Watch the colour return to the art district this week, as tantalising food, interactive art and vibrant street performances reappear as part of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’s (KGAF) exciting line-up.
It’s literally bigger and better in the art department this time around, as 40 giant public art installations take their place along the streets and within Cross Maidan, based on the theme ‘Speed of Light’.
“Each of the installations is an interesting interpretation. One, for instance, is a galloping metallic horse emerging from the ground, created by students from the Balwant School of Architecture,” says section co-curator Heeral Akhaury.
Another, Rocking Horse, at Rampart Road, will comprise horses in three sizes — one larger than life, and one designed so kids can actually sit on it.
Then there’s Dhaai Chaal Ki Gati — an analogy of the knight’s moves in chess, a piece represented by a horse’s head.
This year’s installations will be larger in keeping with how the festival has grown over the past few years, Akhaury adds.
Meanwhile, foodies will not need to loosen their belts this time around, as many sessions are centred on healthy eating.
Among the more unusual workshops on offer this year is one called Ayurveda Foods, by food blogger Amrita Rana. “We have never had a workshop that incorporated the principles of Ayurveda in everyday cooking before,” says section co-curator Roxanne Bamboat. “At a time when the focus seems to be largely on international cuisines, this workshop will give people a chance to explore our indigenous food culture.”
There’ll be heritage mixed with feasting too, as participants get a chance to take culinary tours with Bamboat, to discover some of oldest food haunts in the Kala Ghoda area.
Already, the registrations are pouring in. “This will be my third year at the Kala Ghoda fest,” said Smit Hindocha, 24, a creative writer with an advertising company. “I couldn’t attend too many events last year and I felt bad about that. My favourites were the heritage walks and the art installations inside Cross Maidan. Each time my friends and I have visited the fest, we’ve always bumped into a bloke who knows an amazing tale about Mumbai that you will never find online. Last year I met a retired chemical engineer who was writing a book on the hidden treasures of Mumbai. His knowledge about the city’s history had left even the curators impressed.”
Newcomers are excited too. “I can’t wait to be part of the festival crowds,” says Trusha Oza, 22, who has just moved to the city from Ahmedabad to work with a design company. “I’m quite excited to witness the exchange of art and culture and I’m looking forward to see ideas brought to life in the art installations.”
Another big attraction is the street performance by folk artists from Rajasthan and the north-east. This year we will showcase 16 performers including the famous traditional Rajasthani Kachighodi dancers. “This time around the Behrupiyas [traditional artists who take on different avatars] will appear as monkeys and as deities such as Ram and Hanuman,” says section curator Varsha Karale. Performers from the north-east, meanwhile, will perform the traditional Lion Dance and street plays based on social issues.