A traditional art from the country’s west and an experimental form with shades of aesthetics from diametrically opposite northeast found stage in succession on the same stage, concluding Telangana’s biggest new-age festival after giving a broad as well as intense glimpse at a variety of cultural sensibilities.
Visual art exhibitions of the 2017 edition of Krishnakriti Festival of Art and Culture will continue till January 20, but the performance section of the four-day event ended on Sunday night with a contemporary dance performance with Manipuri elements after a Rajasthani puppetry show that caught the fancy of a motley crowd gathered in an elevated space of the Pearl City on Sunday night.
At the Rock Heights towards the end of the January 5-8 festival organised by Telangana Tourism, veteran Astad Deboo and his team of youngsters came up with ‘Rhythm Divine II, River Runs Deep’ that blended extremely slow self-choreographed movements juxtaposed with vibrant movements of Manipuri classical dance involving two varieties of ethnic drums from the Himalayan region. Just six months short of turning 70, Calcutta-born Deboo—generally considered the pioneer of contemporary dance in India after having received training in Kathak and Kathakali—came up with movement formations along with eight boys, and otherwise shaped up poses in solo.
Puppeteer Bhatt, who is raised in Delhi to where his family from a village of Nagaur district of Rajasthan moved in seven decades ago, retained the conventional visual mould and singing tunes of his art, even while occasionally chipping in improvised items. Accompanied by a vocalist and his son playing the dholak, the 40-minute show largely banked on heroic stories about a Rajput king of the desert state.
Continuing now will be the art exhibitions—mainly at the Chitramayee State Gallery of Art, besides at a couple of other venues in the city. The H0 ~ ArT, which is a contemporary art show conceptualised by researcher-scholar Dritabrata Bhattacharjya Tato, will be on at the State Gallery till January 20.
Earlier on Sunday, a 28-minute film profiled the life of a projector operator in a Mumbai talkies. Named ‘Bade TV Wale’, the work directed by Avdhoot Khanolkar then came up for a discussion, chiefly by three experts: Selvaggia Velo, Raj Pippala and Samuel Brethet.
The evening also hosted a talk on ‘Art in Smart Cities’ and screened a film show ‘The Sculptor’.
The H0 ~ ArT, which explores the dynamics between art and technology in a rapidly changing world, has four sections: Existential, Experimental, Exploratory and Evolutionary.
Curated by Georgina Maddox, the first section features works by Baiju Parthan, Baptist Coelho, Hifzul Sheikh Kabeer, Mukesh Sharma, Mahua Sen, Mohan Jangid, Prema Murthy and Shilpa Gupta. The ‘Experimental’ segment has the highest number of artists: 17. Curated by young Premjish Achari, it features Aman Khanna, Arti Vijay Kadam, Atul Bhalla, Chandan Gomes, Chinmoyi Patel, Dayanita Singh, Mansoor Ali, Muktinath Modal, Nikita Maheswary, Prajeesh A.D, Riya Chatterjee, Roshan Chhabria, Sharmila Samant, Sumedh Rajendran, Umesh P.K, Varunika Saraf and Waswo X Waswo.
The ‘Exploratory’ section, with A.U. Faizal Khan as the curator, features Jasone Miranda Bilbao, Shilpika Bordoloi, Juanjo Giminez, Khushboo Ranka, Nirupama Singh and Vivan Sundaram. The fourth, titled ‘Evolutionary’ and curated huy Tato, features Valsan Kolleri, Sumantra Sengupta, Sibi Abhimanue, Ramit Bhargava, Rajeshkumar Makwana, Prathap Modi, Poushali Das, Nura, Dr Neeraj Raj, Milton Bhattacharyya, Mansoor Ali, Inder Salim, B. Ajay Sharma and Aami Atmaja.