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Anoushka's trying to find her inspiration

What is inspiration? I’m trying to find it. I’m a nature girl when I search for music, finding it in forests, mountains or the beach, writes Anoushka Shankar.

entertainment Updated: Jan 22, 2010 20:35 IST
Anoushka Shankar

Anoushka Shankar

What is inspiration? I’m trying to find it. I’m a nature girl when I search for music, finding it in forests, mountains or the beach. But here, in London, there is more literal inspiration, and I’m reveling in making the most of my stay. I want to see as much, hear as much, and do as much as possible in the world of culture! Here are some of my recent favourites.

- A retrospective of Anish Kapoor’s sculptures at the Royal Academy of Art. He’s truly broken the boundaries. His use of colour is something I feel a physical reaction to and the shapes and movements of his pieces are things I could relate to without needing a crash course in sculpting!

- Keira Knightley starring in a modern retelling of Moliére’s The Misanthrope. It wasn’t the best I’ve seen, but very funny. I thought Keira was wonderful. She got mixed reviews in London. I thought she was great at projecting from the stage.

- Nitin Sawhney and Akram Khan’s new piece Confluence which ends their Svapnagata festival in which I had participated in, last year. It was a devilish treat to watch them.

- The French film A Prophet, about a young French-Muslim boy who goes to chilling lengths to survive in jail. I just loved how in one film I was exposed to so many issues, from the perception about Muslims in France, or the horrors of jails — all in a perfectly-made cinematic masterpiece.

- Not one, but two operas! I’d never been to an opera before, but this month I went to two, and I’m hooked. The fantastic performance of the classic, La Bohéme made me cry, and I saw a hardcore German opera, Elektra, with music by Strauss. I wondered at the arrogance of the last few generations who think we own the rights to loud, dark, strong music, because this stuff was seriously intense!

I saw two children’s shows which were more entertaining than most things made for adults nowadays! I saw Petruchka at the Little Angel Puppet Theatre, which reminded me how magical puppetry is; it’s incredible to see creatures come to life. I also saw Hansel and Gretel by the Knee high Theatre Company, with the witch and mother's characters both played by men in drag. Amazing stuff.