The National Festival of New Choreography comes with a makeover this year

Impresario India has been known for its National Festival of New Choreography, a popular three-day event that draws full houses in New Delhi — a city notorious for empty halls when it comes to the classical arts. When Bijan Mukherjee started the festival a decade and a half ago, it was a fairly novel initiative, but now that choreography using classical dance forms has become commonplace among dancers of all genres, the leading light of Impresario India decided to change tack. This year, the 15th edition of the festival, scheduled for March 20, 21 and 22, comes with a new name — The National Festival of Creative Arts.

Mukherjee says he was encouraged by the appreciation for the original festival theme and to expand its scope, especially considering that “some of our art forms are either going into oblivion or are yet to receive due recognition.”

In the foyer of Stein Auditorium the festival venue will be a display of Patachitras (scroll paintings) illustrating the life and works of Swami Vivekananda, conceived and painted by Rani Chitrakar of Medinipur, who will also narrate the contents in the traditional musical form.

Performance highlights:

March 20

“Shiva” - choreography in Bharatanatyam conceived and choreographed by Vaibhav Arekar.

“Chaturmukhi” - Odissi choreography, conceived and choreographed by Sharmila Biswas.

March 21

“The Swami and the Samaritan” - play in English created by Ashish Ghosh and Ruma Ghosh on the interaction between two powerful personalities – Swami Vivekananda and Margaret Noble.

“Sarpa Sutra” - dance theatre conceived, written and directed by Gowri Ramanarayan, who has also composed the music. Narrating sequences from the Mahabharata.

March 22

“Ram” - non-verbal experimental theatre created by Anurupa Roy with excerpts from Bhavabhuti’s “Uttara Rama Charitam” using music, dance, masks and puppets.

“She – Tales of Ancient Goddesses” - Kathak choreography by Sharmistha Mukherjee

March 20, 21, 22, Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, 7 p.m.