Art is the language of the soul and on day 2 of the nine-day interdisciplinary Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) 2023, the streets of Panjim with all the eye-catching venues depicted that art has the power to change the world.
As the day unfolded, there was something for everyone at the festival, billed as one of Asia’s largest art extravaganzas showcasing art, music, craft, cuisine, dance, photography and long-lost heritage and traditions.
The sensory journey of the first day continued on day 2 as visual and performance arts were displayed to aficionados and amateurs, who thronged the events at the festival in the hope of encountering new experiences that fire up their imaginations or provoke profundity of thought.
As in the previous editions, SAF’s latest one also breached old norms by giving artists a free platform to experiment with their art. This was exhibited at The Foundry in the Old GMC Complex, where Rajasthan’s traditional art form of storytelling – Kaavad Katha – merged with Kerala’s classical solo dance form – Mohiniyattam – to tell mesmerizing tales of Indian deities to their audience.
At the performance of ‘Manthan: A Confluence of Kaavad Katha and Mohiniyattam’, renowned dancer Divya Warrier and Kaavad-maker Dwarka Prasad Jangid, along with storyteller Akhshay Gandhi, lucidly narrated tales of yore to rapt viewers.
At the same venue, the Freedom Tree Design Studio’s ‘Scent & Sensibility’ installation also attracted people in hordes. Here, the colours and the fragrances intermingled to create a sensorial experience. Freedom Tree Design Studio is also SAF’s lounge partner and has designed one of its VIP spaces.
Latika Khosla, Founder-Director of Freedom Tree
Talking about the collaboration, Latika Khosla, Founder-Director of Freedom Tree said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Serendipity Arts Festival 2023 which is celebrating the creative humans and their journey of inspiration, conception and creation. It is a landmark on Goa’s cultural calendar and our adopted home.”
“Mirroring the spirit of the festival, and inspired by the Imagineering spirit within us all, we are showcasing ‘Artistease’ – an artistic and sensory experience of space and design. The spaces and experiences we are creating at SAF 2023 centre on the care, attention and fierce beauty we should create in the spaces we inhabit".
The cultural blending that SAF 2023 promotes also seeped into its culinary initiatives. ‘Reimagined Coastal Food’, curated by Chef Thomas Zacharias and The Locavore Team, deftly brought out the rich influences of different cultures on Goa’s cuisine.
The two dishes that reflected its ethos of mingling tradition with innovation were Red Snapper Ceviche and Sasam Salad from Slow Tide, a restaurant in Anjuna. These Goan dishes amalgamate the coastal state’s colonial past and the Peruvian influence on it.
This event, which was facilitated by Chef Abhishek Deshmane, started with a brief note on the dishes, followed by a live cooking session and a final tasting, leaving participants sated.
At SAF 2023’s sustainability workshop – ‘Key Holders from Plastic Wrapper’ – Amita Deshpande of reCharkha, an organisation which works with tribals to make upcycled handcrafted and handwoven products, honed participants’ basketry weaving skills by creating a key chain from waste plastic.
‘Young At Art: Children’s Programming By ThinkArts’ focused largely on developing the creative spirit of children. Besides workshops, ThinkArts has organised activities around the Art Park that can be undertaken by anyone at any time for the duration of the festival (December 15-December 23).
Workshops will be held on ‘Sounds and Images’, ‘Of Masks and Puppets’, ‘Cartoon Speak’, ‘Goa Story’, ‘Patch by Patch’ and ‘Stories of the Seas’.
One of the biggest draws of SAF 2023 is the musical concert at the Arena at Nagali Hills Grounds that winds down the festival daily. Day 2 boasted one of India’s oldest rock bands, Indus Creed, to whose lilting tunes people grooved and made merry.
Staying true to its philosophy of promoting talents across genre and space, SAF 2023 has brought together a medley of performers. The Arena reverberated with a wide range of music, some tunes imbued with nostalgia and reminiscent of New York’s Greenwich Village Folk singer in the 1960s to something new-age and experimental.
‘Come Together’, the finale of the day, was performed by Indus Creed artists Uday Benegal, Mahesh Tinaikar and Zubin Balaporia. Breaking away from their past practice of teaming up with music stalwarts, they came together with fresh talents for SAF 2023.
The Indus Creed band members, along with Shikhar Naad Qureshi, Sikkim’s Anoushka Maskey and Niveditha Ode Linda, summoned haunting and lively musical notes and infused them into the evening air as day 2 of SAF 2023 drew to a close.