Woodstock meets Renaissance

Bengaluru is all set to return to the era of the Renaissance with its new festival Ruins of The Renaissance (ROTR). The festival will take place this weekend at the Innovative Film City and offers music and dance performances; workshops on arts & crafts; lessons on metallurgy; installations; food as well as stay within the four walls of the festival venue.

Manganiyar Seduction, a collaboration of Manganiyars and Roysten Abel. Pic/AFP

 “ROTR is open to everyone - from youngsters, moms and dads, to young children. We are trying to offer an experience of all forms of creative arts - art, music, dance and sciences (yes, they think so) and also promote innovation and allow visitors to inculcate some of them in their daily lives,” says festival director Abhishek Gupta. “Come with an open mind, and take part in anything that suits you,” he adds.

The beach stage at ROTR

What’s in store?
There are workshops on origami, filmmaking, pottery, photography, tango as well as welding. The venue has been divided into different stages - main stage, beach stage, high street, food court, open air etc - where each will host a different event throughout the two-days festival.

The main stage will see performances like a musical ensemble of Manganiyars of Rajasthan conceptualised by Roysten Abel, Twilight Players, (of Dev.D fame), Oikyotaan, who have been presenting Baul (Bengali folk) music in a new avatar, and drum event by Shamrock. The beach stage will host artistes like Bombay Bassment, Nucleya and Arjun Vaghale among others.

Then, there’s the Laxmi Talkies Film Festival showcasing independent films in a setup that resembles a rural cinema hall, and a science exhibition open to seniors as well as students and a robotics show, followed by art installations, shops, spas and pop-up restaurants at High Street. “This festival is also about going beyond the mainstream. We have picked only those musicians who are not only part of mainstream but have created a name for themselves,” informs Gupta.

All are invited
The organisers are also offering stay arrangements for 2,500 visitors within the venue in tents and sleeping bags. “Just in case you wish to bring your own sleeping bag to the venue, you are welcome to,” he adds. Organisers are also planning to offer pick-up services from the city to the venue, but nothing has been finalised yet. The festival line-up and activities look impressive, the only downer, however, is the 11 pm city deadline. Nevertheless, it’s a must attend.

Our picks
What to eat: Customised dishes from popular Bengaluru restaurants at the pop-up restaurant.
What to catch: Manganiyar musicians, Twilight Players, Oikyotaan, Arjun Vaghale, Bombay Bassment, installations by Sukant Panigrahy, short films at The Laxmi Talkies Film Festival 2013.
What to shop: Apparels that can generate electricity using solar energy, from solar backpacks to solar jackets; also, movie posters, miniature clay / ceramic by Russian artiste Saraswathi.
What to learn: Origami from Chennai-based Pearlie Samuel; welding; photography by Jeevan Pathare and Korkoi.

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