30th November, 2022: India’s largest multidisciplinary arts event, Serendipity Arts Festival, is back with an exciting array of inter-disciplinary performances taking place between 15 – 23 of December. The Performing Arts curators are putting together projects with world-class artists working on classical, experimental and contemporary forms, across dance, theatre and music performances this year.
The Festival brings together diverse creative expressions from the region of South Asia and promotes its cultural heritage through varied projects. The performance segment will see curation by Bickram Ghosh, Ehsaan Noorani, Quasar Thakore Padamsee, Mayuri Upadhya and Geeta Chandran. The music performances with multi-genre and unique performances will celebrate the coming together of traditional and contemporary forms.
Bickram Ghosh and Ehsaan Noorani will curate the Music section with a series of concerts covering diverse genres from classical, fusion, folk, indie pop, rock, and more. Bickram Ghosh will be curating performances with some of the best of world music and fusion artists like A. Shivamani, Taufiq Qureshi, Ricky Kej and others, across the 9 days of the Festival. The music section this year will focus on promoting creative voices across the region and bringing together artists to collaborate and re-adapt folk and traditional musical practices. Sufi-Folk Tales will see the coming together of Parwati Kumari and Folk-singer Kalpana Patowary for the first time, in a folk and qawwali jugalbandi.
Innovators like Sanjay Mondal will be leading a group of children through instruments made from scrap and waste material.
Bickram Ghosh will also be paying tribute to ace music composer RD Burman through his project titled The World of Pancham: An RD Burman Tribute. He will bring together a collection of songs and stories in memory of the legendary music director. The tribute will include songs ranging between the 1960s to the 1990s, bringing together snippets and archival footage from the award-winning documentary Pancham Unmixed: Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai (2008, Dir. Brahmanand S. Siingh). Ghosh is also curating this year’s edition of River Raag, a sunset cruise featuring classical music performances.
Speaking about being a curator at the 5th edition of the Festival, Mr. Bickram Ghosh, Curator, Serendipity Arts Festival said, “The Festival in the last 5 editions has become an important platform for showcasing the Indian arts on a global scale.” Adding further about his curation he said, “When I spoke to Serendipity, I realized what they were asking me to do actually is down the lane of my personal bigger purpose, which is to put Indian sounds onto a larger canvas. While curating for the festival there were two things to consider. Firstly, keeping the vast scale in mind. Secondly, keeping the variety in mind and taking both of these elements to create a bigger sound and put it into a format which makes the final outcome more festival friendly, something that I have been working at for several years, now.”
Celebrating India’s 75th year of Independence, the Festival will offer artists a platform to perform and showcase their art. Much effort is being put to make the 9-day event engaging, entertaining and inclusive by bringing in a touch of novelty to the performances.
Focused on bringing regional expressions to the fore, musician Ehsaan Noorani will be taking the mandate of inclusion and celebration of diverse regional voices a step further with his project Spotlight: Indie & Folk Music Showcase. He is promoting talent from Northeast India to create a soulful concoction of liberating grooves, jazzy riffs and dreamy vocals with genres spanning pop, rock, folk and blues. The project will feature artists like Avora Records, Trance Effect, Tetseo Sisters, Rudy Wallang & Family Band, Takar Nabam and Abdon Mech, presenting the range of creative expressions of India’s Northeastern region.
Speaking about his curation Mr. Ehsaan Noorani, Curator, Serendipity Arts Festival said, “The Northeast has always been on my radar, and I’m aware of the fact that that there are some very talented artists from that region, like songwriters, producers, and bands. However, it was during the lockdown when I was going through my Instagram when I came across a lot of artists from the Northeast, and realized that their talent significantly noteworthy. And, unfortunately, I realized that these bands/singers mostly tour in the Northeast itself and sometimes do events in some pockets of Delhi and Mumbai. The pan-India appeal was missing. I thought that this would be a good platform for them to showcase their material to thousands of people who would be visiting the festival.”
The programming this year will give weightage to Interdisciplinarity, which will be further explored by Quasar Thakore Padamsee and Geeta Chandran through their projects intersecting dance, drama, music and storytelling.
Speaking about the curation, Geeta Chandran, Curator, Serendipity Arts Festival said, “I am energized by my curatorial assignment for the 2022 Serendipity Fest. Reclaiming performance after a pandemic hiatus got my juices flowing again! This is indeed a unique opportunity for me to bring to the festival truly inter disciplinary work since the festival gives curators complete freedom to explore the creative forms of expression.Puppeteers with dancers,theatre artists with dancers,different dance forms dialoging with each other, all very exciting and fresh…”. Adding further on her association with Festival she said, “Being associated with this blue-chip arts festival was a dream come true. The professionalism and enthusiasm of TEAM SERENDIPITY has been awesome. My mind is already whirring with possibilities for Serendipity 2023.”
Chandran’s curation will include projects like Game of Dice from the Mahabharata, a dance production that draws from Kathakali, Chhau and contemporary dance with its creativity and experimentation.
