Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe
Unlock 2.0 is underway in certain cities, in others, work from home continues within containment zones, and some areas are facing lockdown again. Whichever way the winds blow, the necessity of staying at home and maintaining social distancing to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus keeps on making our leisure time a largely virtual experience. And even as we begin to ease out of the most stringent of 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: unboxing an antique ghost show, a storytelling workshop and an Indo-Korean recital.
" Streaming this week
Cinema theatres continue to remain shut as a precautionary measure to reduce the contagion of the coronavirus. But even though it has become a tad bit difficult to enjoy our share of desi entertainment on the big screen, it is also an opportunity to catch up on foreign films that promise to be enriching experiences. The >French Institute in India has created a package of ten contemporary feature films and ten short films which are available for viewing online for the next couple of weeks. For those who can stomach movies with subtitles, the institute has put up for free some interesting titles including Le Nouveau, Le Tableau, Les PÃ©pites and more.
When: 12 June to 13 July
Where: IFcinÃ©ma Ã la carte
Arriving on Sunday on Netflix is the 2019 film, >Penalty. Starring Kay Kay Menon, Shashank Arora and Lukram Smil, it revolves around the story of a young football player from Manipur who enrolls in a college in Lucknow to fulfill his dreams of playing football at the national level. The film explores the issue of discrimination faced by those hailing from northeastern states in India and one youngster's fight to play his sport against all odds.
When: 5 July
Also starting off on Netflix this Friday is Season 1 of the series >The Baby-Sitters Club, a screen adaptation of Ann M Martin's books by the same name. A modern take on her works, the show revolves around young teenagers in a Connecticut town who start the Baby-Sitters Club to earn some money, hang out with each other and look after the children in the neighbourhood. A sweet, innocent story about teenagers, The Baby-Sitters Club is a wonderful respite from the otherwise dark, dramatic and spooky teenage dramas, providing a refreshing glimpse of the youthful innocence of young adults.
When: 3 July
" Talks and interactive sessions
An event during the 2018 Tata Literature Live! festival will be featured this weekend as part of the National Centre for Performing Art (NCPA), Mumbai's NCPA@home series, showcasing a discussion on cultural capital. Singapore-based British journalist and author James Crabtree will be in conversation with academic Nader Fekri and Indian historian Srinath Raghavan, to talk about the extent to which poetry, language, songs and music influence and impact our mindset, our thoughts and beliefs. Soft Sell: Cashing in on Cultural Capital, promises to be an edifying conversation which attempts to discover how culture is consumed and stored in our minds.
When: 3 July (6 pm)
Where: NCPA's YouTube Channel
(This event will be available for viewing till 10 July)
A slice of Indian history will meet architecture and design in the talk, >Statues in Colonial Bombay and Bengal Presidencies, a fascinating lecture-demonstration that explores sculpture and its many registers of meaning. The speakers, Tapati Guha-Thakurta, a retired professor of history and Sandeep Dahisarkar, an art historian, will be in conversation with historian Dr Simin Patel and will present their academic perspectives on the synergies between the two colonial presidencies from the lens of sculptural icons, monuments and memorials. Brought about by AVID Learning, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai and Ministry of Culture, Government of India, the talk is a must-attend for all history buffs looking to understand India's colonial past from the standpoint of cultural iconography.
To know more and register, click here.
When: 9 July (6 pm to 7.30 pm)
AVID Learning will also present on its AVIDOnline sessions, a talk with architect and sculptor Tarik Curimbhoy as part of its >Artists Behind the Art series, followed by another session with Raj Shahani during the course of the week. The two talks will explore the works and inspirations of the artists and their art, from their experiences and knowledge gathered along the way.
When: 6 July (7 pm) & 8 July (7 pm)
For those looking to engage the kids in the house through virtual activities after tedious hours of online learning and worksheet-solving, the session >Animal Adaptations, set up by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) is one to take note of. Kids can discover the wonder of nature in the online session which will take them on a tour of the animal kingdom through the museum's Natural History Collection.
