The Welsh experience

Updated: Jan 06, 2019, 09:49 IST | Prutha Bhosle | Mumbai

A three-day micro festival showcasing literature, music, dance and films from the European region of Wales is set to debut in Mumbai next week

Steffan Donnelly in My Body Welsh
Steffan Donnelly in My Body Welsh

Cymru, the Welsh name for Wales, is a distinctive and rich part of the United Kingdom with one of the longest literary traditions in Europe that is yet to be fully discovered by many in India. The Welsh being extremely proud of their heritage, have conscientiously revived and reinvented their traditional customs, especially those relating to language, poetry, literature and music. They are now set to bring some of their best artistic minds to Mumbai with the 'Cymru in the City: A Micro Festival of Welsh Literature and Culture'.

Dive into Welsh literature
The first edition of the three-day event promises to showcase the country's fascinating heritage and cross-pollinate ideas with the finest local minds in Mumbai. The festival will commence on January 14 with an evening of readings by a select group of Welsh and Indian authors at Kitab Khana, where they will be joined by Europe's award-winning author, film and TV writer Caryl Lewis and novelist, port, scriptwriter and translator Harkaitz Cano.

Vikram Iyengar, co-founder of the kathak-based performance company Ranan, is one of the speakers at the festival
Vikram Iyengar, co-founder of the kathak-based performance company Ranan, is one of the speakers at the festival

Performances galore
This will be followed by two days of enlivened literary debates and multidisciplinary performances at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). The event will also showcase the innovative Invertigo Theatre Company with their show My Body Welsh and Kathak-Cynghanedd — a dance and poetry performance — exploring connections between two classical art forms. My Body Welsh is a recursive tale that circles around a well, an object of perpetual rancour and dispute between Mr Jones and Mr Davies. The solo show by Steffan Donnelly is intimate.

Cinematic experience
There will also be screenings of literature-related films from the region at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Attendees can expect some films dedicated to Welsh poetry, some others based on novels by contemporary women authors and some more from Welsh 20th century classics.

Asad Lalljee, CEO, Avid Learning, one of the organisers of the event, says, "At Avid, we believe in the power of cultural diplomacy to widen horizons and broaden minds. In this spirit, we have leveraged our local and international relationships to bring the best of international art, culture and design to Mumbai."

When: January 14, 15 and 16. 1PM onwards
Where: Bombay Natural History Society, Kitab Khana, National Gallery of Modern Art in Fort
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