~ India’s first interdisciplinary arts festival to be held in Panaji, Goa from 16th – 23rd December ~
National, November 2016: River Mandovi, the extraordinary water body that runs across nearly half the state and is often called the lifeline of Goa, will soon provide the perfect backdrop to the country’s first interdisciplinary arts festival – Serendipity Arts Festival. From 16th to 23rd December, the banks of Mandovi will transform into an alluring setup during the winter months to host seven quintessential venues namely The Adil Shah Palace, Jardim Garcia d’Orta, the Promenade, Old GMC Complex & Courtyard, Kala Academy, Bandodkar Ground and SAG Ground.
Spread across a 1.8 km stretch along river Mandovi, these seven venues have been strategically chosen for their historic charm and a landscape that naturaly lends itself to art. Design interventions, restoration projects and public art initiatives will transform these venues into a hub of cultural activity where over 40 commissioned projects comprising of exhibitions, workshops, residency programmes, etc. will be showcased.
- The Adil Shah Palace – With its sloping tiled roofs, carved stone coats of arms and wooden verandahs, the stalwart secretariat looks typically colonial and pompously screams of Goa’s diversifying cultural inheritance. Adil Shah Palace remains the protagonist to the 1.8 km Mandovi stretch that will host projects like ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ that will facilitate interaction between artists from India and Sri Lanka. Another interesting exhibition at the venue will be an extraordinary exhibition ‘As We See Us’ that explores the work of 34 Indian photographers to see how contemporary Indian portrait photography deals with our messy and tangled inheritance that deeply permeates our visual culture. You can also enter the ‘Collectors Conclave’ which is designed keeping in mind the idea of archives, conservation and preservation of our culture and history at this colonial marvel.
- Jardim Garcia d’Orta – the Municipal Gardens – are a burst of greenery in the crowded Panjim area that were made to honor the first ever sea voyage from Europe to India, and the foundation stones were laid by Vasco Da Gama himself. This December, the square gets reformed into an interactive space for audiences and will be a witness distinct culinary explorations curated by Odette Mascarenhas, film screenings and social interactions. Gather here for a ‘Culinary Networking Meet’ and socialize with artists, curators and other festival goers. Enjoy ‘Serendipity Street’, an exhibition of street photography from photographers and collectives around the country, exploring the idea of “serendipity”.
- The Promenade – The distinct Promenade allows visitors the pleasurable experience of getting lost within the narrow and intimately scaled streets of Goa. The walk through alongside river Mandovi will host open air installations where participants can encounter plethora of sensory experiences while moving to and fro between venues.
- Kala academy – the iconic structure build by architect Charles Correa always stands out as an important site for cultural expressions in Goa. Audiences can experience an exciting exhibition by Goan photographer Alex Fernandes that captures Tiatr artists enacting ‘Goan Archetypes’. What stands out is ‘The Portuguese Passport’, an assemblage of theatre sketches performed by contemporary Tiatr performers, curated by Anuradha Kapur and Lillete Dubey.
- Old GMC Complex and Courtyard – Goa’s long and cheered history flows through her secular, military and ecclesiastical architecture that has withstood the depredations of time. The GMC building facing the Mandovi River and the main road was built in 1927. At Serendipity Arts Festival this site will feature a number of informative workshops and lecture demonstrations. Budding artists will get a chance to register and learn a craft from master artisans in a series of interactive hands-on sessions – Sanjhi workshop, Sarguja clay workshop, Textile workshop, Kalighat painting workshop and Terracotta workshop.
- Bandodkar Ground – The open grounds along the river will enable theatrical interventions and music and dance performances. Evenings will witness the must appreciated classical music and dance performances namely ‘Cross-cultural Conversations between Music and Dance’ curated by Ranjit Barot. You can experience ‘The flow of Life’ in Avani (bharatnatyam) and Turel (Manipuri Dance), dance performances by Leela Samson and Priti Patel’s troupe. To keep this excitement going look out for the ‘Food Trucks’ and enjoy mindblowing ‘Indian and Western musical session’ curated by Ranjit Barot. After this exciting line-up over 8 days, experience the magnificent Grand Finale of the Festival at this venue.
- SAG Ground – An entertaining performance set in a circus tent titled ‘Talatum’ will reinterpret Shakespeare’s The Tempest by adapting it to an Indian context and using circus and other subaltern forms of performance at this open ground.
The incredibly diverse culture and rich history of Goa will provide the perfect backdrop for the grandest art affair of the year. Audiences will get a chance to engage with the arts in beautiful, carefully designed and often, unconventional, settings. The event is expected to attract artists, performers, writers, journalists, academics, collectors, enthusiasts and others engaged with the arts community, both within and outside the country to the sunny state of Goa for the cause of art this December.