When: 3 July (4 pm: 8 - 12 years & 6 pm: 12 - 16 years)
Download the enguru app to attend this session.
Atlas Obscura, through its Wonder From Home series, will host among this week's sessions a talk on the tricks and illusions employed in a ghost show from a bygone age. In >Unboxing an Antique Ghost Show, antiquarian and author Tony Wolf will deconstruct a ghost show he inherited from his father's collection, created by the Iowa-based Ghost Factory sometime in the early/mid 20th century. All manner of 'spookology' effects were sold at the time to hucksters posing as mediums who conned the bereaved. Wolf will delve into these colourful histories through the session and also showcase some effects like the 'talking skull', the 'rapping hand' and the 'spirit lamp.' For those who listen enraptured to every ghost story, this talk promises to be the most fascinating experience.
When: 9 July
To know more and register, click here.
In performing Quissebaazi, a multilingual storytelling format, actor, storyteller and poet Danish Husain is set to regale his listeners with folktales and stories narrated in other urban forms of storytelling. The artist, who has contributed greatly to reviving the lost art of the Urdu storytelling style, Dastangoi will be hosting >Quissebaazi this weekend, in a live Instagram session brought about by CSMVS.
When: 5 July (7 pm)
Where: CSMVS' Instagram page
" Plays, dance and music
Since April 2020, NCPA Mumbai has been hosting the NCPA@home series on its virtual platforms, bringing to the screen archived performances by stalwarts in classical and contemporary dance, music and theatre. This weekend, the cultural centre will be showcasing the >Kirk MacDonald Generations Quartet featuring clarinettist, Virginia Macdonald. Tune in to hear the Macdonald family play its tunes and experience a weekend evening full of soulful musical notes.
When: 4 July (6 pm)
Where: NCPA's YouTube Channel
(This event will be available for viewing till 11 July)
Royal Opera House, Mumbai has also been showcasing curated pieces of archived performances during this period of social distancing when theatres and auditoriums continue to remain shut, and audiences miss out on the vibe and buzz of live performances. This weekend the opera house will stage on its virtual platforms the concert, >Same Same But Different: An Indo-Korean Collaboration. In what will be an utterly interesting combination of different art styles, the event will feature the South Korean ensemble Noreum Machi performing its Korean New Wave Music, joined by with noted choreographer and performer Astad Deboo as well as the ensemble Trayam, comprising BC Manjunath, Varijashree Venugopal and Praveen D Rao.
When: 4 July (6 pm)
To ward off those mid-week blues and infuse some music into the mix, a fine event to attend virtually is the pre-recorded session, >UnCommon: World/ Jazz Concert staged by the opera house. A fusion of Indian, world and jazz music, the recital will feature percussionist Ranjit Barot, Cameroonian vocalist and bassist Etienne MbappÃ© and French keyboardist Christophe Cravero. Also in a guest appearance will be vocalists Hariharan and Vijay Prakash, making the event a must-watch for all connoisseurs of Indian and global music.
When: 8 July (6 pm)
" Masterclasses and workshops
AVID Learning, as part of its online sessions is set to host the live masterclass, >Tradition Meets Modernity: Designing and Presenting Heritage, this weekend which will be conducted by the vice-chairman of the JD Centre of Art, Siddhartha Das. Tune in to AVID Learning's virtual media platforms to find out more about how to curate and design museums, exhibitions and installations holistically and responsibly while building an educational cultural experience, in this masterclass hosted by the founder of the Siddhartha Das Studio.
When: 4 July (5 pm to 6.30 pm)
Writer and storyteller Faizi Khan is set to conduct a storytelling workshop this Sunday, walking her participants through techniques for writing prose and jotting down real-life experiences. The project, >The Alchemy of Success with Pen, will focus on teaching how conversations and incidences can become stories and is a must-attend for those wishing to do some self-exploration and brush up on their creative writing.
To book your spot for this session, click here.
When: 5 July (4 pm)