India International Centre will be hosting its annual festival titled “The Festival Of Art” from October 27 to November 2. The festival will showcase the traditions of south India with a thematic focus entitled “Dakshinayan: Celebrating the Lived Traditions of South India”.
It will present the arts, culture and food traditions of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. The south Indian diorama will range from the simple activities of everyday life in homes as well as the region’s vibrant rituals, age-old customs and traditions, art and sculpture, vernacular architecture, ancient dance and theatre forms, classical music and the delectable cuisine.
The festival was conceptualised to bring together a wide array of talents in the visual and performing arts, epitomizing and encapsulating six decades of the centre as a space for diversity, freedom, innovation, creativity, learning and entertainment.
The range of activities – dance, music (Indian, Western classical and jazz), theatre, folk art, paintings, installations and photography exhibitions will take place using both outdoor and indoor spaces of the centre.
The event will be inaugurated by Shyam Saran, president of IIC, on October 27 at 6:30 pm in the Fountain Lawns.
The inaugural will be followed by Thiranottam – Mohiniattam recital by Methil Devika and artists of her troupe from Palakkad, Kerala. The other programmes include Lankha Dhahanam – Tholu Bommalata, traditional puppet theatre presented by Sindhe Chithambara Rao and his troupe; a morning concert of Carnatic Vocal presented by the well-known artist, N Vijay Siva from Chennai; Miguel de Cervantes’ epic novel Don Quixote visualised in Kathakali style by Margi Theatre from Thiruvananthapuram; Kshetra Prema: Stories from Temples of South India, an evening with Vinay Varanasi and Vivek Sadasivam; and Daklakatha Devikavya, an experimental play devised and directed by Lakshman KP with Jangama Collective, Bengaluru.
This year, the performances also include a special evening to celebrate the birth centenary of Pt. Kumar Gandharva with Hindustani Vocal Recital by Shashwati Mandal and A Dance Story of Taiwan presented by artists of Dance Forum Taipei, Taiwan.
Three diverse exhibitions will be presented during the festival: A People’s Library: Celebrating The Connemara Public Library, focusing on the rich repository of archival photographs, digitised copies of illustrated and rare books housed in the library’s collection; an exhibition in the Art Gallery, Chettinad – An Enduring Legacy presents the crafts, textiles and traditions preferred and patronised by the Chettiar community of Tamil Nadu, curated by Visalakshi Ramaswamy; an exhibition in the Gandhi-King Memorial Plaza, Stories from the Earth: Terracotta Narratives, presents an array of terracotta sculptures from the Sanskriti Museum of Indian Terracotta.
The IIC Quarterly: Autumn 2023 will be released during the festival by Dr. Karan Singh. The issue carries articles by scholars of art, film and music.
In films, there will be Hollywood Bonanza – A Magical Mystery Tour: Festival of Films curated by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, award-winning filmmaker and archivist, focussing on the influential golden age of Hollywood cinema with a screening of 21 award-winning films.
The food festival includes A Turkish Repast prepared by Chef Anuj Wadhawan; Bon Appetit by Chef Vijay Thukral; A South African Food Safari by Chef Nishant Choubey; Itadakimasu: A Japanese Dinner; Chettiar Spice Box: Chettinad dinner prepared by Chef Richa Johri; Russian Prazdnik presented by Chefs of the Embassy of Russia; and A Mexican Fiesta prepared by Chefs of the Embassy of Mexico.
The food festival includes Sacred Offerings: Poetry in Food a multi-sensory presentation on temple prasadams with songs, stories and cooking – a lecture demonstration by Chef Rakesh Raghunathan. The food festival has been curated by Sourish Bhattacharyya, well-known food critic, columnist and writer.