On a visit to Campal, in Panjim, the dense canopy of rain trees lining the main road, and the beautiful traditional homes in the heritage precinct are always the first things that are noticed. But, there’s a modern building in this area that is well worth a visit.
Located along the banks of the River Mandovi, and opposite the Military Hospital is Kala Academy. Established in 1970, it is a premier institution for the promotion of art and culture in Goa, and is run by the Government of Goa. The building was designed by Charles Correa, and was in fact, the first building that he designed in Goa.
PROMOTING THE ARTS
This apex body for the development of music, dance, drama, fine art, folk art, literature and more, offers training in various art forms, as well as organises festivals, competitions, exhibitions, workshops, seminars and other programs related to the local art scene. It has also figured in Bollywood movies, and more recently, it is the venue of the annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
It is the only government-run arts institution in the country with separate faculties for both Western and Indian classical music. Several important events are held here, which includes the DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas, Surashree Kesarbai Kerkar Sangeet Samaroha (featuring luminaries from the Hindustani classical music scene), tiatr and mando competitions. Few venues in India have hosted such a diverse array of programs.
Kala Academy has seen the likes of greats such as fadista Amália Rodrigues, Jaipur-Atrauli gharana’s Kishori Amonkar, his Holiness the Dalai Lama and Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, to name but a few. And, while the crème de la crème from the arts world have enthralled audiences within its walls, many educational institutions have hosted their cultural programs here, too, and innumerable children have made their stage debuts as well.
INSIDE THE BUILDING
The building is divided into three zones: Public, Administration and Academic. Popular venues at Kala Academy are DM Kala Mandir Auditorium, Black Box, Art Gallery, Preview Theatre and and an open air amphitheatre. Other facilities include a cafeteria, library, teaching studio, green room, lounge and landscaped gardens.
The first and second floors include academic and administrative facilities.
Kala means ‘art’ in Hindi, and so, Kala Academy is an ‘Art Academy’.
The Dinanath Mangeshkar Kala Mandir auditorium has been named after the Goa-born musician father of Bollywood singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.
The walls of the auditorium are painted illusions of an old Goan theatre.
Acoustics of the Open Air Amphitheatre are good as the seats block out noise from the road side and the stage blocks out noise from the river side.
The pergola above the entrance acts as an extension to the foyer of the main auditorium and amphitheatre.
The inside walls are painted with pictures, mostly depicting local culture and illusions.
LOCATION: Campal, Panjim
TIMINGS: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm (Mon – Fri)
ENTRY FEE: Nil