual tony venues in the city but at Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh’s (MMSS) AN Bhalerao Auditorium in Girgaum. Famous in the 1960s and 70s for being the foundry of Marathi theatre practice, the MMSS played an enormous role in the revival of Marathi theatre, culture and literature during those years. Clearly the effort is aimed towards reinvigorating the space with fresh faces and productions.

Let’s hear the sound of music
Kolkata-based group Ranan presents Those Who Could Not Hear the Music, a performance piece inspired by Beethoven and Vikram Seth’s acclaimed novel An Equal Music. Weaving together texts along with a wide range of Beethoven’s compositions, the piece explores the question -- how would you deal with going deaf? Two letters -- one written by Julia, the protagonist of An Equal Music to her fellow musician and lover Michael; and the other written by Beethoven to his brothers -- deal with the pain of the inevitable and irretrievable loss as their writers come to terms with their growing deafness. The 90-minute performance, directed by Vikram Iyengar, and starring Amlan Chaudhuri, Anubha Fatehpuria, Dana Roy, Debashree Bhattacharya, Jayati Chakraborty and Rhea Das premieres at the NCPA on January 29. 

Stand-up comedy at its best
Stand-up comedian Anuvab Pal wears many hats with equal élan. He is a writer who has penned the play Bureaucrat and one of the stories in One on One, a compilation of monologues.

His acclaimed stand-up show The Nation Wants To Know that takes a satirical look at the myriad events in India has finished 125 shows, including shows in cities such as Sydney and San Francisco. At the NCPA on January 11, he returns for an encore along with glimpses of his 2014 show Empire, which is about India and the world. The combination of old and new stand-up gives us The World Wants To Know filled with old favourites and new ideas.

Hand-painted digital prints
Artist Waswo X Waswo exhibits his works from May 21 to June 22 at Sakshi Gallery, Colaba. His sepia-toned work has been compared to early 20th century photographers such as Edward Curtis, but his inclusion of self-portraiture sometimes draws analogies to postmodernists such as Cindy Sherman.

His work has encouraged debate on the ethical questions of photography, especially the question of a westerner’s role in photographing a foreign land.

One on two
After entertaining us with their spellbinding play One On One, a series of 10 monologues that gave viewers a perspective about the wide gamut of changes in the Indian society in the 21st century, Rage Theatre will be back with One On One Part Two in September.

While the first part had tales about a bureaucrat, the abuse of power by politicians, a mother trying in vain to be an integral part of her son’s life, Ajmal Kasab’s arrest and subsequent execution and a man writing a letter to an airline lamenting over the nature of food and beverages served in the flight, the second part will feature pertinent issues plaguing the country today such as the recent Supreme Court order on Section 377. The original cast comprising Anand Tiwari, Anu Menon, Bugs Bhargava Krishna, Neil Bhoopalam, Preetika Chawla and Rajit Kapur will be seen in the second part too.

Spreading the cheer
Enthused by the overwhelming response to improv comedy that was staged as part of the National Centre for Performing Arts’ (NCPA) Cheers Festival and Centrestage Festival, the NCPA is now starting a new monthly series -- Mid-Week Cheer -- in collaboration with Schitzengiggles, a leading Improv comedy group. For the uninitiated, Improv comedy is a form of theatre, on the lines of the hit television series Whose Line Is It Anyway, where most of what is performed is created on the spot, with little or no pre-planning. The performers do scenes/games based on audience suggestions, there is no script and no rehearsals. Even the audience will get a chance to be on stage and perform some improv games. The first series kick-starts on January 8 at the Godrej Theatre, NCPA with Brij Bhakta, Aadar Malik, Karan Talwar, Varun Thakur and Neville Shah taking centre stage. 

Turning back the pages
The 10th World Zoroastrian Congress, which started on December 27, will continue till February at the National Gallery of Modern Art. The event, which is being held in the city after 23 years, will not only give viewers a peek into the rich cultural heritage of the Zoroastrian community but will also showcase its achievements.

