The Friday List: From NCPA's World Music Day festivities to a masterclass on travel writing, your weekly calendar of virtual events

FP Staff

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

We are all easing into what has become the new normal as life slowly tries to come back on track following the lockdown brought about in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, social distancing and the necessity of staying at home due to the imminent threat of the coronavirus will keep 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 will continue 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: weird homes, stargazing music and a travel writing masterclass.

€" Plays, dance and music

National Centre of Performing Arts, (NCPA) Mumbai

To celebrate World Music Day on 21 June, the National Centre of Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai will showcase all through the weekend, as part of its NCPA@home series, stellar performances from its archives by well-known exponents of classical and contemporary music. Among these is a recital by several jazz artists accompanied by a full-blown horn section who will be performing some of the most famous Broadway hits including The Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music and Jesus Christ Superstar. Tune in to NCPA's YouTube channel to enjoy the swing and verve of some classic jazz tunes in >Jazz Goes To Broadway.

When: 20 June (6 pm)

Where: NCPA's YouTube Channel

(This event will be available for viewing till 27 June)

Also a part of the World Music Day festivities is a performance by renowned singer Javed Ali. A recital immersed in Sufiana songs, the compositions are descriptive of themes such as love, longing and union with the higher power, worship that transcends the constraints of caste, creed and religion. Engulfed in a time of uncertainties and stress, this recital, which was first staged in 2015 as part of Sama'a: The Mystic Ecstasy, is a splendid way to immerse in the spiritual and tranquil vibes created by Sufiana music.

When: 21 June

Where:  NCPA's YouTube Channel

(This event will be available for viewing till 28 June)

Royal Opera House:

Royal Opera House, Mumbai, in its ongoing series which features excerpts from past events, will host on its social media platforms the recital Logically Speaking this weekend. A solo performance by drummer Gino Banks, the event will comprise of a 30-minute pre-recorded programme, the perfect fit for a short musical evening on a Saturday.

When: 20 June (6 pm)

During the week, the opera house will stage on its digital platforms The Tallis Scholars in Rome, a recital by the acclaimed a cappella troupe. For those looking for some wonderful tunes while wrapping up that hectic work from home day in the middle of the week, this is an event to look forward to as the troupe takes the audiences on a journey of mellifluous notes performed in Rome, right from the comfort of the couch.

When: 24 June

In what promises to be a very fascinating performance, Atlas Obscura's Wonder From Home series will host >Music For Stargazing, a complete set of melodies that will partner well with sitting in the balcony or terrace of your flat to gaze into the wonders of the cosmos. The performance will be led by astronomer Moiya McTier who will be focusing on solar eclipses. McTier will be accompanied during the session by The Sun Ra Arkestra! whose electric guitar and percussion instruments will set the mood for delving into the world of celestial bodies.

When: 21 June

To know more and register, click here.

In the fifth of its FirstAct series, featuring improv and theatre artists staging plays and readings over Zoom video calls, Firstpost is set to present >Leftovers, a play set against the backdrop of the society meetings of 'B Wing Belle View Apartments' and the confrontations between the residents. Created by actor and director Chanakya Vyas and playwright Saudamini Kalra, the play follows one such meeting happening over a video call which takes an unplanned turn. Find out what happens next by tuning in to watch the play this Friday.

When: 19 June (8.30 pm)

Where: Firstpost's FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Also read €" FirstAct: Chanakya Vyas' Leftovers examines a pandemic's semantics, its effects on everyday lives

€" Talks and interactive sessions 

Straddling Three Spheres: Working in Theatre, TV and film, a talk by filmmaker and director Stephen Daldry is also a part of the NCPA@home series this weekend. The talk will feature this acclaimed figure behind works such as The Crown, Billy Elliot, The Hours and The Reader who will be discussing in this archived event how to stay true to a story even as the medium of expression oscillates between films, theatre and TV. The event was first staged as part of the 2018 Tata Literature Live! festival and promises to be an insightful narrative on the art of storytelling.

When: 19 June

Where: NCPA's YouTube Channel

(This event will be available for viewing till 26 June)

Along with archived performances, the NCPA is also set to bring back the >Utkarsh series, this time on a virtual platform featuring lecture-demonstrations by prominent dancers. The first of these events will go live on NCPA's Facebook channel next week with a session by renowned Bharatnatyam exponent Sanddhya Purecha, who will be demonstrating the importance of mudra (hand gestures) in a performance. In what promises to be a very engrossing session, this renowned danseuse during the course of her presentation will also discuss the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu and the gestures that depict each of these divine forms.

