Dakshinayan: Celebrating the lived traditions of South India

Dakshinayan: Celebrating the lived traditions of South India

This year, the India International Centre (IIC) will celebrate the 19th edition of its annual festival, ‘The IIC Experience: A Festival of the Arts’ from October 27 to November 2, 2023. It will highlight and showcase the vibrant living traditions of South India with a thematic focus entitled ‘Dakshinayan: Celebrating the Lived Traditions of South India’.

The festival will present the arts, culture and food traditions of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. The South Indian diorama will range from the simple activities of everyday life in homes as well as the region’s vibrant rituals, age-old customs and traditions, art and sculpture, vernacular architecture typical to the region, ancient dance and theatre forms, classical music and the delectable cuisine.

‘The IIC Experience’ was conceptualised to bring together a wide array of talents in the visual and performing arts, epitomising and encapsulating six decades of IIC as a space for diversity, freedom, innovation, creativity, learning and entertainment. The range of activities, including dance, music (Indian, Western classical and jazz), theatre, folk art, paintings, installations and photography exhibitions take place using both outdoor and indoor spaces of IIC. Cuisine is also an important and integral part of the festival.

The festival will be inaugurated by Shyam Saran, President of IIC, on October 27 at 6:30 pm in the Fountain Lawns. The inaugural will be followed by the 'Thiranottam-Mohiniattam Recital’ by Methil Devika and artists of her troupe from Palakkad, Kerala. The other programmes include ‘Lankha Dhahanam-Tholu bommalata’, traditional puppet theatre presented by Sindhe Chithambara Rao and his troupe; a morning concert of the Carnatic vocal presented by the well-known artist N Vijay Siva from Chennai and much more.

Three diverse exhibitions will be presented during the festival: ‘A People’s Library: Celebrating the Connemara Public Library’ focusing on the rich repository of archival photographs, digitised copies of illustrated and rare books housed in the library’s collection. The exhibition in the ‘Art Gallery’ - ‘Chettinad: An Enduring Legacy’ - presents the crafts, textiles and traditions preferred and patronised by the Chettiar community of Tamil Nadu. The exhibition in the Gandhi-King Memorial Plaza - ‘Stories from the Earth: Terracotta Narratives’ - presents an exhibition of terracotta sculptures from the Sanskriti Museum of Indian Terracotta.

The ‘IIC Quarterly: Autumn 2023’ will be released during the festival by Karan Singh. The issue carries articles by scholars of art, film and music.

Curated by the award-winning filmmaker and archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, ‘Hollywood Bonanza - A Magical Mystery Tour: Festival of Films’ presents a special focus on the influential golden age of Hollywood cinema with a screening of 21 award-winning films featuring the leading sirens and heroes of this period.

Curated by Sourish Bhattacharyya, a well-known food critic, columnist and writer, the food festival includes ‘A Turkish Repast’ prepared by Chef Anuj Wadhawan; ‘Bon Appetit’ by Chef Vijay Thukral; ‘A South African Food Safari’ by Chef Nishant Choubey and more.

Entry to all the different components of the festival is open to all and is free of charge. Dinners are on payment.

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