The black horse of the Kala Ghoda Festival will take Mumbaiites on a ride into the country’s forgotten culture and practices from February 6 to February 14.
Developed around the theme, “Presence of the Past’, the festival will highlight the country’s past in broad categories such as visual arts, music, literature, theatre, cinema and dance.
A first for the festival and for the country’s premiere western classical orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of India will perform at the grand steps of the Asiatic Society. Percussionists Vikku Vinayakaram and V. Selvaganesh will present Sapthaakshara, a classical concert on the seven elements of music.
Hariharan will perform popular ghazals for an evening called Soul India and besides the bulk of folk and fusion performances the festival will also feature stomp, beat boxing and classic rock.
Theatre promises to be particularly exciting this year. For the first time the festival has big names moving in such as Rahul Da Cunha (presenting Class of ’84), Lillete Dubey (Dance Like a Man), Alyque Padamsee (Mad Horses + Shakespeare, Alive and Kicking), Akvarious (Damages) and Tom Alter. “All the plays are for free and to have these veterans stage their productions is a big deal,” said Aditya Hitkari, curator of the theatre segment.
Besides several premiering productions by the city’s reputed theatre troupes, Munshi Premchand’s stories will be dramatised daily for a serving of nostalgia.
The festival will have a number of book launches such as Neti Neti by Anjum Hasan, Daylight Robbery by Surendra Mohan Pathak, The President is Coming by Anuvab Pal and The Incredible Adventures of Robert ‘Einstein’ Varghese by Sidin Vadakut.
“We have fewer workshops this year. Feedback from previous years suggested that there were too many workshops to choose from and not in-depth enough,” said Peter Griffin, literary consultant to the festival.