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Epicentre shuts down, artistes demand new cultural centre

With epicentre shut, the city doesn’t have a cultural centre where local and international artistes to showcase their talents, said art enthusiasts.

gurgaon Updated: Jan 17, 2017 21:54 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
Epicentre signed off with a flourish on Sunday after regaling audiences with a play on Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib.(Sanchit Khanna/HT)

The demand for a cultural centre in the city has intensified after the city’s cultural centre --- Epicentre — has temporarily shut from Monday after its lease expired. The theatre artistes have written to the textiles ministry and the Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday demanding the opening of a cultural centre in Gurgaon.

The only cultural centre that the city used to have was Epicentre that hosted plays apart of various other cultural events every week for the last nine years, since its inception in 2008 and was located at Apparel House, Sector 44.

With epicentre shut, the city doesn’t have a cultural centre where local and international artistes to showcase their talents, said art enthusiasts.

Although the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) had proposed the construction of a cultural complex along the Golf Course Road in Sector 53, it is still pending for the last two years.

“I have written to the ministry of textiles to reopen the cultural centre. We are also demanding that the state government open a cultural centre in the city. If our demands are not addressed, we will start a campaign on social media,” said Swati Mohan, a city-based theatre artist.

Read more: Gurgaon’s cultural ‘Epicentre’ signs off for now with Ghalib show

“We will wait for 10 days before launching a protest demanding a place for artistes can showcase their talent,” she said.

Epicentre, which used to be maintained by Old World Hospitality (OWH) on the premises of the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), had a lease agreement with AEPC for the past nine years. The lease expired on Sunday.

Read more: Tom Alter is sad that Gurgaon’s Epicentre is closing down

Stating that theatre groups in the city will take strong steps, Col (retd) RC Chadha, president of Global Cultural Foundation, a non-profit organisation, said, “We have also written to the CM’s window registering our demand. There is no other place to perform in the city.”

Theatre artists said that the fact that a city such as Gurgaon, which neighbours Delhi, does not provide space for art and culture to grow is a serious concern. “The situation is critical as the district administration has failed to provide a place for the artistes,” said Saif Hyder Hasan, who directed ‘Ek Mulaqat’ in which Shekhar Suman and Deepti Naval performed in Gurgaon.

When asked about the pending proposal for the construction of a cultural centre, Sudhir Chauhan, senior town planner, MCG, said, “The construction work will start by end of the month. We might take a year to complete the project.”

First Published: Jan 17, 2017 21:53 IST