The Friday List: From a discussion on the legacy of Astad Deboo to a Sherlock Holmes parody, your weekly calendar of virtual events

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar.

FP Staff January 08, 2021 12:56:10 IST
The Friday List: From a discussion on the legacy of Astad Deboo to a Sherlock Holmes parody, your weekly calendar of virtual events

On this week's #FridayList: a poetry reading by Bina Sarkar Ellias, a talk on the legacy of Astad Deboo, solo performances of Ismat Chughtai's short stories and more. (Top left) Image via Facebook; (Top centre) via Atlas Obscura (Bottom right) via Twitter

The New Year brings with it a false sense of a new beginning when in fact the world has been quite the same for some months past. Optimism and hope might well be the buzzwords for 2021 but the underlying threat of the coronavirus crisis and the collateral damage lockdowns and social distancing have brought down upon us continue to cast a pall on every day lives. Add to it the need to stay at home and avoid public spaces like theatres and galleries for fear of contracting the virus or being carriers. Yet, amidst it all, the past year did manage to deliver some wonderful virtual experiences to make our leisure time an engaging and interactive experience. And even as we have moved into a new year, and out of some of the more stringent restrictions, the landscape of our engagements and weekly dosages of entertainment continues to still be moderated digitally, through the screen.

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar. On this week's #FridayList: a poetry reading by Bina Sarkar Ellias, a talk on the legacy of Astad Deboo and a documentary on Tiger Woods.

— Online seminars

A new online seminar organised by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) is a session especially designed for educators to provide them an insight into how artifacts in museums can be used as teaching devices that would make learning fun and interactive. The seminar set up for this Saturday will focus on Teaching Art and Archeology with Museum Objects and take teachers through some methods which will enable them to make a children's museum tour an educational and enjoyable experience. Conducted by museum experts, the online session will also help educators curate sessions where museums come to life as living records of history and push children to think critically and ask pertinent questions.

To register for the session, write to mow@csmvs.in

When: 9 January (3 pm)

Brought about by AVID Learning is the virtual session, Documentary Filmmaking which aims to talk participants through the basics of making documentaries, from pre and post-production processes to some of the stylistic techniques employed by the leading filmmakers of this genre. In a live interactive event hosted by Esha Paul and Naman Saraiya, audiences can gain valuable insight into this storytelling format and how it can best incorporate photographs, art, culture and heritage through its narrative. For those just starting out in filmmaking and wanting to learn more about what goes into the creative experience of translating real life stories onto the screen, this beginner class is the place to be.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 9 January (5 pm)

— Virtual walkthrough

Murder and Mayhem in Calcutta promises to be an utterly exciting virtual walkthrough brought about by Immersive Trails which explores the chilling crimes and the places they occurred in during the 19th century in the city. From a Jewish housewife who is found murdered in her bedroom, to a Bengali sex worker who is found dead in central Kolkata and a queen and her accomplices who rob a jewellery store and kill the munshi, the session draws from the memoirs of detectives investigating the brutal crimes and why certain murders received more attention than others as an extension of the patriarchy prevalent in that period. Conducted by Tathagata Neogi, the walkthrough will also navigate the sights in Kolkata known for these murders and the socio-cultural factors that were at play during the investigations.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 9 January (7 pm)

— Virtual plays

A very popular Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles, will be taken to the stage this weekend where in Dr Watson and the detective try to untangle the mystery of the death of Sir Charles Baskerville and the gigantic paw prints of a hound that are found next to his body. But the twist in the spooky play is quite simply that it is not the desolate moors of Victorian England but a satire of these bleak locations and the dark stories hidden therein that will leave audiences in stitches. Adapted from a parody by Steven Canny and John Nicholson, this pre-recorded drama directed by Akash Khurana is sure to entertain Sherlock Holmes fans by dialling up the comedy and humour in the solving of his mysteries.

To know more and register, click here.

The Friday List From a discussion on the legacy of Astad Deboo to a Sherlock Holmes parody your weekly calendar of virtual events

From a poetry reading by Bina Sarkar Ellias to a panel discussion on Astad Deboo and the drama series, Normal People, a list of virtual engagements for this week. (Left) Image via Facebook (Bottom right) Image via Twitter

When: 9 January (6.50 pm)

Brought forth by Jashn-e-Qalam is the virtual performance, Ek Baar Ki Baat Hai, solo acts which bring forth the short stories of the prolific writer, Ismat Chughtai. Enacted by Shashwita Sharma, Chhuimui follows the train journey of one woman who comes to realise her place in the present, through an introspection of the past and an eye on the future. Typical of Chughtai's stories is the feeling of a character moving inwards to find her place in the scheme of things. The short stories will be followed by a panel discussion between women's rights activist, Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, and writer and translator Tahira Naqvi. Tune in to what is sure to be a fascinating performance and a thought-provoking panel discussion.

