The IIC Experience returns with an eclectic range of events from India and abroad

India International Centre was set up with the intention of “quickening and deepening…true and thoughtful understanding between peoples of nations”. Towards this end, apart from hosting daily activities that range from dance and music to theatre and film, it organises annually The IIC Experience: A Festival of The Arts.

The tenth edition of the festival begins October 17, and over the next eight days hosts an eclectic range of events from India and abroad. “From Kazakhstan to South Korea, Indonesia to The Philippines, the idea is to get together, imbibe what they have to say, their dance, their music,” said Soli Sorabjee, President of the IIC, at a press meet announcing the festival.


A prominent exhibition on view during the festival will be ‘Ideas in Line’, comprising the preliminary drawings, sketches and jottings of Ganesh Pyne and Dinkar Kowshik. The exhibition, curated by Dolly Narang and Vijay Kowshik, seeks to represent the creative journey of the individual artists and that of Bengal school, to which they belonged. “It is a great learning experience to see both these artists doing so much of preliminary drawings, which was an important part of their working process,” said Dolly Narang, who had curated an exhibition of Ganesh Pyne’s drawings in 1990. Also on view will be ‘Scythian Wind’ by Kazakh artist Leyla Mahat, and ‘Amma, Umma!’, an exhibition of contemporary art by Indian and Korean artists around the theme of motherhood.

Music and Dance

The festival opens with ‘Soordas’, a music drama based on the life of the 15th Century poet and mystic presented by Shekhar Sen, singer, composer and lyricist. This play covers 105 years of the blind poet’s life, illuminating his meetings with Swami Haridas, Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya, Tulsidas, Meerabai, Akbar and Tansen. It includes 34 song sequences, composed in common and rare ragas. Also on offer are programmes by collaborating institutions, such as the ‘Pimentaria’, a samba concert by Pedro Miranda and his group from Brazil, a concert of Rondalla music by Celso Espejo Rondalla from The Philippines and traditional music of Kazakhstan by Turan Folkloric Group, which uses widely available folk instruments as well as those rarely heard.

Dancers Jaikishore and Padamvani Mosalikanti, Shobha Korambil, Divyasena Haribabu, Srisandhya Raju and Aswathy Krishna will present a Kuchipudi recital created with inspiration drawn from personalities of dance, music and literature.

Food and Films

The IIC will host ‘Framed by Women’, a festival of 24 films by women directors. “Although the number of women directors is still small, they are creating a filmic language and sensibility that is unique, strong and as yet unexplored,” said Kavita Sharma, Director, IIC. The festival includes films by Mira Nair, Isabel Coixet, Agnes Varda and Marta Meszaros among others. Screenings will be held each day.

Food is an integral part of the festival this year, with each evening devoted to a distinct cuisine. While chefs Chitra Ghose, Kiran Bhushi and Vijay Thukral will present Bengali, Andhra and Continental food respectively, partner institutions and embassies will showcase the more delicious aspects of their soft power.