mon 27/01/2020

India

Jeet Thayil: Low – grief’s seedy distractions

Like many writers, Jeet Thayil is a bit of an outsider. And, if his track record is anything to go by, he has been happy to keep it that way. The poet, novelist, editor, performer and former addict spent a couple of decades rubbing shoulders with...

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Sukanya, RFH review - Ravi Shankar's bright-eyed, varied fable

Admirable as it was of the London Philharmonic Orchestra to launch its concerts in 2020 with a performance celebrating the Ravi Shankar centenary, the hard fact remains that this lively spectacle might have worked better without two-thirds of its...

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'Divinity is all around us': soprano Susanna Hurrell on Ravi Shankar's 'Sukanya'

In 2010, my best friend and I made a whimsical decision to go backpacking in India over the Easter break. I had developed an interest in Eastern philosophy through exposure to the teachings of the ancient Vedas, and through the practice of...

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Hotel Mumbai review – Dev Patel shines in harrowing real-life drama

Like recent films about the Anders Breivik terror attacks in Norway, Hotel Mumbai unavoidably raises questions of taste. Do audiences really need to be subjected to harrowing recreations of real-life suffering, when the events themselves...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 24 - hot subcontinental sounds with guest Viveick Rajagopalan

This episode of Peter Culshaw's occasional global music radio update features guest interview Viveick Rajagopalan, one of the hits of this summers WOMAD Festival. He talks (from 40 minutes in) about how he mixes South Indian rhythms and contemporary...

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A Doll's House, Lyric Hammersmith review - Ibsen tellingly transposed to colonial India

Newly arrived from a much-lauded stint at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, Rachel O'Riordan has undertaken to make "work of scale by women" during her time as artistic director of the Lyric. What better place to start than with Ibsen's once-shocking...

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William Dalrymple: The Anarchy review – masterly history of the first rogue corporation

Serious historians don’t much care for counter-factual speculations. Readers, however, often enjoy them. So here’s mine. In 1780, the seemingly invincible forces of the East India Company had suffered a crushing defeat at Pollilur, west of Madras....

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Photograph review - a fresh take on old love stories

“Movies are all the same,” says one character in Photograph, the latest film from India independent director, Ritesh Batra. It’s true, the plot feels familiar, but if stories are all the same, it’s how you play with the form that makes a film a...

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WOMAD, Charlton Park review - a gloriously defiant global music celebration

This was a year of superb musical standards, smooth organisation and a real sense of celebration. In the last couple of years, WOMAD being more liberal and internationalist than nearly anywhere else, there was a sense in the air of a collective...

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Beecham House, ITV review - a cartoon version of 18th century India

It has become routine to accuse Brexiteers of wanting to bring back the British Empire (though obviously it's OK to run an empire from Brussels), but the charge might more accurately be levelled at ITV. They’ve brought the ratings rolling in with...

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10 Questions for Musician Soumik Datta

“I think we need to get rid of labels, certainly World Music,” insists Soumik Datta, who is both composer and musician, and has lived in the UK since the age of 11. “It is possible to be a musician in the Indian tradition, as well as an electronic...

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Hussain, Symphony Orchestra of India, Dalal, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - new sounds from a new band

For its first ever performance in this country, the Symphony Orchestra of India - formed in only 2006 - kicked off its UK tour in spectacular style at Symphony Hall, Birmingham yesterday evening. Based at the National Centre of Performing Arts in...

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