The Friday List: From environmental storytelling to Kathakali recital, your weekly calendar of virtual events

FP Staff

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

Life is slowly coming back to normal; after a brief hiatus, traffic is reappearing on streets and more and more people are venturing out of their homes €" with masks on, of course. However, precautions continue to remain in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing continues to make our leisure time a largely virtual experience. So even as we ease out of the most stringent of restrictions, the landscape of our engagements and weekly dose 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 Kathakali recital, a documentary on the life of Anne Frank and a mind reading session.

€" Plays, dance, music and concerts

This weekend, as part of its NCPA@home series, the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai is set to showcase yet another archived performance by the >Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI). Led by music director Marat Bisengaliev, the concert is set to feature Haydn's Symphony No. 104 in D Major. The last of the 12 London symphonies written by the Austrian composer, this musical piece has been a favourite ever since its first concert in May 1795 and was performed by the SOI at NCPA's 50th anniversary celebrations. Tune in to NCPA's YouTube channel to enjoy Haydn's mesmerising notes.

When: 27 June (6 pm)

Where: NCPA's YouTube Channel

As part of its 2019 Mudra dance festival, the NCPA staged a number of dance concerts €" some of which explored Hasya, the rasa of humour and laughter. Kathakali, one of the eight Indian classical dances, which narrates a host of stories and episodes from the Ramayana, was also brought to the stage during the festival by the maestro Sadanam Balakrishnan. In keeping with the theme of humour and laughter, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award-winning exponent presented >Ravanodbhavam with his troupe, a humorous conversation between the King of Lanka, Ravana and his brothers, Kumbhakarna and Vibheeshan. Connoisseurs of classical dance can experience the beauty of Kathakali's abhinaya through this archived recital, set to be showcased this weekend as part of the NCPA@home series.

When: 28 June (6 pm)

Where: NCPA's YouTube Channel

In a bid to raise funds for those struggling to make ends meet during this challenging time, Hope Foundation €" India, has collaborated with noted musician Ankur Tewari for a concert with all proceeds used for providing supplies and hygiene kits to these individuals. >A soulful evening with Ankur Tewari will be streamed live on Skillbox this Friday and promises to be a melodious recital, the perfect way to unwind after a long work from home week.

To know more and book your spot, click here.

When: 27 June (7.30 pm)

Royal Opera House, Mumbai, as part of its ongoing series of virtual shows is set to present this Saturday, >The Sleepy Beauty, a ballet by the Bella Academy from Mumbai. A 30-minute pre-recorded performance, this recital narrating the delightful fairy tale is a lovely glimpse into a world of art and fantasy, a much-needed shot of rejuvenation in an especially uncertain and gloomy period time.

When: 27 June (6 pm)

€" Talks

Socio-political activist Aruna Roy in conversation with journalist Anuradha Sengupta discussed at the 2018 Tata Literature Live! festival, >The RTI Story, delving into the people's movement which contributed in getting the Right to Information law passed by the government 15 years ago. NCPA@home will be showcasing on its YouTube channel the entire discussion between the two speakers that narrates the story of this campaign and the subsequent passing of the RTI Act, a watershed move in Indian democracy.

When: 26 June (6 pm)

Where: NCPA's YouTube Channel

AVID Learning, as part of its ongoing sessions on its digital platforms is set to host a talk by oral historian Avehi Menon this Friday on what museums might look like in an age that is increasingly going online, more so during this time of social distancing. The talk, >The New Virtual Museum with the archive director at Sarmaya Arts, is then directed towards discussing how museums and cultural institutions are increasingly going digital by incorporating technologies like augmented and virtual reality to take their collections to global audiences. This talk is a must attend for those inclined towards understanding how cultural spaces carve a spot for themselves in the digital world.

When: 26 June (7 pm)

An investigative reporter and an environmental journalist, Sonali Prasad is set to deliver a talk this Friday on intersectional environmentalism, conservation, and storytelling. Environment conservation is the need of the hour and climate change, a harsh reality. While contributing to saving energy and the planet's green cover is crucial, what is also imperative is to make space for communities to tell their own stories. Organised by Godrej India Culture Lab, in the online lecture, >The Green Beat, Prasad is set to explore these ideas and discuss how effective storytelling can shape inclusive and sustainable narratives.

To know more and RSVP, click here.

When: 26 June (7 pm)

Atlas Obscura's Wonder From Home series continues to host talks on a plethora of topics and of this week's events, >Gastro Obscura: Italy in Bocca is the one to look forward to. Exploring this funky cookbook series, bound in cardboard and printed on oatmeal paper, each book covers a different region of Italy, its forgotten recipes, folklore and some hand painted artwork. With the hosts of this session, Peter Boggia and Roberto Serrini, go on a tour of Italy, its food, drink and culture in this session, from the comfort of your couch.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 27 June (8 pm)

€" Interactive sessions

If life in lockdown has become too routine and mundane, the >Mental Amusements session organised as part of Atlas Obscura's Wonder From Home series is a thrilling virtual program to attend and let a mentalist poke around in your mind. Acclaimed mind reader Vinny DePonto will, through the screen of the computer attempt to virtually control minds, thoughts and decisions, guess star signs and more in this exciting event. What he will also do is allow his audience a glimpse into his mind to see how his shows are developed. Sign in quickly to have your mind read, not at the local fair or by the street-side hypnotist, but through your screen, early morning right from home.

To know more and register, click here.

(Seats are filling fast for this session)

When: 26 & 27 June (4.30 am to 5.30 am)

€" Streaming this week

Coming on Netflix this week is the 2019 documentary, >#AnneFrank - Parallel Stories. Narrated by the Oscar-winning actor Helen Mirren, the film traces the life of Anne Frank through her diary and the lives of five women, who as young girls were sent to concentration camps but survived the Holocaust. With passages taken from Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, the documentary promises to be a thoroughly interesting account of the girl, whose words written while in hiding have provided tremendous perspective about the Holocaust and the lives of the people trapped in hiding during this time.

When: 1 July

Where: Netflix

Netflix's upcoming release, >Homemade, has brought together 17 filmmakers presenting a compendium of short films which can be watched individually or as a complete feature and which capture the moments and shared experiences of people during the lockdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Helmed by director Pablo Larrain, the collection will feature short films directed by artists such as Kristen Stewart and Maggie Gyllenhaal whose shorts were shot in Los Angeles and Vermont respectively. Tune in to Netflix to catch glimpses of how the lockdown unravelled for people spread out over various places and situations.

When: 30 June

Where: Netflix

Also streaming on Netflix this week is the reboot of the American mystery documentary TV show, >Unsolved Mysteries which uses first person accounts and interviews to delve into unexplained occurrences, crimes and other unusual circumstances. For those who enjoy a dose of dark, spooky and suspenseful, Volume 1 of this series will have all of it, including a dash of the supernatural.

When: 1 July

Where: Netflix

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

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