What To Expect At Oz Fest in Mumbai
Mumbai’s rock music fans will probably have heard that popular Australian act Karnivool will perform in Mumbai and Pune this November. What they probably don’t know is that the tour is part of Oz Fest, a new cultural extravaganza that kicks off on Tuesday, October 16 that’s not to be confused with Ozzfest, the heavy metal music festival organised by Ozzy Osbourne. The nation-wide Oz Fest will span over a dozen cities and will take place over three-and-a-half months. Delhi being the seat of the Australian Embassy, gets the big-ticket opening and closing ceremonies. The former, which will be held at the Purana Qila, will feature a collaborative performance between world music stars, sitar player Anoushka Shankar and Aboriginal singer-songwriter Gurrumul Yunupingu, while the latter, which will be held on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, will include a prominent Aussie rock act (though we have no confirmation, we suspect it’s this recent chart topper). Mumbai has its share of exciting events though, and given below is a list of the cultural activities to look out for:
Two Australian movies will be screened as part of the Mumbai Film Festival. Sports comedy Save Your Legs!, about a Melbourne cricket team’s tour of India, starring Oz Fest ambassador, Indian-Australian actress Pallavi Sharda, will be shown on Sunday, October 21, and the award-winning musical The Sapphires, about a soul vocal group made up of four indigenous women and their tour of Vietnam (critics have drawn comparisons with Dreamgirls) on Wednesday, October 24. Visit Mumbaifilmfest.com to register as a festival delegate. Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point.
From the 1930s through the 1950s, circus performer-turned-stuntwoman-turned-actress “Fearless” Nadia swashbuckled her way through numerous Hindi films. Oz Fest will celebrate the career of the woman who was born in Perth, as Mary Ann Evans, but found fame as India’s first action heroine by screening excerpts from some of her best-loved movies, including 1940’s Diamond Queen, at Liberty cinema on Wednesday, November 21 and Thursday, November 22. The montage will be shown to the accompaniment of music scored by Australian percussionist Ben Walsh and his 13-member Orkestra of the Underground. Liberty Cinema, near Bombay Hospital, 41/42 Marine Lines. To register, visit Ozfestindia.com.
Arguably two of the most recognisable Australian faces on Indian television, chefs and MasterChef judges, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris will visit Mumbai as part of their “unplugged in India” tour between Sunday, October 21 and Tuesday, October 23. While their itinerary is still under wraps, the duo is expected to make “special guest appearances” at a number of Oz Fest events.
Oz Fest will bring Raw Comedy, the open mic stand-up competition organised as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, to five Indian cities, starting with Mumbai on Wednesday, October 31 when some of our funny men (and women) will compete for a place in the finals, to be held in Delhi in November. The national winner will travel to Melbourne to compete at the grand final in 2013. Visit Ozfestindia.com for details.
Mumbai will get a taste of the characteristically dry Aussie sense of humour when the Melbourne International Comedy Roadshow, which features stand-up, sketch and improv comedy, visits Mumbai, specifically Blue Frog on Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2. Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel. Tel: 022 6158 6158. Call the venue for details of the entry fee.
The five Australian rock bands that will perform at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune will also perform in Mumbai, at the Hard Rock Café on Wednesday, November 7. Progressive rock heavyweights Karnivool will headline the travelling showcase known as the The Australian BBQ. The line-up includes indie rock duo Big Scary, indie pop bands Jinja Safari and Sheppard (the Afro-pop influenced former act is said to be Australia’s answer to Vampire Weekend), and house music outfit The Austin Shuffle. Hard Rock Café, Bombay Dyeing Mills Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, near Deepak Talkies, Lower Parel. Tel: 022 2438 2888. Call the venue for details of the entry fee.
Musical ensemble Deep Blue, which describes itself as “part band, part orchestra and part theatre” and in which the sounds of a string section are mixed with electronica, will play Blue Frog on Wednesday, December 5. Their repertoire includes everything from Western classical and film music to rock. Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel. Tel: 022 6158 6158. Call the venue for details of the entry fee.
The sole art event in Mumbai is one that will show visitors what Melbourne and Sydney might look like in 2050. The 3D exhibition, which will be displayed at Studio X from Friday, November 23 to Saturday, December 1, is titled Now and When and envisions the future as seen through the eyes of Australian artists and architects. Studio X, Kitab Mahal, Fourth Floor, 192 D. N. Road, Fort. Tel: 99301 36486. Visit Ozfestindia.com for details.
As part of both Oz Fest and the National Centre for the Performing Arts’ annual festival of English plays, Centrestage, Australian puppet-theatre company Snuff Puppets will conduct a two-week workshop with young adults from Dharavi. The participants will learn how to design and make the kind of giant-sized puppets Snuff is renowned for, and will create and stage performances during Centrestage, which will be held between Sunday, December 16 and Sunday, December 30. National Centre for the Performing Arts, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point. Visit Ncpamumbai.com for details.
Contemporary dance company Chunky Move will perform their acclaimed work Glow at the NCPA on Wednesday, January 30 and Thursday, January 31. The 2006 production, which incorporates video, is choreographed by Chunky Move founder and former artistic director Gideon Obarzanek in collaboration with interactive software creator Frieder Weiss. Experimental Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point. Visit Ncpamumbai.com for details.