November at the NCPA promises a diverse range of festivals, from Sufism to contemporary modern dance and new plays.
“We are trying to give people a holistic experience of the Sufi tradition through this year’s festival, Sama’a: The Mystic Ecstasy,” says Suvarnalata Rao, head of programming for Indian music at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
“We have documentary screenings and poetry recitations by Muzaffar Ali, Dargahi Qawwalis by the Warsi brothers and a dervish performance by a Turkish-born dancer Ziya Azazi, who choreographs the dervish’s whirling and makes a performance of it.”
Also on offer this month are a listening session on Hindustani vocalist Siddheshwari Devi and a Hindustani vocal recital by Padma Talwalkar.
The Centrestage theatre festival, meanwhile, will premiere 15 plays in English, Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi, and will offer an acting workshop, Inside Out, in collaboration with writer, theatre director and acting coach Alok Ulfat.
“One of the highlights this year is a play called Happy Birthday Sunita, featuring Shabana Azmi,” said Deepa Gahlot, head of programming for theatre and film at the NCPA. “Another highlight is a play from Delhi that will tackle the issue of discrimination against the girl child in India.”
Avant Garde, a London-based hip hop and contemporary dance company will also perform at the NCPA this month, an event being staged in collaboration with Chennai-based cultural organisation Prakriti Foundation.
“Avant Garde will have three distinct hip hop choreographies woven together like a concept album. It will be something very new and experimental for Mumbai audiences,” says Swapnokalpa Dasgupta, head of dance programming at the NCPA.
“Besides this, we will also have a performance by Daksha Seth called Sari, which will be accompanied by a workshop on the creation of the garment and the various styles of draping it.”