When: 23 June (5 pm)

Where: NCPA's Facebook page

This week, an event organised by Atlas Obscura and Weird Homes Tour, is set to take viewers through unusual homes and the people who live in them. The talk will feature one such couple from New Orleans living in a home shaped like a shipping container and rather than following the trend of minimalism is packed with three storeys and two roof decks. Take a tour through this unusual home to find out how to do about designing such weird spaces.

When: 22 June

To know more and register, click here.

Of the live online sessions brought about by the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) during this lockdown period, the discussion on this weekend titled >Good Omens, is set to feature acclaimed author Neil Gaiman in conversation with writer and journalist Nilanjana S. Roy. In the session, Gaiman will be talking about his life during the lockdown, his writing and his experiences of forty years of storytelling. Tune in to JLF's YouTube channel to catch this spirited conversation.

When: 20 June (7 pm)

Where: JLF's YouTube channel

€" Masterclasses 

LiteratureLive! the Mumbai LitFest, Penguin Random House and AVID Learning have brought about a live masterclass, Documenting Food and Travel Adventures, to help budding writers hone their skills of recording, documenting and portraying travels, journeys, cuisines, flavours and cultures of a new place. This masterclass offers from the comfort of home the ability to learn how to develop an eye for detail, select research matter for on-ground exploration and understand how to kick start and maintain a travel journal. To be conducted by writer Varud Gupta, this live session will be packed with loads of training on recording your culinary and cultural adventures on your next trip, once travel resumes, of course!

When: 20 June

To know more and register, click here.

While last week was all about learning how to draft your poetry manuscript, this week's masterclass organised by HarperCollins and Little Black Book (LBB) is dedicated towards discussing how to publish a work of non-fiction. Writing a non-fiction account requires tremendous research and fact-checking, and to get it published, a few additional steps that ought to be taken. The masterclass, The Write Choice: Learn How To Publish Your Own Non-Fiction With HarperCollins, is then the place to be for any aspiring writer out there who wishes to learn the tips and tricks involved in submitting and publishing a non-fiction work.

When: 19 June (6 pm to 7 pm)

To know more and register, click here.

This event has limited seating.

Ashoka University has also set up as many as 15 live online courses for students to help them learn new topics while maintaining social distancing norms. The faculty will include speakers such as Rita Kothari, Carol Giacomo, Manu Pillai and Kaushik Basu among others. Open to all learners from all age groups, across academic backgrounds, the first batch of students will also be offered a chance of 50 percent scholarship. Students will be awarded a certificate of completion upon finishing the coursework.

To know more and apply, click here.

€" Games

Atlas Obscura, as part of the Wonder From Home series, will host its weekly T>rivia Night where contestants from across the globe can compete in a game of wits, general knowledge and educated guessing. To be played in groups of five, the winning team can also look forward to exciting prizes which will be announced at the end of the two-hour long spirited competition.

When: 19 June

To know more and register, click here.

€" Streaming this week

For those looking for a new flick to catch this week, Netflix will release a new original, >Bulbbul, starring Tripti Dimri, Avinash Tiwary and Rahul Bose, which follows the story of a child bride who, abandoned by her brother, grows up to become an enigmatic woman living in a palace of her own. Produced by Anushka Sharma's Clean Slate Productions, the film is set against the backdrop of a village of superstitious people who believe that the mysterious occurrences and disappearances plaguing them are the work of an evil chudail. Catch this intriguing, spooky film during this week to add a jolt of horror to a rather mundane routine.

When: 24 June

Where: Netflix

Keeping up the social distancing norms still in effect, it has been difficult to step out on the weekend and enjoy that TGIF feeling. Things are made a bit brighter by adding some comedy and laughter to the weekend. >Chaman Bahaar, which arrives on Netflix this Friday, narrates how a local paan-shop becomes a hub for young men crushing on the shop's new neighbour. Directed by Apurva Dhar Badgaiyann and starring Jitendra Kumar as the unfortunate shop owner who falls for the girl himself, the film promises to be a light-hearted, funny story, perfect for a night-in.

When: 19 June

Where: Netflix

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

Also See: The Friday List: From NCPA's Jam Session to Atlas Obscura's trivia night, your weekly calendar of virtual events

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