India’s premier cultural institution celebrates its golden jubilee anniversary with the three-day Add Art Festival
The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) was the vision of late Jamshed Bhabha – a philanthropist and brother of nuclear physicist Homi J Bhabha. A patron and collector of modern Indian art, Bhabha grew up idolising Ludwig van Beethoven and wanted to set up a space 50 years of NCPA to pursue his passion. In June 1966, the National Institute of the Performing Arts was registered as a public trust. It was altered to the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in 1967. While the current complex was still being built at Nariman Point (they reclaimed land from the sea), NCPA began operations at a rented hall at Bhulabhai Desai Road in 1969.
2019 marks the 50th anniversary year for India’s premier cultural institution. The golden milestone is being celebrated with the NCPA Add Art Festival from November 29 to December 1. The three-day festival spans across dance, theatre, film, stand-up comedy and more.
The Symphony Orchestra of India, the country’s only professional orchestra cofounded by NCPA Chairman Khushroo. Suntook, will kick-off the celebrations on November 28.
Here are the highlights of the festival:
Mallika Sarabhai and Astad Deboo
Padma Bhushan awardee Mallika Sarabhai, a Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer, matches steps with Astad Deboo, a Padma Shree awardee and an Indian contemporary dancer and choreographer, who has also trained in Kathak and Kathakali. The fusion of Indian classical and modern dance will be a visual spectacle. November 29, Experimental Theatre
Arturo Sandoval: Live in Concert
Arturo Sandoval, a Cuban-American jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer will perform for the first time in India. Sandoval is a 10-time Grammy Award-winner and a recipient of Emmy and Billboard awards as well.
He delights in presenting a diverse and exhilarating show featuring AfroCuban jazz, bebop, straight-ahead jazz and much more. There is also a special All-star Jam Session lined up for the second day with Arturo Sandoval and India’s leading jazz and Indian classical musicians. November 29 and 30, Tata Theatre
Morn to Dusk concerts
The last day of the festival has a series of dance and music concerts lined up including a tribute to tabla wizard Allarakha by Zakir Hussain, Kala Ramnath, Shikhar Naad Qureshi and students of Ustad Allarakha Institute of Music. The day starts off with Morning Melodies by Rashid Khan, followed by Kathak by Aditi Mangaldas and Odissi by Nrityagram, Bharatanatyam by Malavika Sarukkai and Dance and Poetry by Alarmel Valli & Arundhathi Subramaniam.
As the day progresses, Shiv Kumar Sharma on the santoor and Hariprasad Chaurasia on the bansuri present a Hindustani instrumental duet as a part of CITI-NCPA Aadi Anant: From Here to Eternity.
Watch a music and dance duet by Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj and Ajoy Chakrabarty, a torchbearer of Patiala gharana of Hindustani music. The maestros will come together to explore the world of thumri through voice and dance movements. December 1, Tata Theatre
8 Classical Dances of India
Acquaint yourself with India’s classical dance forms – Mohiniattam, Kathakaliand Kuchipudi through presentations by dance form experts. Darshana Jhaveri, a classical Manipuri dancer, will make a comparison between Northeastern dance traditions and Natyashastra. Dr Sunil Kothari will give a lecture on Sattriya while Daksha Mashruwala, Jhelum Paranjpe and Debi Basu will give a lecture cumdemonstration on the nuances of Odissi dance. These are free events. November 29, Little Theatre
NCPA will also stage a new production of Sea Wall, written by Simon Stephens, directed by Bruce Guthrie and performed by award-winning actor Jim Sarbh. The story revolves around protagonist Alex and his family’s lifechanging visit to the South of France. December 1, Experimental Theatre
The Manganiyar Seduction
The festival culminates with a spectacular audio-visual performance. The Manganiyars are a community of musicians who hail from the heart of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. Their repertoire includes ballads about kings and Sufi poems written by various mystics.
The Manganiyar Seduction brings together 40 talented Manganiyar musicians, both vocalists and instrumentalists, seated in curtained cubicles. Their folklore unfolds with an exciting choreography of melodies directed by Roysten Abel. Formed in 2006, the troupe has performed
over 200 shows worldwide. December 1, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre
The festival also includes non-ticketed events including a concert by the students of NCPA’s various music programmes on November 30.