The Friday List: From a talk on Rajasthan's storytelling tradition to a discussion on lesser known Indian queens, 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 15, 2021 12:55:26 IST
The Friday List: From a talk on Rajasthan's storytelling tradition to a discussion on lesser known Indian queens, your weekly calendar of virtual events

On this week's #FridayList, Kajol's OTT debut, Tribhanga, a talk on Rajasthan's storytelling tradition, Kaavad, a poetry reading by Arundhathi Subramaniam and more. (Bottom right) Image via Facebook

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

Well into the first month of 2021, the coronavirus pandemic is no longer that terrifying phenomenon which had us gripped in its claws. Now, we have learnt to maneuver the risks involved in stepping out of our homes and COVID-19 is an entity that just lives with us. Through it all, there have been significant shifts in the way we consume content for entertainment and education, the need to stay at home making it a largely virtual experience. So, even as we have eased out of the more stringent restrictions, the landscape of our engagements and weekly dosages of entertainment continues to 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 Arundhathi Subramaniam, a talk on Rajasthan's oral storytelling tradition, kaavad, and Amazon Prime Video's One Night in Miami...

— Virtual exhibit

This weekend, National Museum, New Delhi is set to present the virtual exhibit, Bengal on Frame, in collaboration with Shape Foundation, Nagpur. An exhibition that promises to display the cultural diaspora of this state and its rich colonial moorings, the virtual tour will take audiences through the photographs captured by amateur artists and artifacts from the museum's anthropology department to showcase the cultural heritage, practices and ways of life preserved by the ethnic communities and societies of West Bengal. Also up for viewing as part of the exhibit, are documentaries that shed an intimate light on the heritage of these ethnic communities. In what is sure to be a thoroughly interesting approach to analysing the intricacies of this city and its people, this exhibit is definitely the place to be for connoisseurs of art and history.

To know more and view the exhibit, visit National Museum's Facebook

When: 16 January

— Music 

Bringing forth an excerpt from a 2015 recital, Royal Opera House, Mumbai will feature prominent music composer and singer Kailash Kher in concert on this weekend's virtual performance. Screening the archived concert, the Sacred Pushkar Festival, the opera house will showcase Kher delivering a fusion filled with rock, electronic and funk music infused with folk and Sufi tones. Staged originally at the Pushkar Lake in Rajasthan, the virtual screening will surely breathe life not only into a mesmerising recital but also celebrate the city's spiritualistic ambience and timeless charm. Tune in to what promises to be a thoroughly immersive performance.

When: 16 January

Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel

— Poetry reading

For the third Saturday of this month, Prakriti Foundation will feature poet Arundhathi Subramaniam reading out the verses from some of her critically acclaimed collections. Subramaniam, who has most recently published her collection, Love Without a Story, is known for her heartwarming and insightful verses, each of which bring forth her extensive knowledge on culture and spirituality. The poet has been honoured with multiple accolades including awards like the Khushwant Singh Prize, the Raza Award for Poetry and the Il Ceppo Prize, and is also a curator and writer in her own right. This edition of Poetry with Prakrtiti will cast a spotlight on some of her most resonating verses, making the session a must attend for bibliophiles and fans of her poetry.

To know more and attend this event, visit Prakriti Foundation's Facebook

When: 16 January

— Talks

Exploring the 400-year-old tradition of Kaavad, the art of oral storytelling practised in Rajasthan, Sahapedia has organised the lecture, Kaavad Tradition of Rajasthan to be conducted by professor Nina Sabnani. In her talk, the speaker will take audiences through the history of this storytelling art form which comprises a wooden shrine that storytellers make use of to unfurl their characters and narrate the genealogies of their patrons. The talk is sure to be a thoroughly fascinating session which traces the origin of this art of storytelling, or the portable pilgrimage as the speaker describes it in her book, which has come to be recognised as one of the most prolific traditions of Rajasthan.

To know more and attend the event, visit Sahapedia's Facebook

When: 15 January

A Luminous Presence is an upcoming talk hosted by Bangalore International Centre in which art historian Pramod Kumar KG is set to discuss the importance of gold and gilt in the intricate architecture of the Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur. While the forts of Rajasthan and the distinct glories of their material culture have been well discussed through the ages, an aspect that is seldom mentioned is the complex techniques involved in incorporating gilt in the buildings, holdings of paintings, textiles and costumes. Using the Mehrangarh Fort Museum as an entry point, the talk will aim to highlight the presence of this gleaming material in all forms of art and to draw attention to the study of materiality. For students of architecture, design and art, this session is definitely one to look forward to.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 20 January (6.30 pm)

The Friday List From a talk on Rajasthans storytelling tradition to a discussion on lesser known Indian queens your weekly calendar of virtual events

From a conversation on the ninth century queen of Odisha, Prithvimahadevi, to Netflix's Tribhanga and Amazon Prime Video's One Night in Miami..., a list of virtual engagements for this week.

