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Kala Ghoda festival 2018: Mumbai set to move and groove to a different beat this year

By January 30, 2018No Comments

Source : Hindustan Times

Fans of Bollywood can head over to the iconic Asiatic Library steps to catch performances by KK and Benny Dayal.


The power of nature will be a dominant theme in the music and dance sections of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF), 2018.

And there’s a power-packed line-up to go with that theme — Zakir Hussain on the tabla; Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash collaborating with the American violinist Elmira Darvarova; Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s son, Shrinivas Joshi, and 14-year-old grandson Viraj.

“We have tried to mix it up with different genres, balancing commercially popular, established and up-and-coming artistes,” says section curator Nayaab Udhas.

So Mumbai rock band Indus Creed and The Louiz Banks Electro Matrixx Group will perform, as will Jasleen Royal (of Nach De Sare and Love You Zindagi), and Abhanga Repost, a Marathi folk-fusion band — the latter singing medieval poetry put to contemporary music.

“I’ve grown up in South Mumbai, so Kala Ghoda has been part of my childhood,” says Uday Benegal, lead singer of Indus Creed. “At the festival, we’re not playing to our regular audience, and that’s a good challenge. We’re doing more acoustic music this year.”

Fans of Bollywood can head over to the iconic Asiatic Library steps to catch performances by KK and Benny Dayal (of Badtameez Dil and Lat Lag Gayee).

And there will be a homecoming of sorts for musician Deepak Bhatt, whose band Dhol for Soul will debut at the festival. Bhatt first visited Kala Ghoda at the age of 10; he was selling garlands to help support his family. While playing the dhol on a local train, he was discovered by a friend of musician Taufiq Querishi, who then mentored him. Bhatt has previously performed at KGAF with Shankar Mahadevan.

The dance section this year will see performances by 850 dancers from seven countries — including Germany, Greece, Spain, France and Australia.

“Just as dance is a free-flowing movement of the body, elements are the free-flowing energy of Nature. So the theme fits perfectly,” says section curator Annona Guha.

German artistes Dil and Debar Arya of the Arya Sisters will perform Heaven on Earth, a blend of ballet, flamenco and contemporary dance. There’ll be a performance of the Manipuri martial art dance form Thang-ta by Sudip Ghosh and his Gandharbi troupe, featuring swords and shields; an unusual Kathak performance by Dipali Vichare featuring music from Marathi films; Lavani and a Kathak jugalbandi; and a special performance by students from the Little Angels School, who will dance on skates to pop music.

A multimedia Kathak performance by Sharmishta Mukherjee titled Benaras will showcase the city of Varanasi in six compositions, each performed as clippings of the city play on a giant screen in the background.

The cinema section will have several interesting double-bill features, says curator Karan Agarwal. “We’ve curated the line-up keeping in mind the diverse crowds that attend the fest,” he adds. Expect Bollywood flicks, political satires like Court and Newton, documentaries on superstars like Rajinikanth, AR Rahman and Salman Khan, and films celebrating the life of Mumbai (Island City, Tu Hi Mera Sunday, and Ribbon).

Onir’s lates, Kuch Bheege Alfaaz, will premiere at the fest.

Public policy student at St Xavier’s College Anubhutie Singh, 22, is looking forward to attending the festival for a second time. “I’m not from Mumbai, and I first heard about KGAF in the Hindi film, Aisha,” she says, laughing. “When I moved here in 2016, I knew I had to attend. And I’m definitely returning this year.”

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