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Come what May

Who says the city is suffering from a midsummer cultural slump? Here’s a list of events you can attend this weekend, from gigs to art exhibitions.

music Updated: May 05, 2012 13:40 IST

Contemporary music


Talavya

Formerly known as Tabla Ecstasy, Talavya is a percussion ensemble formed by Pandit Divyang Vakil (a composer and tabla teacher) which attempts to explore the rhythmic and melodic aspects of the tabla, with four tablas on stage essentially jamming on stage to create a sound that’s energetic, experimental and accessible at the same time.

In September last year, the four-member ensemble performed at the Chico World Music Festival, held in Chico, California, United States. They have also performed at the Chicago Cultural Center, the INK Conference and in the India and US chapters of non-profit classical music promoters Spic-Macay.

Spud In The Box

Spud In The Box, a six-member pop-rock band, has been going from strength to strength over the past few months. This Sunday, they return to the venue they played their first gig at in April last year. The band comprises Ankit Dayal on vocals and guitar; Rohan Rajadhyaksha on vocals and keyboards; Vivaan Kapoor on drums and percussion, Zubin Bhatena on bass; and guitarists Hartej Sawhney and Siddharth Talwar. Life, a Hindi rock band, will play the opening set.

Shaa’ir + Func

Arguably India’s hottest live electronica act, Shaa’ir + Func plays at the Frog this Saturday. The duo of Monica Dogra aka Shaa’ir and Randolph Correia aka Func, are known for their energetic live performances and sonic wizardry, courtesy Dogra’s stage presence and Correia’s sampling and production skills. The live line-up includes Dogra on vocals, Correia aka Func on guitars, backing vocals and live sampling; Rohit Pereira aka P-Man on bass and Aditya Ashok aka Ox7gen on drums.

Classical music

Dhanashree Pandit-Rai

She is a classical vocalist, specialising in the Thumri form of music. Besides being a regular on All India Radio, she has performed at Kala Ghoda Festival, 2007, and NCPA. In January, she toured the United States, performing and holding workshops in four cities. She teaches Indian classical music to jazz vocalists and has recorded four original albums.

Sanjeev Abhyankar

Hindustani classical vocalist Sanjeev Abhyankar, who hails from the Mewati gharana, has performed extensively for nearly three decades in India as well as United States, Europe, Australia and Africa. A disciple of Pandit Jasraj, Abhyankar has recorded several albums, such as Young Masters and Mewati Gharana Heritage.

Ravi and Raja Rajbhatt; Durga Prasad and Sridhar Parthasarthy

Brothers, Ravi and Raja are both tabla players. They are well known within the music industry, and have individually arranged rhythm and percussions for several Bollywood films, like Maachis, Devdas and Krrish. Ravi has recorded an instrumental album called Sum.

While Raja has performed at several international concerts and has worked with several international artistes.

Art exhibitions

Surveillance: On the other end of the spectrum

Hunted animals, forests being destroyed, tribals and ‘civilised’ soldiers at war: these are some of the motifs that Gipin Varghese weaves through his first collection of paintings as a solo artist. Varghese, who grew up in a Kerala village surrounded by hills and wild forests, believes in letting nature thrive on its own, with all creatures equal.

The paintings feature dead elephants, vegetation confined to greenhouses and bonded labourers. At the heart of these imbalanced power equations, he says, is the idea of surveillance, a tool that the powerful use to suppress, and then destroy, the vulnerable.

While his themes are serious, Varghese’s paintings – influenced by graffiti, murals, miniatures and folk art – draw in viewers with their earthy tones and intricate floral patterns.

Telenga Panels

For three decades, 70-year-old painter Thota Vaikuntam has dedicated his career to the paddy farmers, toddy tappers and shy, sari-clad women of his native village in Andhra Pradesh. His new collection of paintings returns to this theme, inspired largely by the sensuous beauty of Telangana’s women and the rustic, resilient spirit of his people.

Vaikuntam’s previous works have been widely exhibited within as well as outside India.