'India in the Artist’s Eye' a Year-Long Celebration

India arts will be featured in series at UC Davis.
New series features Indian performances

The UC Davis Department of Religious Studies and the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts have teamed up for a year-long celebration of the arts of India. “India in the Artist’s Eye” will include music, theatre and dance along with exhibitions, lectures and workshops.

"'India in the Artist’s Eye’ is a dialogue about artists and with artists about what it means to be an ‘Indian artist’ and how India emerges with(in) the eye of the artist,” said Archana Venkatesan, associate professor and Department of Religious Studies chair. “The festival celebrates and interrogates the role of the artist in shaping our [and their] understanding and reception of India.”

The series, starting Sept. 30 with a concert by Bickram Ghosh’s Drums of India, is a part of the department’s Religions of Indian Initiative.

All events are at the Mondavi Center. Some events are free; others range in price from $25 to $45. A package of five events for $98 is also available. Go to the Mondavi Center website for tickets and more information.

Sept. 30–May 21 “Disappearing Professions in Urban India”
A photo exhibition by Clare Arni who has spent most of her life in Bangalore, India, and photographs internationally. Yocha Dehe Grand Lobby. Free.

Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m. Kolam/Rangoli Creation Demonstration, led by Harini Muralidharan
A kolam or rangoli is a woman’s domestic art that involves creating a temporary drawing made with rice flour, chalk powder and other materials. Sacramento Bee Plaza. Free.

Sept. 30, 8 p.m. Bickram Ghosh’s Drums of India 
The group, making its first American tour, is composed of four master drummers accompanied by sitar. Jackson Hall. $25–$45.

Oct. 8 (check website for time and location)  "Kolam/Rangoli: Women’s Domestic Art” 
A lecture by Vijaya Nagarajan, an associate professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Francisco, on the mathematics of the kolam will precede a one-hour workshop by master kolam artists. Free.

Oct. 18, 8 p.m. “Sultana Daku” 
This performance by Devendra Sharma and Company and Swang-Nautanki Musical Theater tells the story of an early 20th century bandit and folk hero. Jackson Hall. $25.

March 4, 8 p.m. and March 2, 2 p.m. “A Jugalbandi” with Shujaat Khan and Sikkil Gurucharan

The concert showcases India’s two great classical music systems, the Carnatic and Hindustani. Jackson Hall. $35.

April 12, 8 p.m. Speaker: Amitav Ghosh
Celebrated novelist Amitav Ghosh, who grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, is the award-winning author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide and others. Vanderhoef Studio Theatre. $25

April 13, 8 p.m. Prahlad Singh Tipanya 
Prahlad Singh Tipanya is an internationally acclaimed folk singer from a village in Madhya Pradesh, India. He is renowned for his interpretation of Kabir, the great 15th century Hindi poet. Vanderhoef Studio Theatre. $25.

“Persistence Resistance,” a festival of contemporary documentaries from the Indian subcontinent, will take place on six Saturdays in the spring of 2017. Screenings will be followed by a discussion of the film with Gargi Sen, Fulbright Scholar in residence.

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science