Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Wall art in Jogeshwari East coincidentally depicts everything that's out of bounds including transport and dabbawalla tiffins. Pic/Rane Ashish
Your dance debut
It's World Dance Day today and a streaming platform has come forward to celebrate it and not just through dance films. Besides streaming classics like La La Land, Step Up and Dirty Dancing, they are urging users to replicate moves from the films and take away a bunch of prizes as part of Groove from Home.
A still from La La Land
"Dance and singing reality shows have always been a part of our culture and viewing habits so we feel this fits in seamlessly. In these unprecedented times we want to create opportunities where people can take their minds off gloomy news and lose themselves in a world of great stories," Rohit Jain, MD of the streaming platform, told this diarist. Log on to Lionsgate Play on Instagram to post your moves.
Keeping the spirits up
Deboo in choreography with Manipuri martial artistes. Pic/Farrokh Chothia
Dancer-choreographer Astad Deboo is doing his bit by keeping the spirits up this World Dance Day. Though he admits it hasn't been a productive time in terms of creating new work, he wants to ensure he can use his privilege to reach out to those less fortunate. "This image says to me let's rise above this [the Coronavirus] and not be bogged down at this time," Deboo told this diarist.
"While everyone is celebrating the day with video clips and events online, I have been keeping my body in shape through exercise and have been inundated with queries for fundraising for my foundation," he added.
Let's take it online
F&B venture Social in partnership with music firm Submerge is taking its annual festival The Exchange online with panelists who will be talking about the entertainment industry during the pandemic, the path ahead and online streaming. Scheduled over today and tomorrow, the panels include Monica Dogra, Ankytrixx, Tuhin Mehta and DJ Kan-i will feature on Facebook Live discussions.
"The festival has come to us at a crucial time, when everyone in the world has questions about their life and the future in general, with no answers or plans. I will talk about practical solutions to help monetise and sustain work," Ankytrixx, DJ and electronic music producer, told this diarist.
Putting the onus back on us
Singer Baba Sehgal has been actively producing tracks through the lockdown, often themed on the virus and preventive measures. This time, he has teamed up with Seattle-based singer Sonia Keshwani in a melodic anthem that puts the onus back on human beings.
Titled We are sorry, it drives home the point about environmental damage. "Though I have a rap segment in between, I have veered off my regular style for a melodic song this time. As for the theme, I think it's time we said sorry for all the damage that we have caused. Everything that is happening is a result of that," Sehgal told this diarist.
For artistes, from artistes
The COVID-19 crisis has hit performing arts hard and disrupted many livelihoods. To take matters into their own hands, artistes Shubha Mudgal, Aneesh Pradhan, Sameera Iyengar, Rahul Vora and Mona Irani along with Arundhati Ghosh, executive director, India Foundation for the Arts, organised a campaign called Assistance for Disaster Affected Artistes (ADAA). The aim was to support 100 artistes with a financial package over the next six months.
Donations from 282 individuals and organisations (including those by city theatre artistes like Akarsh Khurana and Quasar Thakore-Padamsee) have resulted in them exceeding the set target. "Our funds now allow 132 artistes and their families across 10 states in India to be supported. We are currently in the process of finalising the artiste beneficiaries with the help of our partners. We will begin disbursement of funds through our distribution partner Indian Writer's Forum in early May — each beneficiary will receive a financial package of R30,000 each, over six months," Sameera Iyengar told this diarist, on behalf of the team.
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