The celebration of art in multi-faceted forms across diverse localities with the aim to bring about social awareness is made possible through platforms like the Bengaluru International Arts Festival. Such events bring global talent to the Indian stage while also showcasing some of the country’s best. The Artists’ Introspective Movement (AIM) that organises the festival every year has built up experience in putting together such cultural festivals for more than three decades and assembles an eclectic ensemble of artists and performers to support its objectives.

The fifth edition of the Bengaluru International Arts Festival (BIAF) will showcase a medley of performances in dance, music or theatre. The cultural extravaganza encompasses 27 events at 10 different venues this year featuring artists from Nagaland to Poland.

At BIAF this year, international artists team up with some of the country’s best. Polish dancer Kamila Kama Jezierska performs contemporary numbers with Abhilash Ninjappa; Canadian saxophonist Jonathan Kay partners Indian santoor player Suddhashil Chaterjee while brother Andrew Kay joins Suma Sudhindra and Gerard Machado for a Carnatic Jazz Fusion ensemble. Other artists at the festival include Kadri Gopalnath, Ranjana Gauhar, Deepti Sudhindra, Astad Deboo and Shashadhar Acharya.

Dr. Suma Sudhindra and Veena Murthy Vijay, BIAF directors and power women in the arts space, have been closely involved with the festival from concept to curation to drawing some high-profile acts. “Arts synchronises souls and builds bridges,” says Veena Murthy Vijay. “Bringing together business houses, governments and diverse people is the main objective.” Dr. Suma Sudhindra adds, “Bengaluru International Arts Festival was conceived keeping in mind the need for an international arts festival in our country.”

Most shows are free for visitors. Jagriti Theatre will have some ticketed programmes (donor passes) across various entertainment formats. Evam, a theatre group from Chennai, will stage stand-up comedy at Jagriti. Other highlights include Carnatic musician Manasi Prasad and Kathak by Hari and Chetana.

Bottomline: Building bridges between society and the arts

Bengaluru International Arts Festival (BIAF)

When: Until September 16

Where: Multiple venues across Bangalore