Curtain raiser: What the new normal can be for NCPA

HT Mumbai | ByNishad Neelambaran
Jun 12, 2020 08:57 PM IST

Khushroo N Suntook, chairman, NCPA believes the initial response of audiences will be cautious

Mumbai, in the last few days, has been crawling its way to a new normal. Through Mission Begin Again, the city has witnessed some changes in the lockdown and it is safe to state that the changes have given hope to Mumbaikars. A lot many sectors including the entertainment and performing arts industry in the city were affected due to the pandemic. The city houses some iconic performance avenues and one of the popular destinations synonymous with city’s art and culture is the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA). We spoke to Khushroo N Suntook, chairman, NCPA, to understand what will be the new normal be for an avenue like NCPA.

Jamshed Bhabha Theatre in NCPA
Jamshed Bhabha Theatre in NCPA

Though Suntook believes that it is still too early to gauge what the new normal will be, he says that they will look at how international performing arts centres are responding to the pandemic and are engaging in modern technology to adapt to the changing situation. Speaking about the safety norms, he says, “The government rules for safety and social distancing will be adhered to at all times, as will the highest standards of hygiene. We are exploring different scenarios to ensure that once the lockdown eases, people can enjoy live performances safely.”

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Khushroo N Suntook, chairman, NCPA
Khushroo N Suntook, chairman, NCPA

Ask him what will the initial response be from the audience, and he says, “The initial response of audiences will be cautious. We are focussing on curating good content to present to our audiences including live streaming of performances.” So, if the audiences will cautious, will the artistes be a little sceptical too? “The world is waiting to make a comeback when it is safe to do so, as are artistes. Cultural institutes work with artistes’ support and it will be in the interest of both to have performances back,” he adds.

Besides functioning with minimal staff, Suntook says NCPA will “continue to make more use of technology in all spheres”. He shares, “We are also exploring the possibility of making optimum use of our open spaces for performances.” Ask him what is expected from the government, and he says, “While understanding the huge burden on the government, we hope they will support us in permissions and speedy implementation of various processes.”

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