The Friday List: From a workshop on costuming for dance to a talk on leopards in the Indian wild, your weekly calendar of virtual events

·9 min read

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

Public spaces have started opening up as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, returning the pace of life once again to the new normal of a post-pandemic world. But the need to curb the spread of the coronavirus and keep the number of cases at their lowest means spending more of our leisure hours indoors, making our free time a largely virtual experience. So, even as we slowly 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: a lecture on Shakespeare's influence on Indian music, a discussion on sustainable conservation practices along the Hooghly Riverbank and Amazon Prime Video's film on man-animal conflict, Sherni.

€" Talks and panel discussions

William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, has had a deep impact on performance Indian art, theatre and cinema which is evident in the creation of characters, dramatic plot points and comic narratives. In cinema too, Shakespeare's works have been directly or symbolically adapted into numerous works that bring forth the dramatic and tragic elements of his writings to Indian audiences. However, Shakespeare's influence has also seeped greatly into Indian music and sound, inspiring many to create compositions which carry a flavour of his works. To explore this intriguing artistic relationship, AVID Learning has brought forth the lecture-presentation >Sounds of Shakespeare, conducted by Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Gil Harris, that will discuss the Bard's impact on Indian art and culture in the contemporary times.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 24 June (6 pm)

A discussion between scientist Sanjay Gubbi and editor Sejal Mehta brought about by the Bangalore International Centre will focus on the social yet solitary qualities of the leopard, a creature that appears inconspicuous but is, in fact, significant in number in Indian forests. In many regions around the world, the leopard faces ecological or local extinction but in India, it has become a symbol of preserving wildlife. While talking about Gubbi's research and his book on this cat, >Leopard Diaries: The Rosette in India, the author will shed light on his decade-long field work and share his thoughts on the complex and ambivalent nature of the leopards' life in the Indian wild, the tensions between humans and leopards and the relationship of the species with its ecosystem.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 24 June (6.30 pm)

A panel discussion featuring conservator Sanghamitra Basu, Gautam Chakraborti, travel writer Rangan Datta and researcher Jaturong Pokharatsiri will discuss sustainable approaches to preserving heritage on the Hooghly Riverbank in a session brought forth by Immersive Trails and Living Waters Museum. The conversation, >Sustainable Heritage on the Hooghly Riverbank, which will be moderated by the students of Modern High School for Girls, Kolkata, will dive into what it means to protect the cultural and historic ecosystems in the area around the river and find approaches for a future path towards conserving these legacies.

Where: Immersive Trails' Facebook page

When: 18 June (6 pm)

As part of its series of digital programming, the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF) has brought forth the debate, >The Persistence of Opposition, between historian J Devika and scientist TV Sanjeev with an introduction by writer CS Meenakshi. Through its lectures and conversations, the e-KLF is set to bring to the fore a variety of topics in multiple languages explored by writers and thinkers from across the world. These sessions, organised for the digital edition of the literature festival, will lead up to the in-person event that will be held at the Kozhikode Beach in January 2022. The two speakers at this debate will come together to talk about some of the pressing political and social concerns prevalent in the contemporary times.

(This session will be conducted in Malayalam.)

Where: Kerala Literature Festival's Facebook page

When: 19 June (5.30 pm)

€" Online Workshops

A two-part workshop organised by the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, will feature costume designer Sandhya Raman who will be discussing the nuances of designing dance costumes in the contemporary times. With the advent of virtual performances and recitals, performing arts is witnessing a shift to the digital stage, which calls for innovation in design and drapes. In >Reimagining Dance Costumes with Sandhya Raman, participants will be introduced to the designer's three-decade long costuming journey and participate in a clinic in which they can get her input on their own projects. The session also aims to help performers revisit their existing wardrobes and create new combinations out of their old costumes to suit their present needs. For amateur dancers and designers wanting to work in performing arts, this workshop is definitely a must attend.

To register for this workshop, write to: kpuranik@ncpamumbai.com or mdsouza@ncpamumbai.com

When: 18 June and 25 June (6 pm)

Story of Everyday Utensils is a new workshop for children brought forth by Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum in which participants can discover the myriad stories associated with every object that makes up our day-to-day lives. From alarm clocks to a cup of tea or a breakfast tray, the two-part workshop conducted by Anagha Kusum will be a journey through local and familial histories that discusses where these utensils came from, how they were made, who made them and how some of them entered our lives through proverbs, folklore and songs. The workshop encapsulates the deeper context of every object which goes beyond its utilitarian purpose and promises to be a thoroughly stimulating and insightful experience for the kids at home.