To know more, visit Jashn-e-Qalam's Facebook

When: 8 January (7 pm)

Where: Zoom

— Panel discussion

With the demise of Astad Deboo in December 2020, the Indian cultural milieu lost one of its most prolific and creative figures, known as much for his dance on stage as his creativity and choreography off it. In a panel discussion moderated by cultural strategist Chandrika Grover Ralleigh, some of Deboo's collaborators and friends will come together to reminisce and share their experiences about this dancer and choreographer and his journey. Editor-in-Chief of Newslaundry, Madhu Trehan, theatre director and filmmaker Sunil Shanbag and choreographer Jayachandran Palazhy will form the panel which will bring to life the legacy of the exponent in a session brought about by Bangalore International Centre and Prakriti Foundation.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 8 January (6.30 pm)

— Workshops

Ethology in Indian Oral Literature is an upcoming workshop which will connect the children's tales such as the Panchatantra or the Jataka Tales, to the philosophy and ethology associated with these narratives and their impact on human psychology. To be conducted by theatre practitioner Vikram Sridhar, the workshop will be a knowledgeable experience for educators, writers, storytellers and anyone who works with children as it will discuss how best adults can convey these animal and bird stories to kids. Along with that, the session will shed light on how one can connect with nature to create new stories and analyse our shared ecosystems closely to form engaging narratives. For those households with children who want to listen to a new story every day, this workshop will definitely be useful.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 10 January (11 am)

Brought forth by Atlas Obscura's online experiences is a five-part long workshop which explores the nature of death and the concepts most associated with connecting to those who are gone. The Art of Death with Tessa Fontaine aims to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the notion of death, where the classes will discuss some rituals associated with dying and mourning along with some scientific methods related to dealing with the dead. The syllabus itself will tackle what it means to be dead, the process of dying, what happens to a dead body and the various industries that are linked to death. What is sure to be a curious approach towards the finality of dying, this course is definitely worth looking into.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 10 January

This Sunday, the workshop Prosing with Poetry will take participants through the nuances of writing and provide them a deeper understanding of what exactly goes into storytelling, creating prose and poetry. Brought about by RSK Productions Singapore, the interactive session will feature discussions with writers and artists enabling participants to pick their brains and find out how they create stories. Poet and lyricist Shivangi Tewari will be accompanied by actor Shishir Sharma and writer Renita S Kapoor in the upcoming session, with author and poet Dinesh Raheja as the guest of honour. The workshop, set up with the aim of providing a space for budding writers to evolve and develop their craft is definitely a must attend for amateurs looking to sharpen their skills.

To know more and register for this event, visit RSK Productions Singapore's Facebook 

When: 10 January (10.30 am)

Where: Zoom

— Virtual poetry reading

In keeping with its ritual of hosting a poetry reading for the first three Saturdays of every month, Poetry with Prakriti: The Online Edition, will host award-winning poet, writer and art curator, Bina Sarkar Ellias this weekend. In a session moderated by poet Ashwani Kumar, Ellias will recite some of her previously published poems along with engaging in a discussion about her work. Ellias, who has to her credit poetry volumes like The Room and Fuse is known particularly for her ekphrastic poems like Song of a Rebel and When Seeing is Believing which involve detailed descriptions of the landscape, the region or the imagery that she wishes to express through her verses. Tune in to what is sure to be a very invigorating session with this artist.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 9 January (7 pm)

— Streaming this week

Arriving on Amazon Prime Video this Friday is the Tamil film, Maara, featuring R Madhavan, Shraddha Srinath and Sshivada in the lead. A story written by the scriptwriter and author, Unni R, the film is the remake of the 2015 Malayalam original, Charlie and follows Tessa (Srinath) in her search for the artist, Maara, who painted a fairy tale that she had heard from a stranger as a child. When she discovers the painting in a coastal town, she sets off to find this artist, embarking on a fairy tale of her own. An endearing romantic drama, Maara promises to be a beautiful narrative, perfect for a weekend at home.

When: 8 January

Where: Amazon Prime Video

Coming up on the newly launched streaming platform, Lionsgate Play is the drama series Normal People based on Sally Rooney's 2018 novel by the same name. Normal People tells the story of a relationship between Marianne Sheridan (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell Waldron (Paul Mescal) as they navigate the complexities brought on by adulthood and move from secondary school to their undergraduate years at Trinity College Dublin. The two young people from Ireland move in and out of love with each other while dealing with the everyday things in life where the oddball Marianne tries to cope with the bullying at school and Connell, a popular boy who cleans the Sheridans' home continues to ignore her.

When: 8 January

Where: Lionsgate Play

Arriving on Disney+Hotstar this weekend is a documentary on the golfer Tiger Woods that explores his through unseen footage and conversations with his most intimate friends. Tiger is a two-part documentary that traces Wood's dynamic rise and fall, and his later comeback to the game. His closest friends talk about his early passion for golf, his father's insistence on his practicing the sport and the success that was to define him. For those interested in sports and in the life of this legendary sportsman, this documentary is definitely worth a watch.

When: 11 January

Where: Disney+Hotstar

Also read   Coronavirus outbreak: A database of books, performances, courses available online in these times of social distancing

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