The 'Friday' List: From the end of Margazhi to a virtual Victorian walkthrough in Kolkata, a pick of events for the first week of the new year

This week, we bring to you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your calendar for the start of the new year.

FP Staff December 31, 2020 17:36:39 IST
The 'Friday' List: From the end of Margazhi to a virtual Victorian walkthrough in Kolkata, a pick of events for the first week of the new year

On this week's #FridayList, a poetry reading by Anupama Raju, Amazon Prime Video's Yearly Departed, a virtual Margazhi festival and lots more. (Top right, top left, bottom right) Images via Facebook

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

2020 has been quite the ride. The year which was to usher in a new decade brought with it loss and grief. The coronavirus pandemic made life a roller coaster of emotions as the entire world was thrust into uncertainty. Now, with the vaccine in sight and the hope that good things will coming our way, 2020 cannot end soon enough.

Even though it is comparatively safe to venture out of our homes, the need to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus continues to make our leisure and entertainment a largely virtual experience. Many of us have chosen to stay indoors on New Year's Eve and the week that follows it, making the most out of our private dinners, Zoom parties and virtual karaoke sessions.

So, this week, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your calendar for the start of the new year. On this week's #FridayList: a virtual play by Third Space Collective, the close of the Margazhi music festival and Amazon Prime Video's stand-up special, Yearly Departed.

— A photography contest

Recognising how bizarre yet incredibly interesting 2020 has been, Sahapedia has brought forth a photography contest, Lockdown Diaries, to celebrate some of the most striking photographs clicked during these trying months. The pandemic led to a shift in our collective thought process by changing the normal course of our lives and had us bearing witness to numerous grave concerns involving economic crises, migrant issues and healthcare. The photo contest aims to analyse those moments in the lives of thousands of people which were definitive and significant during 2020, one which would be captured in an image and stored away for posterity. As the year draws to a close, the contest is the perfect opportunity to dive into old pictures, recall the moments that gave us pause and compelled us to take stock of everything we held on to in our lives.

To know more and send in your submission, click here.

— Music and drama 

Royal Opera House, Mumbai will be taking its practice of showcasing 30 minutes of pre-recorded performances and staging virtual concerts into the new year, beginning with a classical guitar recital this Saturday. Renowned artists including European Guitar Quartet's Pavel Steidl, Chile's Ser o Duo and Valencia's Vi Blau are part of the performance, Best of the 10th Calcutta International Classical Guitar Festival. A glimpse into some utterly invigorating and vibrant recitals by exceedingly proficient artists, the virtual performance is a must watch for all fans of the instrument and the western classical genre.

When: 2 January

Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel

The annual Madras Margazhi Music Festival is well under way with a stellar line-up of Carnatic artists taking to the virtual stage every day in a series of mesmerising performances. Closing the festival on the last day of 2020 are three events which are sure to be a delightful experience for those at home on New Year's Eve. One of the recitals will feature K Gayatri on vocals accompanied by M Rajeev on the violin, Poongulam Subramaniam on mridangam and Chandrasekhara Sharma on ghatam while another will have Sunil R Gargyan along with Madurai M Vijayaganesh and Srivanchiam R Sriram performing at the virtual festival. For those who religiously follow the Margazhi extravaganza each year, the last day of 94th edition of The Music Academy's concert is definitely the place to be.

To know more and get your tickets, click here.

When: 31 December

The Friday List From the end of Margazhi to a virtual Victorian walkthrough in Kolkata a pick of events for the first week of the new year

From K Gayatri's recital at the Margazhi festival to part four of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and the Amazon Prime Video special, Yearly Departed, a list of virtual engagements for this week. (Left) Image via Facebook

— Virtual stand-up and poetry reading

Stand-up comedian Rajat Chauhan will be revisiting some of his acts from this year in a virtual show on the evening of 31 December to draw to a close what has been an unconventionally eventful year. Mixed with this previously performed content will be some new material suitable for an evening of comedy and laughter, especially for families that have chosen to spend the New Year's Eve right in the safety and comfort of home. For those reminiscing and walking through all the weird, confusing, scary past months, and even the initial "normal" months of 2020, this stand-up performance is sure to be filled with nostalgia and some good humour, to keep up a positive vibe as the year draws to a close.