Rumiyana, a musical puppet theater performance by Ishara Puppet Theatre will synergise puppets, actors, and dancers, to create a multimedia performance with music, animations, and digital projections and recreate the works of the great Sufi poet, and philosopher Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. A thematic presentation of Mohiniyattam, Panchabhutam: Elements of Existence curated by Chandran in a recital format by Neena Prasad will explore the theme of the five elements (air, water, fire, earth and space) to showcase the process of creation, and their connection to every living creature.
About this edition’s Performance segment, Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Festival, said, “The performing arts segment has attempted to address the traditional, contemporary and experimental at Serendipity Arts Festival. The projects for this edition will explore interdisciplinarity and collaboration. This year, apart from having an exciting line-up of popular headlining acts combining a variety of genres, the curations will also showcase the diverse creative expressions of the region, explored through the performing arts.”
In its 5th edition, the Serendipity Arts Festival will explore ways to enhance public engagement with the arts and boost the soft power of the nation by making art and culture a part of everyday conversations. A line-up of immersive and interdisciplinary projects curated by Quasar Thakore Padamsee , such as Pah-Lak, based on real stories from the 2008 Lhasa riots, and a play titled, Made in Ilva’ based on real-life testimonies and poems from the workers at the Ilva steel plant in Taranto. the line up includes many theatrical presentations and enticing stories, blended with multi-cultural expressions and practices from across the region and surrounding population. He will also be curating projects like Desdemon Roopakam, a play that provided a deeper insight into the life of Desdemona and is sung entirely like a Chamber Opera using Carnatic, Hindustani and Folk music.
Speaking about his curation, Quasar Thakore Padamsee, Curator, Serendipity Arts Festival, said, “The NEED to tell the story, and to tell it well is what so much of Theatre is about. But coming out of the pandemic, it seems to become even more important. Providing the space for performance to sharing stories that are authentic seemed necessary. So, a lot of the programming this year has hinged on not just what the story is but WHO is telling it. Incredibly, so much of it has turned out to be varied kinds of presentations and such a diverse range of performers. We feel that all these stories need telling, and these storytellers need to be listened to.”
Exploring the post-pandemic transition from the virtual to the physical, choreographer, educationist and creative entrepreneur Mayuri Upadhya will focus on engaging and immersive nature of the arts that delves deeper in the culture and its stories. The range of projects will celebrate the socio-cultural milieu of the region through traditional and contemporary dance and choreographic practices. On the Move will feature young dancers from around India with focus on contemporary dance forms like hip-hop,waacking and krump. Her curation will also give opportunity to young solo dancers Latha Srinivasa, Vicky Bhartaya, Nilava Sen and Promita Karfa who will premiere their work at the festival.
Speaking about her curation Mayuri Upadhya, Curator, Serendipity Arts Festival, said, “This year, I am very excited to bring world-class Indian acts to the festival. Our programming is a perfect mix of immersive, experimental, and inclusive. Our programme has spectacular creations by the veteran Madhavi Mudgal, international choreographer Ashley Lobo, the mythology musical 18 Days by Sharath and Bharat Prabhat, a new take on Ramayana in Shruthi and Parshawanath Upadhye’s Abha, and award -winning contemporary works by Surjit Nongmeikapam and Priyabrat Panigrahi. We are also extremely proud to be able to offer a platform like Serendipity to new artists in our new and experimental work segment. And we have one of the best-curated street jams ‘On The Move’ on the penultimate night of the festival that brings international street dance styles all under one roof.”
A confluence of artists from diverse backgrounds will underline the Goan spirit of SAF. Curated by Goa-based classical guitarist Shyamant Behal, Music in the Park features some of Goa’s finest musicians who will regale audiences with daily performances.
The official hashtag for the festival is #MeetMeAtSerendipity.
For additional information on programming please visit www.serendipityartsfestival.com
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About Serendipity Arts Foundation
Serendipity Arts is an arts and cultural development foundation created to encourage and support the arts as a significant contributor to civil society. It aims to promote new creative strategies, artistic interventions, and cultural partnerships that are responsive and seek to address the social, cultural, and environmental milieu of South Asia. Committed to innovation, SA intends to promote and create platforms for creativity, providing the wider public with a unique source of contemporary art and culture. SA programmes are designed and initiated through collaborations with partners across a multitude of fields, and each intervention uses the arts to impact education, create social initiatives, foster community development, and explore multi-disciplinarity forays in the arts, with a special focus on South Asia.
About Serendipity Arts Festival
The Foundation’s primary initiative and largest project, Serendipity Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts event held annually every December in Goa. Curated by a panel of eminent artists and institutional figures, the Festival is a long-term cultural project that hopes to instigate positive change across the arts in India on a large scale. Spanning the visual, performing and culinary arts, the Festival’s programming includes music, dance, visual arts, craft, photography, film, and theatre. The Festival addresses pressing social issues such as arts education and pedagogy, cultural patronage, interdisciplinary discourse, and access to the arts. Serendipity Arts Festival’s intensive programme of exhibitions and performances is energised by spaces for social and educational engagement. The fifth edition of the Serendipity Arts Festival will take place in Goa from 15-23 December 2022.