It will feature two major exhibitions -- Across Oceans and Flowing Silks from Canton to Bombay 18th-20th Centuries that will focus on the development of the Parsi community in Mumbai, its entrepreneurship and philanthropy and No Parsi Is an Island that will feature the works of Parsi artists such as Jehangir Sabavala, Piloo Pochkhanwala, Adi Davierwalla, Mehli Gobhai and others curated by Ranjit Hoskote and Nancy Adajania.
Compiled by Rinky Kumar

Sufi poetry, Kabir and dance
In its fourth edition, the Kabir Festival Mumbai, which is organised by Kabir Community in Mumbai, will bring five days of mystic song, musical narratives, lectures, story telling, classical dance and film inspired by the message of Kabir and other Sufi and Bhakti saints of India.

New events the coming year include a small segment on Amir Khusrau, for which Ankit Chadha, a storyteller and Dastango from New Delhi, will work on a musical narrative woven with songs to be sung by Bindhu Malini and Vedanth Bhardwaj, a classical dance segment There is also a classical dance segment, to showcase the poetry of saints through dance. The festival also brings ‘the Flameshot Fakirs’ by Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café, a Contemporary Folk Fusion Band which sings the poetry of Kabir. The event is scheduled to be held from January 8 to 13, along the length and breadth of Mumbai. For more information, write to kabirfestivalmumbai@gmail.com or call 9619882205/9920040544

Monica Dogra goes solo with debut album
Monica Dogra, who has been described as the queen of Indie music, has been associated with the band Shaa’ir + Func. This US-born Indian actress, singer and songwriter will launch her first solo album, Shaa’ir in 2014.

The album will comprise 10 songs, inspired by her life. Dogra has penned the lyrics for the songs. Eight of her songs are produced by Gaurav from Midival Punditz and two other by Prashant from Engine Earz (UK). The album will be launched in February.

Kalaripayattu as a new self-defence technique
Keeping oneself save in public has never been discussed with so much fervour as it is being today. The number of people enrolling for self defence classes have increased exponentially.

Those looking to learn a new martial art can do so, with kalaripayattu. Learn the martial art with instructor Belraj Soni in a three-month long intensive session of this age old martial art form of Kerala. The workshop aims to focus more on sharpening your attack and defence skills. Kalaripayattu combines martial training with self-defense practice and physiotherapeutic treatment. It not only helps enhance physical fitness but also cultivates abilities like absolute physical control, flexibility, increased levels of endurance and helps achieve perfect neuro-muscular co-ordination.
The workshop is an ongoing event and will be on till January 23 at the NCPA.

Concert season at the NCPA
It’s concert season in February. The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) will present the February 2014 Concert Season of the SOI with Swiss conductor Mischa Damev, Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare and SOI Resident Conductor Zane Dalal. 

In addition to this the season will also include concerto and recital performances by British pianist Barry Douglas and Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang, amongst others. The performances are expected to be held on February 10, 11, 14, 16, 21 and 26 at 7pm at the NCPA.

Dancing with Lord Vishnu
Dancer and choreographer Naresh Pillai will perform with 20 of his senior disciples on January 14 at Ram Nagar Behind Hiranandhani Garden, Powai. In a special dance performance, Pillai will essay the role of Lord Vishnu in a mythological tale, along with his dancers. Pillai is also the founder and artistic director of Bharatha Dance Theatre, also known as Kalalaya Nrithya Academy. Pillai also holds a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from Mumbai University and Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts from Pondicherry University.

Workshop by URBZ
URBZ, the experimental urban research and action collective, will organise a workshop with the residents of Khotachiwadi. The workshop will be about heritage, transformation and users’ involvement and is expected to include artists and architects who look at similar issues and can contribute to the discussion. The workshop will be a small-scale affair with prime focus on bringing neighbourhoods together, preserving the heritage of spaces and the diversity of habitat. The event will be held on February 1 and 2.
For more details, log onto: www.khotachiwadi.urbz.net.