(This is a paid event with limited seats.)

To know more and register, click here.

When: 19 June and 26 June (4 pm)

€" Music and poetry

To celebrate >World Music Day, The Indian Music Experience Museum has set up a concert that features Nigerian drummer Aralola Olamuyiwa, Israeli singer and songwriter Eliezer Botzer Cohen and Spanish flamenco guitarist Carlos Blanco. The performance which aims to focus on a shared experience of music will unite diverse voices using compositions that highlight the rhythms and sounds of three different regions and cultures from across the globe. A virtual recital that brings to life a collective spirit of music and the spiritual energy generated through the fusion of these varied voices, this session is definitely a place to be for all music aficionados.

Where: The Indian Music Experience Museum's Facebook and YouTube

When: 20 June (6.30 pm)

Poet and author Megha Rao will take audiences through an engaging evening of performance, poetry and escapism in the session, >Poetry and Pyar brought about by Moonflower. Known for her confessional and profoundly vulnerable writing, Rao has to her name three novels which tell the stories of love, friendships and desires unfolding in the contemporary space. Her verses are infused with a candour that attempts to lay bare her innermost thoughts, while her performance poetry makes for an experience that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. In this online session, Rao will be reciting some of her most enjoyable works while interacting with audiences about her creative processes.

(This is a paid event.)

To know more and participate in this interactive performance, click here.

When: 19 June (7 pm)

€" Streaming this week

Arriving on Apple TV+ is the comedy drama Physical that follows the story of Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne), a seemingly dutiful housewife living in the 1980s San Diego. On the surface, she appears to be the quintessential quietly tortured homemaker, supporting her husband's political career, but there lurk within her a complex set of personal demons at odds with her rather dark but humorous take on life. Through the ten-episode dark comedy, Sheila tries to find her way out of these inner battles through an unlikely release: aerobics. Bit by bit, she builds her own fitness empire amidst the boom of videotapes and starts a revolutionary business. The series explores what was then considered to be a radical career choice, traversing a woman's shift from being a stifled homemaker to a powerful economic force.

Where: Apple TV+

When: 18 June

The animated film Luca, directed by Enrico Casarosa, is set to drop on Disney+Hotstar this weekend €" an endearing coming-of-age story about sea creatures. Set in the beautiful summer of the Italian Riviera, the film follows a young boy, the titular Luca, who enjoys a memorable season filled with gelato and pasta and a dash of few adventures. But Luca and his friend Alberto are not what they appear to be. They are, in fact, sea monsters who live deep within the waters and can transform into humans once they appear on land. Their fun summer at a small Italian seaside village is continually threatened by this secret, even as they try to adapt to the human world. A heartwarming story, all of which centres on the two boys' quest to buy a Vespa, Luca is an ideal watch for a quiet family night at home.

Where: Disney+Hotstar

When: 18 June

Coming up on Amazon Prime Video this Friday is Sherni, featuring Vidya Balan in the lead. Directed by Amit V Masurkar, the film explores the complex issue of man-animal conflict as one forest official and her team of local trackers attempt to nab a distressed tigress. As the forest official, essayed by Balan, navigates the laidback attitude of the local officials of her department while battling the prejudice of social structures, her story and that of the beast's morph into one another. Breaking barriers, both natural and man-made, the human and the animal embark on an identical journey, in a thrilling story set in the dense forests of the Indian wild.

Where: Amazon Prime Video

When: 18 June

A new Tamil action film, featuring Dhanush, Aishwarya Lekshmi and James Cosmo among others, is set to arrive on Netflix this weekend. Jagame Thandhiram follows the story of a carefree local gangster, Suruli who is asked to go to London and help a crime boss take down his rival. While at first, this seems like an incredible adventure, Suruli's time in this new place exposes him to a number of moral dilemmas that he must navigate while fulfilling his mission. What promises to be a thoroughly thrilling ride, Jagame Thandhiram is definitely a must-watch to brighten up an uneventful night indoors.

Where: Netflix

When: 18 June

Also See: The Friday List: From a podcast on masculinity to a workshop on interpreting mutations, your weekly calendar of virtual events

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