To know more and get your ticket, click here.

When: 31 December (5 pm)

Poetry with Prakriti is back with yet another session in its online edition, this time featuring the poet, Anupama Raju. Dedicating the first three Saturdays of every month to poetry, the initiative will usher in the first Saturday of 2021 with verses by this prolific poet whose works like Nine have been featured across multiple literary platforms. The poet has also collaborated with French photographer Pascal Bernard on Indo-French projects like Surface and Depths and Une Ville, Un Lieu, Une Personne. In a session moderated by poet K Srilata, Raju will immerse audiences in discussions around some of her poems along with recitations of her published works.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 2 January (7 pm)

— Virtual walkthrough

Continuing its series of virtual walkthroughs, Immersive Trails has brought about another tour of Kolkata through its session, Victorian Calcutta Walk, to be conducted by Chelsea McGill. The walk is an attempt to explore the Victorian social milieu in the city created through a confluence of Victorian value structures and early Nationalist renderings. The Victorian era unfolded in Kolkata amidst a flourishing period of education and reform often, referred to as the Bengali Renaissance. This session will take viewers through the architectural centres of scholarship and academia like newspapers, scientific innovations and early Nationalist organisations. Navigate through the alleyways of  Bowbazar in Kolkata to know more about the city's history and ideology in the Victorian age.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 2 January (7 pm)

— Streaming this week

Arriving on Netflix this week is the fourth part of the series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, based on the Archie Comic series of the same name. The Netflix original, much like the comic, follows the life of the half-human, half-witch Sabrina as she tries to navigate horror and the occult to protect her family from the evil forces threatening to hurt them. The fourth part is speculated to serve as the series finale with eight installments wrapping up the 'chilling' narrative. Haunting, dark and thrilling, part four which begins with Sabrina doubling as a girl in Greendale and a witch who has fully accepted her Satanic side, promises to be as exciting and terrifying as the earlier seasons, if not more. For those ushering in the new year from home, binge-watching Sabrina's adventures is sure to be a thrilling, spooky way to spend the night in.

When: 31 December

Where: Netflix

A new comedy special coming up on Amazon Prime Video, hosted by Phoebe Robinson, will bid adieu to the year that was 2020 and mark a moment of silence to recall all the quarantine, social distancing, political crisis and social upheavals that were its hallmark. With Rachel Brosnahan, Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Ziwe and others, the host of Yearly Departed will host a funeral for 2020, and with laughs and mirth say goodbye to 2020. A stand up special that promises to be fun and insightful and notorious in equal measure, Yearly Departed is definitely a must watch.

When: 30 December

Where: Amazon Prime Video

The coronavirus crisis has thrown into sharp focus what constitutes as essential in our lives, questioning which are the material items we hoard and which are the ones we really need. Dropping on Netflix aptly on New Year's Day is the documentary, The Minimalists: Less is Now in which two friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus come together to discuss how our lives can be better with less things, less 'stuff' and less of everything that is really filling up unnecessary space in our home. From cleaning out our wardrobes to analysing whether we really need all the clutter accumulated in our desk drawers, the documentary traces the concept of minimalism and of adding value to life with people and memories that matter rather than objects that have no use to us.

When: 1 January

Where: Netflix

The coronavirus has thrust many into quarantine or self-isolation, while others have chosen to simply take precautions and prefer the safety of home to the outdoors. Revisiting a classic is perhaps one of the most comforting ways to spend this time at home, especially on an evening when one would rather be out. This New Year's, catch the 2012 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina on Netflix, featuring Kiera Knightly and Aaron Taylor-Johnson  while hosting a quiet dinner party at home. Set in 19th century Russia, the film follows the story of the married socialite, the titular Anna (Knightly), and her forbidden love affair with Count Alexei Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson). The trials that arise out of this dalliance and the tragic end the protagonist suffers become a commentary on the social norms of Russian high society, making the film an interesting and thought-provoking watch.

When: 31 January

Where: Netflix

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

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