Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mumbai's Outdoor Performance Venues

Mumbai has its regular venues for plays and musical concerts. Amidst Sharmukhananda, Prithvi, Chembur Fine Arts, Andrews, Sophia and NCPA, it also has alternative venues where you can see a play or a concert in the outdoors. All these places are mostly heritage structures and you can watch the performance in an old world setting. Here is the list

Banganga: Banganga is a rectangular water tank constructed in the 13th century within a temple precinct with around eight temples that surround it. Thus, you would be sitting around this sacred tank on the stone steps (covered with a carpet) and watching a musical performance during the two-day Banganga Festival conducted by MTDC in January every year. You will be enthralled by the classical vocal and instrumental performances in the ambience of the serene water, quacking ducks with temples and old buildings in the background.

St Xavier’s College: The three-day Jan Fest has a charm of its own and is hosted by the Indian Music Group run by students of the college. The classical music performances are held in the college quadrangle, amidst this gothic stone building with gargoyles and the chapel with beautiful stained glass windows makes an amazing backdrop. Kishori Amonkar, Bhimsen Joshi, Zakir Husain, Parveen Sultana and many other talented and upcoming artists have performed here. You can also buy daily tickets for the ‘baithak’.

Elephanta: The Elephanta festival will be held this year on the 23rd and 24th of February and you will not only get to see a good performance in the tranquility of a woody and leafy island also known as ‘Gharapuri’ but also a ferry ride back and forth. The festival is the only time when you can come back from Elephanta as late as 10 pm. Call MTDC on 22024482/22024522 for more information.

Bandra Fort: Performances are held here generally as a part of local festivals like the Bandra Festival or corporate sponsored programmes open to the public. This 17th century fort built by the Portuguese is also known as Castella De Aguada. Amjad Ali Khan and Shubha Mudgal amongst many others have performed here in the past with the Arabian Sea forming a beautiful backdrop.

Horniman Circle Gardens: You can go and watch a play or a musical amidst trees and shrubs in this well maintained garden overlooking the Asiatic Society Library. There are regular performances held by Prithvi Theatre on the first weekends of every month. (barring the monsoon). Go here during the ongoing Kala Ghoda festival (Feb 3rd – Feb 11th) and you will be able to watch film screenings, photo exhibitions, rock concerts and theatre performances. For more information check here.


Anandham said...

I have attended the first day of Elephanta Festival last weekend. It was a great experience.
Chk my blog here.

ChUcK said...

Maybe not as beautiful, but don't you think the MMRDA grounds also deserve a mention? After all, the biggest heavy metal band in the world played twice here to audiences of over 30000 :-)