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On the last weekend of March, the queen of suburbs was treated to two joyous evenings of music and dance as the National Centre for the Performing Arts took its initiative, [email protected], to the Bandra Fort Amphitheatre. After the tremendous success of the first edition at the Cooperage Bandstand, the NCPA, in association with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), announced the second edition of the initiative that aims to celebrate the return of live performances and performing arts in the city and welcome art enthusiasts back to theatres. The event, which was open to all, featured an exciting blend of live performances across Indian, Western classical and popular, jazz, R&B and neo soul music, and folk dance forms. Here’s a glimpse of what unfolded.

The overwhelming response from the audience on both days proved yet again that the experience of watching a live performance is unparalleled and that the city is ready to embrace the arts after the lockdown.
Several passers-by got pulled in by the buzz and stayed for the entire evening.
The SOI has consistently worked towards breaking through the perception of Western classical music being niche and the packed amphitheatre only proves this.
‘One Night Only’ – A Diva Special presented by Keshia B showcased the music of Etta James, Whitney Houston, Ledisi, Erykah Badu and Adele to name a few.
Audiences of all age groups enjoyed the performance.
Citi-CSMVS Museum on Wheels, a mobile museum project curated under the guidance of the NCPA’s Indian Music department, showcasing the exhibition ‘In Tune: The Journey from Sound to Music’, was parked at the venue on both days and saw enthusiastic participation from the audience.
Folktronika with Rahul Sharma & Group featured the noted santoor player with Ashwin Rokade (keyboard), Vinayak Pol (drums), Aditya Kalyanpur (tabla), Amit Gadgil (bass guitar) and Sanjoy Das (electric guitar). Folktronika blends acoustic sounds with electronic sound and explores folk melodies from Jammu-Kashmir, Assam and other regions.
Lokadhaaraa: Folk Dances of India by Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya featured Kajri from Uttar Pradesh, Koli from Maharashtra, Haryanvi Ghoomar from Haryana, Bihu from Assam and Garba from Gujarat. Seen here: Uma Rele (centre), Indian classical dancer and Principal of the institution, with the artistes.
A performance of the Bihu folk dance from Assam.

This piece was originally published by the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, in the May 2022 issue of ON Stage – their monthly arts magazine.

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