Visitors with creative drive and appreciation for everything artistic continued to flock the Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) 2023 as the festival smoothly segued into its seventh day.
The atmosphere at the various venues of the interdisciplinary cultural extravaganza was rife with anticipation and exuberance – a feeling that persisted through the day as participants sought artistic inspiration and contentment.
And sure enough, SAF 2023 – which has put together a wide range of activities, talks and shows – simultaneously satiated and whetted the creative hunger of visitors. The festival has taken a step further in that direction by intermingling art, sustainability and community empowerment.
At the ‘Nila House’ on the lawns of the Old GMC Complex, India‘s traditional craft was displayed in all its splendour for sale. The Jaipur-based handicraft museum has been assiduously harnessing Rajasthan’s craftsmanship in natural dye and handloom for more than a decade.
It utilised the SAF 2023 platform to pass on indigenous knowledge on eco-printing and handloom-weaving to its visitors. ‘Weaving on the Frame Loom’, a hands-on exercise organised by Nila House, gave participants a chance to try their hands at weaving on a portable frame loom to skill themselves in basic weaving techniques.
‘The 2.7-Billion-Year Story Of Goan Chicken Xacuti’, a live demonstration of Goan chicken xacuti-cooking, traced the evolution of chicken – from the time when eukaryotic cells emerged to dinosaurs going extinct and thereafter the resurgence of larger organisms on earth and finally to when birds like the Jungle Fowl began to be domesticated, which paved the way for the humble chicken to arrive at our tables.
The session, curated by Chef Thomas Zacharias and The Locavore Team, at The Food Lab in the Old GMC Complex trashed the myth of ‘authentic cuisine’. Krish Ashok, who has authored Masala Lab, posits authenticity in cuisine as non-existent as recipes have been evolving since time immemorable.
Goa’s music has a wide spectrum of influences – from Latin to Portuguese, Konkani and many others – and does not belong to any particular genre. ‘Music In The Art Park’ has been bringing this fact out beautifully by playing different themes or styles of Goan music every day at The Art Park.
On Thursday, local band Pink Moss’ distinct music, which switched from soulful jazz to heavy metal with ease, drifted in the air as people sauntered around observing the rest of SAF 2023’s offerings.
Not very far from this venue, a hard-hitting play, ASMR, an acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, at The Theatre in the Old GMC Complex tried to arouse unexplainable sensory responses in the audience by sowing seeds of new existential stimuli in their mind.
The mind-bending play, curated by stage actor Quasar Thakore Padamsee, left viewers with questions which lingered on much after the curtain came down. Hiya Anupam’s abstract play liberally incorporated elements of speech, music and movement as its performers undertook the journey of self-discovery.
It was performed brilliantly by Bornali Bora, Ijaz Ahmed, Suvangi Keot, Karishma Puzari, Mridupabon Borah, Evlina Siddika, Kabyashree Hazarika and Hiya Anupam.
SAF 2023’s theatrical fare continued into the evening with the staging of the experimental play Daklakatha Devikavya at Dinanath Mangeshkar Kala Mandir, the hub of art and culture in the city.
Based on epic poetry and stories by Kannada writer and founder-member of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti, K B Siddaiah, the play brings the audience face-to-face with the menace of untouchability and the deplorable plight of Dalits in society.
Curated by Padamsee, the performers of Daklakatha Devikavya-- Bindu Raxidi, Santhosh Dindgur, Bharath Dingri, Narasimharaju B K and Ramika Chaithra infused life into the characters of the play with their acting skills.
It has been almost 30 years since music director R D Burman left us, but the charm of his music refuses to fade. ‘The World Of Pancham 2.0: An R.D. Burman Tribute’ at The Arena at the Nagalli Hills Ground paid a rich tribute to the music legend as singers Jolly Mukherjee and Mahalakshmi Iyer belted out Burman’s hummable old Bollywood songs.
The memorable musical evening, curated by Bickram Ghosh, had Ronu Majumdar playing the flute, Kishore Sodha blowing the trumpet, George Brooks at the Saxophone and percussionist Bickram Ghosh beating the tabla.
As the lively music pierced through the starlit night, the festival doffed its hats to Bollywood’s music legend.