India International Centre Festival of arts celebrates the living traditions of South India ‘Dakshinayan’

by Team ACF
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27 October to 2 November 2023, IIC, New Delhi

This year India International Centre celebrates the 19th edition of its annual festival The IIC Experience: A Festival of the Arts. . The festival will highlight and showcase the rich and 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 2023 will be inaugurated by Shri Shyam Saran, President, IIC on Friday, 27 October at 6:30 pm in the Fountain Lawns. The inaugural will be followed by 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 Carnatic Vocal presented by the well-known artist, N. Vijay Siva from Chennai; Miguel de Cervantes’ epic novel Don Kihote visualised in Kathakali style by Margi Theatre from Thiruvananthapuram; Kshetra Prema: Stories from Temples of South India an evening with Vinay Varanasi and Vivek Sadasivam; and Daklakatha Devikavya an experimental play devised and directed by Lakshman K.P. with Jangama Collective, Bengaluru. This year, the performances also include a special evening to celebrate the birth centenary of Pt. Kumar Gandharva with Hindustani Vocal Recital by Shashwati Mandal; and A Dance Story of Taiwan presented by artists of Dance Forum Taipei, Taiwan

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. Envisioned as a journey through the history and heritage of this unique community, the exhibition weaves its way through the symbolism of the clan temples to the majestic homes of the Chettiars. Curated by Visalakshi Ramaswamy. 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 2023will be released during the festival by Dr. Karan Singh. The issue carries articles by scholars of art, film and music.

Hollywood Bonanza – A Magical Mystery Tour: Festival of Films curated by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, award-winning filmmaker, archivist 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.

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; Itadakimasu: A Japanese DinnerFrom a Chettiar Spice Box: Chettinad dinner prepared by Chef Richa Johri; Russian Prazdnik presented by Chefs of the Embassy of Russia; and A Mexican Fiesta prepared by Chefs of the Embassy of Mexico. The food festival includes Sacred Offerings: Poetry in Food a multi-sensory presentation on temple prasadams with songs, stories and cooking – a lecture demonstration by Chef Rakesh Raghunathan. The food festival has been curated by Sourish Bhattacharyya, well-known food critic, columnist and writer.

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

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