Skip to Main Content

Stage Talks

3,999 cups and more...

Performing a Classic: Raghavanka’s Harishchandra Charitra

Food Cultures: Women at the Forefront of Change

Poesic: A Tryst With Water

Mandeccula Katha

What’s the Deal with Gender?

A Tribute to Appaji

The Stage is All The World

Poetic Performance
Session by Mamta Sagar, Vasu Dixit and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy


Introduction to Adaab-e-Paandaan

3,999 cups and more… by Toral Shah

The performance discusses different ways by which creativity and originality can bring about and reinforce a “Why not?” and a “So what?” approach. The idea is to get the students to create a story, illustrate, make a storyboard, and to enact it. It will also explain the role of AES in executing the initiative “Let’s read, write and imagine more”.

Performing a Classic: Raghavanka’s Harishchandra Charitra by Vanamala Viswanatha
28th January, 2018

The Life of Harishchandra (2017) is the translation of a 13th century Kannada masterpiece titled Harishchandra Charitra, written by Raghavanka of Hampi. It narrates the tale of King Harishchandra who earns the title “Satya Harishchandra” for his commitment to truth despite being put to test by the mighty sage Vishvamitra.
Raghavanka’s powerful kavya, written in the shatpadi meter in Kannada, has remained in the hearts of the laity over 800 years because of the oral tradition which has disseminated the text through music and theatre. This text has been popularized by Gamaka, an art form unique to Karnataka, which renders the text as a moving lyric, enhancing the power of the poetry. This multi-modal presentation recounts the life of Harishchandra using the Kannada text, its English translation, and its gamaka rendition.

Food Cultures: Women at the Forefront of Change Rajyashri Goody, Anne-Marie Melster, Madhu Reddy, Himanshu Kapoor. Moderator: Lina Vincent Sunish

The panel brings together women practitioners who are working through creative means to initiate projects directed towards social and environmental change. Sharing a common concern about contemporary food cultures, farming practices, and patterns of consumption, they bring varied experiences to a discussion on sustainable living. Rajyashri Goody is a visual artist and ethnographer, researching food politics and social hierarchies; Anne-Marie Melster is an art curator, critic and advisor focusing on social and environmental issues; Madhu Reddy is redesigning the family farm in Telengana according to Permaculture principles; Himanshu Kapoor is a Nutritionist, Health Food Consultant and Social Entrepreneur working on reviving traditional recipes with a focus on schools. Lina Vincent Sunish is an art historian and curator working with environmental consciousness in art.

Poesic: A Tryst With Water
by Rochelle Potkar, Saima Afreen, Mrinalini Harchandrai, Supratik Chatterjee, Surjo Sengupta

Today, a wave is rolling through the world with news and issues related to dams, dirty rivers, hurricanes, and floods, dominating both the personal and the political. If not deluge, drought governs lands and lives.
In a tribute to this element so vital and necessary, as much for survival as for thriving, we aim to open conversations with a jugalbandi of poetry and music to explore interpretative dimensions through text and sound for an extrasensory listening experience.
While the verse will aim to query the theme of water in all its recesses and excesses, the music hopes to take the listener afloat on an ocean of reckoning, leaving them with ripples of resonance.

Mandeccula Katha
by Kadem Sammaiah
Duration: 40 mins
Troupe size: 10 to 12 persons

Though not widely-known, Mandeccula Katha is probably the most striking folk narrative art form of Telangana. ‘Mandeccula Katha’ literally means “story told for the increase of a herd (of cattle, or a flock of sheep or goats)”. It is an extraordinarily vibrant and energetic form of performative story telling. The performers are a small community of traditional artistes called Mandecculollu (“augmenters of the herd or
flock”). They sing and perform a huge variety of stories, but mainly the epic tales describing the origins and evolution of the hardy Gollas of the Deccan and the Telugu land. The Mandecchulollu are found mainly in the former Warangal, Karimnagar, and Nalgonda districts. They are quite busy artistes and their troupe could have anywhere between 10 and 15 artistes, all male (lead performers, instrumentalists and chorus). A seasoned troupe could have an impressive repertoire of more than 50 epic, mythological and other stories of varied lengths, but none taking less than two nights to perform.

What’s the Deal with Gender?: Figuring it Out Together
by Isabelle Hui Saldaña ,Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli and Satyasiri Atluri

When did you start realizing gender was “A Thing”? It happens to all of us at different times and through different journeys, but very often in the midst of other people—through conversations with friends, in family member’s sudden reaction, sometimes with community and sometimes, unfortunately, on the outside of it. In this talk, Isa will discuss their own on-going process of discovering, making, fighting for and slowly loving gender. They will focus on how the role of community, society, and interactions with others are crucial to shaping our ever-changing understanding of gender—how these things both infiltrate and are defied by the way we move, talk, love, dress, and hold ourselves and each other.

A Tribute to Appaji 
by Vidya Rao

Vidushi Girija Devi was the undisputed queen of thumri gayaki. Affectionately known as ‘Appaji’, her extraordinary musical accomplishments were matched only by her generosity when it came to teaching those who came to her for taleem. In this performance, Vidya Rao will speak about and present some of the bandishes, typical of the Banaras ang, that she was fortunate to learn from the great artist.

“The Stage is All The World”
by Arundhati Nag

In this talk and presentation, Arundhati Nag will speak on the wonderful world of theatre that she belongs. During the talk, she will play snippets of plays representing the various genres of plays being performed in contemporary Indian theatre, and also enact a small snippet from Girish Karnad’s play Bikhre Bimb (Broken Images).

Poetic Performance
Session by Mamta Sagar, Vasu Dixit and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy

A  poem written by Mamta Sagar and sung by Vasu Dixit and Bindumalini will be presented as a tribute to Gauri Lankesh in this session. Musicians Vasu Dixit and Bindumalini Narayanaswamy jam with performance poet Mamta Sagar in this exclusive session. Poetry and music hopscotch into new realms beyond conventional boundaries resulting in fusion of forms and opening new avenues for poetic performances. Besides their love for music and poetry, an urge to experiment with their own practice brings the trio together generating new possibilities of creative and vibrant expressions. 

by Aquin Mathews

Millions of images are taken every day around the world, perhaps the largest ever in the history of photography. It would be interesting to take a journey back to the time of the inception of photography in India and trace how it has been evolving in the 21st century in the times of Instagram and Facebook. Director of Indian Photography Festival Aquin Mathews introduces a discussion, including works by photographers in India.

Introduction to Adaab-e-Paandaan
by Haseeb Jafferi

“Yeh Paan kha ke ajab aap ne kamal Kiya
Diya jo mein ne zamarrud to usko laal Kiya”
If one travels to China one thinks of the Chinese tea ceremonies and on the same lines if one travels to Arabia one thinks of the coffee ceremonies these days. In this context, paandaan (box to keep paan), its accessories in vogue during the bygone era will be on display along with practical use of these paandaans and stories around the adaab of eating paan and maintaining the paandaan will be part of this workshop.