As life returns to normal as Covid cases drop, Chandigarh’s cultural scene is also improving. Here’s a quick check: The Tribune India


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Morning Raga, a sitar recital by Dr. Harvinder Sharma at Sukhna Lake, an art exhibition celebrating the colors of freedom at Sector 16-17 underpass, Gurnaam Bhullar’s performance at Sector 42 Lake and a solo performance by ‘Anita Shabdeesh in Punjab Kala Bhawan— Tuesday was filled with events and performances in Chandigarh.

Scene from CHIDI DI AMBER WALL UDAAN

Not taking any risks

According to the latest ordinance of February 17, 2022, while restrictions have been relaxed, masks in public places are compulsory. Gatherings are limited to 50%.

Judging by attendance at the three-day Rose Festival, which ended last month, things are back to normal. Chandigarh is ready to celebrate the month of March with art exhibitions, plays and performances. With the “Iconic Week” celebrations under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, which kicked off on March 6, an array of programs have been put together by different academies and organizations.

Sitar Recital by Harvinder Sharma at Sukhna Lake

An artist and a stage share a

heart to heart relationship. It is almost after two years that I will be performing at an open event in Chandigarh today and it is quite exciting for me. I hope to have a good time with the public. — Gurnazar Chattha, singer

Hope afloat

Sitarist Harvinder Sharma performed at Sukhna Lake at sunrise on Tuesday. “It was a very different experience. As the sun came up we played and there were walkers and joggers stopping to enjoy the recital,” says Harvinder Sharma, who, for a change, played devotional songs, Sufi and old movies, rather than classical. “It’s nice to see people again, I hope this time it stays that way.”

“It’s so heartwarming to be with artists, seniors and juniors, and to paint,” says architect artist Karan Bajwa, who was part of the workshop organized by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi (CLKA). The Akademi has planned three to four events in March itself. Starting with an art workshop held at Underpass-16/17 on March 6 to an art exhibition celebrating the colors of freedom which started on March 7 and will run until March 13 at Underpass; the Akademi plans to hold another exhibition, Chandigarh—Down the Memory Lane, from March 11-13, an Open Art Awards ceremony and the annual art exhibition later. “It’s nice to see the city buzzing with cultural activity. Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi contributes in its own way to artists. Many activities after Corona have given artists new energy – that they can finally bring their work into the public space,” says Bheem Malhotra, President of CLKA.

Back with enthusiasm

Chairman of Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, Atul Sharma said, “If the audience was hungry for entertainment, even the performers missed the live experience. Both are back with enthusiasm. The most remarkable thing is that even the administration gives its all. The iconic week celebrations have different academies rolling out a cultural extravaganza.

The Morning Raga at Lake Sukhna, one-day cultural activities on stage with the participation of the public from March 11 to 13 at Leisure Valley and Parampara, a classical instrumental evening by Divyansh Harshit Srivastava on Santoor, Pt Shubh Maharaj on tabla, Shree Rishi Shankar Upadhyay on Pakhawaj at Tagore Theater on March 10 at 6:00 p.m.; March is full of events!

Rock the stage

Suchetak Rangmanch, Mohali recently concluded a three day festival. Interestingly, three plays were staged in different locations. On March 6, Lockdown—A Love Story by Sarthak Rangmach, Patiala, was staged at the Tagore Theater while on March 7, two plays directed by Anita Shabdeesh—Chidi Di Amber Wall Udaan and Jadon Roshni Hundi Hai—were took place at the Mini Auditorium of the Tagore Theater. On the third day, the solo, Man Mitti Da Boleya, written by Shabdeesh and directed by Anita Shabdeesh, who also performed there, was staged at Punjab Kala Bhawan-16. “It’s so amazing to finally meet audiences in theaters,” says Shabdeesh.

The prestigious All-India Bhaskar Rao Nritya and Sangeet Sammelan 2022, which kicks off from March 21, will see classic artists perform at the Tagore Theater for seven days. “It is encouraging to bring stalwarts like percussionist Suresh Talwalkar, Pt. Debasish Bhattacharya and Pt. Shounak Abhisheki to the city for the first time,” says Sejal Koser, secretary of Pracheen Kala Kendra.

“The response Rose Festival has received is a good sign. Tagore has bookings for different classical music and theater festivals,” shares Chakresh Kumar, Director of Tagore Theatre. “Since I joined Tagore, four to five new troupes have been formed, which is so invigorating,” adds Chakresh, whose solo Payo Ji Mane will be staged by Angelica Piplani on March 20.

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