Get together with three musical maestros
It is not often that you get to see three musical titans together on one stage, regaling audiences. But next year, Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan and Louiz Banks will make a rare appearance together at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, where lovers of music can look forward to a magical, musical evening.

The concert, Saaz Aur Avaaz, is scheduled to take place on January 8, at 7 pm at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA).

Dancing through motherhood
In India, many girls take up classical dance either as a hobby or passion but are clueless about how to handle their bodies and mind when they decide to become a mother.

Keeping this in mind, the Mudra Dance Festival will explore the theme of motherhood through accomplished dancers who are also mothers. The festival will also include sessions with dancers, gynaecologists and paediatricians in discussion about the dos and donts for a dancer who is also a mother. The festival will take place from April 24 to 29 at the NCPA.

Learn how to make a movie this summer
A one month long workshop by the New York Film Academy will focus on filmmaking, acting and photography. The workshop is open to anyone who is above the age of 18 and is reasonably well-versed in English.

The faculty and equipment for the workshop will be flown in from the US. Suniti Ghoshal is the founder and director of Yellow Submarine Film Pvt Ltd, the authorised agent for New York Film Academy in India. The workshop is expected to take place from May 12 to June 7. For more information call 09900096932.

Compiled by Anu Prabhakar

Several of the city’s favourite restaurants and pubs will see new outposts. Malad will be home to an Indigo Deli, with the delicatessen setting up shop at Inorbit Mall, while Andheri West will get an outpost of Neel as well as the city’s latest Oriental favourite, Mamagoto.

About a year after its doors opened to Bandra’s discerning crowds, The Daily will launch a second branch, as will Churchgate’s favourite joint for burgers, Café Sundance. Suburban eateries Silver Beach Returning the favour, Café, Nom Nom and Jantar Mantar will all head South next year, with the latter planning an outpost Horniman Circle.

Sake in the city
Off on a rocky start, the Palladium Hotel is finally finding its ground. Already running Seven Kitchens on Level 10, the hotel has another concept hotel in mind.

Christened Yuuka, which in Japanese means ‘pleasantly scented’, the signature interactive sushi, cocktail and sake bar is all set to open sometime in the beginning of 2014. Apart from serving sushi and sashimi, the restaurant’s live cooking stations will offer tempuras, robatayaki, yakitori and ramen. Along with sake and shochu, the bar promises to serve sake-based cocktails, Japanese malts and handcrafted Japanese beers.

Take a shot
After a successful run at Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village, concept-based bar He Said She Said is coming to Andheri.

With over 50 unique cocktail shots designed by renowned mixologist Nischal Gurung, its clear what you’ll want to go there for. Spread across 13,500 sqft, Mumbai’s first and only shot bar will also serve a wide range of global cuisine -- Asian fusion, Indian, French, German, and Mexican.

Join the brew club
While The Barking Deer at Lower Parel became Mumbai’s first microbrewery to serve freshly brewed beer, Woodside Inn is all set to follow suit in the coming year.

The Gateway Brewing Company has finally obtained its license and will serve its beer at both Colaba and Andheri outlets of Woodside Inn New Year onwards. Next in line to serve crafted beers is likely to be another Lower Parel-based microbrewery The White Owl, which is expecting to be issued its license early next year.

The Great Grover Stomp

Right after the annual Mumbai Wine Tasting Festival (January 11-12 at the Radio Club), comes The Great Grover Stomp. Bring in the grape harvesting season at the Grover Zampa vineyards, kick off your shoes and spend the afternoon stomping on barrels full of grapes. With soulful music and the tranquil hills of Sanjegaon in the background, you can also enjoy a session of wine tasting and winemaking.
When: January 25
Where: Grover Zampa, Nasik

