A year dedicated to marvellous acts

An array of activities added zing to the city’s culture calendar last year, thanks to international acts and artistes which gave Delhiites something unique and interesting in terms of entertainment. If in music the year ended with David Guetta’s gig then in dance it was Leela Samson and her group’s performance for the Ananya Dance Festival. Even in theatres ‘Going Solo Theatre Festival’ saw some of the widely appreciated acts from Europe and America.

However, Indian artistes too ruled the roost in all cultural activities.

Beginning with theatre, final year students of National School of Drama presented a series of plays under Graduate Show. Second year students too performed a couple of plays based on Shakespearean tales. Besides, there were acts by children from different city schools for Bal Utsav, a five-day long theatre festival where theatre enthusiasts in age group of 8-16 enacted the famous stories written by Rabindranath Tagore.

Another major event which invited kids from all across the country was Jashn-e-bachpan which featured various performances in eight languages – Assamese, Bengali, English, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Manipuri, Hindi and one non-verbal from 14 States and Union Territories.

The NSD Repertory Company also staged the play Ghazab Teri Ada by Waman Kendre. A war of 65 million men from 30 countries, nearly 10 million deaths, 35 million civilian casualties and 20 million wounded. Spanish flu that caused 1/3rd of total military deaths and around 30 billion dollars spent on the mass massacre, World War I complete 100 years. Amidst this huge loss, the women turned stronger and more independent. They shifted from the periphery to being the center of attention and claimed their right in decision making and coming into their own.

Even other theatre groups participated equally in showcasing some good stories on stage. Like Sparsh Natya Rang in their third annual theatre festival Hriday Manch staged plays like Neem Hakeem Khatra-e-Jaan, Sakharam Binder, Bobby Breaker and Aadhi Sadi.
Also, Indian Council of Cultural Relations did a series of plays. One amongst them was Draupadi. 

Performed by The Films and Theatre Society, the play, written and directed by contemporary writer Atul Satya Kaushik was based in a Haryana village in 1960. Draupadi is an imaginative re-telling of certain chapters of Draupadi’s life that juxtaposes the life of the queen of the Pandavas in a contemporary setting, drawing parallels between her and the women of today.

In dance, Delhiites got an opportunity to witness this critically acclaimed work by Hofesh Shechter, recognised as one of UK’s most exciting artistes. Political Earth, a contemporary dance performance by the Hofesh Shechter Company, is a world-class act and as critics of international dailies say, ‘an audio-visual marvel’.

On the other hand, The Neemrana Music Foundation and Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra together presented The Cosmic Dance of Shiva. Renowned dancers Madhu Gopinath and Vakkom Sajeev’s Samudra Arts’enthralled the audience with their amazing act. Through Ananya Dance Festival, Leela Samson, a Bharatanatyam exponent along with her troupe presented an international act on themes of human emotions. 

In music, the 76- member BBC Chamber Orchestra enchanted the audience with their unique composition of Indian and international songs. Popular Electronic Dance Music (EDM) artistes like David Guetta, Avicii, Deadmau 5 forced EDM enthusiasts to burn hole in their pocket and be a part of their concert.

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