This weekend, award-winning author Devika Rangachari will be seen discussing her latest book, Queen of Earth, with author and translator Deepa Agarwal in a session brought about by Penguin India, Penguinsters and Sipping Thoughts. The novelist's work tells the story of Prithvimahadevi, a royal in ninth century Odisha who fights all kinds of odds in her quest to gain power and become queen. A princess of Kosala, she is married off to her father's enemy, the Bhaumakara ruler, Shubhakaradeva and finds her dreams drifting away from her until one day she finally has the opportunity to chase what she desires most. Through this work of historical fiction, Rangachari brings forth an intriguing tale of one of many lesser known queens of India and her talk promises to shed light on some of the other women rulers, forgotten by history.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 16 January (11.30 am)

— Workshops

National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai is set to host a workshop that will enable amateur artists and sound designers to understand how to best use the technology at hand to produce virtual audio and video sessions with impeccable aesthetics. In the session, The Artiste on Both Sides of the Mic, award-winning sound engineer Gaurav Chopra will take participants through the usage of microphones during online sessions, the concept of home studios and how best one can achieve good quality recordings at home along with innovative methods of performance. The talk is sure to be a thoroughly informative one set up in a bid to equip artists with the skills essential to take their craft to the virtual stage. For budding artists, this session is a can't miss.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 16 January (3.30 pm)

— Virtual murder mystery

For fans of the genre,  It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To is an upcoming murder mystery created by Murdered For Money to get the new year kickstarted with a rush of adrenaline and raise funds for a cancer support centre. Spread across five days, the mystery takes off from the cranky old woman Constance Moaning's surprise birthday party, in which the cantankerous woman decides to have some fun with her guests by spoiling the whole event for her family and friends and troubling the restaurant staff to no end. What follows is a light-hearted mystery and some accompanying chaos. For the detectives, there's video footage, clues, puzzles and suspect interrogations to get to the bottom of Moaning's plots.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 20 January

— Streaming this week

Arriving on Netflix this Friday is the film Tribhanga, featuring Kajol, Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar in the lead. The symbolism in the title is not lost on the three protagonists of this drama each of whose idiosyncrasies can be encapsulated in the age-old movements of classical dance. The film, directed by Renuka Shahane, marks Kajol's OTT debut, and she will be seen portraying the role of a Bollywood actor and Odissi exponent and performer. The story of Nayan, Anu and Masha, Tribhanga promises to be a compelling watch that peels the layers off of the relationship between these three women to expose the secrets buried deep within. A healthy mix of drama, laughs and love, the film is sure to be a heartwarming watch for a Friday night in.

When: 15 January

Where: Netflix

Mayhem, confusion and maybe even time travel is sure to be the natural course of things when two superheroes decide to go straight and live that normal, family life. Arriving on Disney+Hotstar is Marvel Studios' WandaVision, the story of Wanda Maximoff and Vision, who attempt to blend in the ordinary world and keep their superpowers hidden just to enjoy that peaceful idyllic life. But they soon start suspecting the normal world around them and realise that there might just be more to it than meets the eye. A story that swerves from one decade to another, WandaVision is the perfect mix of comedy, action and adventure, definitely worth a watch.

When: 15 January

Where: Disney+Hotstar

Cassius Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Malcom X find themselves together one evening in Miami, and what follows is a dialogue between these prominent figures that sheds light on what it means to be successful African Americans in the United States of America during the civil rights movement. The upcoming Amazon Prime Video original, One Night in Miami... brings together these four figures who were active participants of the fight against racial discrimination in the country. Directed by Regina Kind, the film takes off from the fight in which Clay defeats heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in Miami and celebrates his win with his friends. Watching One Night in Miami... is sure to be a fascinating and insightful experience.

When: 15 January

Where: Amazon Prime Video

Also arriving on Amazon Prime Video this weekend is the political drama, Tandav, featuring Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Tigmanshu Dhulia among others. The nine-part series created by Ali Abbas Zafar revolves around the chaos and power play in the city of Delhi as politicians exercise all their strength and clout to take control of the democracy. Moves and countermoves, both allegorical and literal, feature in the actions of the characters which are desperate enough to go to any means necessary to secure their power. Tandav promises to be thoroughly captivating and exciting, worth a weekend binge.

When: 15 January

Where: Amazon Prime Video

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

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