More than sushi
If you thought Japanese food was all about sushi, you’ve got to visit Washoku, a Japanese street food festival held during Cool Japan Festival 2014. Apart from the raw fish delicacy, yakitori, noodles and a lot of other modern Japanese fast food will be served. The famous ‘kaiten-sushi’ concept, which serves sushi on a conveyor belt, will also be part of the festival.
When: January 17-19
Where: High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, Mumbai

The seafood shindig

The Versova Koli Seafood Festival has been getting rave reviews. So in case you’ve been missing out on this annual fare, make sure you make a trip this time. The festival introduces you to all kinds of Koli dishes, topped with giant-sized lobsters, prawns, mackerel, crabs, pomfret, squid or kingfish.
When: January 24-26
Where: Versova Koliwada, Church Road, off Yari Road

Compiled by Moeena Halim

Talent reality show India’s Got Talent is back for its fifth season on Colors, starting January. Coming back to judge the show for a second season in a row will be Kirron Kher, Karan Johar and Malaika Arora Khan.

The Gypsy Goddess, by Meena Kandasamy
Poet, translator, activist and fiction writer Meena Kandasamy is well-known for her no-holds-barred writing on feminism and the Indian caste system. The Gypsy Goddess, her first novel, is said to be inspired by her ancestral goddess, and promises to be as moving and insightful as her other works.
Publisher: Harper Collins

The Stone Mattress, by Margaret Atwood
Expect nothing less than chilling, witty and wicked from one of Canada’s finest writers, Margaret Atwood’s stable. Her new book,
The Stone Mattress is a tale of cold and calculated murder and the unforgiving revenge which follows.
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Leo’s back!

Leonardo DiCaprio

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio reunite for the fifth time for The Wolf of Wall Street, a biographical crime drama based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, which traces his life right from his humble beginnings as a trader in a Wall Street firm to his meteoric rise as a wealthy stockbroker running his own company and his eventual karmic downfall. The film releases on January 3, 2014.

Sanju and Aamir on-screen for the first time

'Peekay'

Whenever Aamir Khan takes up a project, the audience sits up and takes notice. And after a Dhoomtastic 2013, all eyes are on the intellectual Khan’s next venture -- Peekay, a film described by filmmaker Raju Hirani as a satire about God and godmen. Sanjay Dutt, who plays an important role in the film, completed his portions before going to prison. The film is expected to release in June next year.

A God In Every Stone, by Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Shamsie

Granta hails Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie as Best of Young British Novelists 2013. Her forthcoming book is set in Peshawar and promises to be an unforgettable story of an empire an in chaos, friendship, love and betrayal.
Publisher: Bloomsbury

It has had its own share of controversies and criticisms, but we’d still suggest you head to the Jaipur Literature Festival at least once to see what a literary jamboree looks like. This year, the speaker list includes Jhumpa Lahiri, Samantha Shannon (the 20-something author who is being hailed as the next JK Rowling), Reza Aslan, Emma Rothschild, Vikram Chandra and Tash Aw. The fest will take place from January 17 to 21 at the Diggi Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan. For more details, visit jaipurliteraturefestival.org

Bookaroo ain’t kidding

It is only in its seventh year now, but Bookaroo in New Delhi is already the country’s biggest and most impressive literature festival for children’s literature. This year, they had an impressive line-up of authors, including Anushka Ravishankar, Sampurna Chatterjee, Ranjit Lal, Paro Anand and international biggies including Cornelia Funke and Sally Gardner. Bookaroo is also held in Srinagar and Pune. Attend Bookaroo and you’ll never pooh-pooh children’s writing again. The dates are yet to be announced, but it will be sometime in November in the capital. Visit www.bookaroo.in for more details.

A decade later

'MTV Hero Roadies XI'

The coming year, MTV Hero Roadies XI will see a twist. ‘No vote-outs, only performance can get you to win’ is the mantra adopted by the show in its 11th season. Seven girls and seven boys will fight it out for the ultimate title. The auditions have begun, and the show will start from January, 2014.
(COMPILED BY DEEPALI DHINGRA AND KAREENA N GIANANI)

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