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The stage is set in Goa

Three artists have transformed an old hotel in goa into a vibrant art residency destination for professionals across boundaries and faculties. Here’s why you should visit

Goa attracts all kinds of visitors — the trip-happy partygoer, amorous honeymooners and the art seeker, too. With several Indian and international creative minds moving to the sunny state for imaginative pursuits, the demand for spaces that serve as a refuge to express has seen a rise. One such attempt is Heritage Hotel: Art Spaces (HH) in Goa. This live-work space for artists is a hotel just in name. HH is housed in a 100-year-old Portuguese villa, once a hotel, before artists and friends Madhavi Gore and her partner Nikhil Chopra, and Romain Loustau transformed it to HH. “We didn’t want to change the history of the space, and liked the name Heritage Hotel, which is why we stuck with it,” says Gore, who has stayed in Dubai and Mumbai among other cities.

Jana Prepeluh uses the pool for her performance, OPEN 3, May 2015
Jana Prepeluh uses the pool for her performance, OPEN 3, May 2015

The meet
Gore tells us that Loustau, who shuttles between Goa and France has similar interests in art, especially performance art. “You always go to Goa for holidays, and the studio rents make it difficult to work in Bombay. After Nikhil’s fellowship in Berlin, we flew to Goa. It was our dream to find a place that would make for an ideal art space. Romain did a search for properties and we finally found this place,” says Gore.

Founder Romain Loustau, OPEN 4, August 2015
Founder Romain Loustau, OPEN 4, August 2015

The purpose
Gore makes it clear that HH is not a hotel. “Factors like renting a space or figuring costs can bog you down. We wanted it to be a hub and a lab for artists across genres, with every new programme that is started by different artistes transforming the space. Our aim was to make it a free space to ideate and express,” shares Gore, who is a visual artist and mixes painting and performance art. While an artist can rent the space, the founders usually invite artists for collaborations.

The lounge area at Heritage Hotel. PICS COURTESY/HH Art Spaces
The lounge area at Heritage Hotel. PICS COURTESY/HH Art Spaces

The founders screen applications so candidates can blend seamlessly with the space and fellow resident artists. The physical boundaries are in constant flux, as furniture is moved around; walls are painted according to the artist’s projection, even the swimming pool has since doubled up as a location for a live art project for artist Jana Prepeluh. While most sessions and workshops are not open to public, Gore tells us that word-of-mouth has attracted several local artists to HH, leading to open sessions. Since most artists who reside at HH practise performance art, there is a music room too. As for basic facilities, HH offers Internet and a cook, with the lunch hours being an interactive time when all the resident artists come together.
Log on to: www.hhartspaces.org

Mime festival, Auroville
To promote mime, several Indian mime artistes have organised the International Mime Festival. Its theme is miming for the masters, as a tribute to the masters of the art form. The organisers have stayed away from sponsors on purpose. Several workshops and performances will be held in Mumbai, Assam, Kolkata and Chennai. The main event will take place in Auroville, Pondicherry, from November 12 to 24. Kunal Motling, one of the young organisers, tells us, “Auroville has a great community feeling with an environment conducive for creative output. We are also planning to have a 24-hour-long performance.” Simultaneous events will take place in Egypt, France and Germany, with live streaming of videos.
Log on to: www.mime.org.in

Theatre residency, shantiniketan
Sign up for an international residential workshop, ACT (Actor - Chorus - Text) by Anna Helena McLean, a leading international practitioner of physical theatre, voice and community. This residency will take place from November 16 to 23 at Tepantar Theatre Village, near Shantiniketan. The week-long workshop will involve core training and application to performance-based
on the bard, William Shakespeare.
Email: thearshinagarproject@gmail.com
Call: 08697919308

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