The fifth edition of The Park's New Festival, presented by Prakriti Foundation, begins on Wednesday

Prakriti Foundation's annual national contemporary arts festival, The Park's New Festival Edition V 2011, will be held from today (September 21) to September 25 in the city. Here's a sneak peek at the performances and artists.

Dose of humour

Maya Krishna Rao lends a new dimension to contemporary Indian theatre, both on and off stage. She acts, sings, raps, dances, writes her own scripts, directs herself, and is one of the very few woman stand-up comedians in India. Her Non Stop Car-Food-Clothes-Feel-Good-Show is extravagantly funny. An unstoppable woman seeks the best clothes, food, car, lifestyle…to make her life more meaningful. A Vismayah presentation, the show has episodes — short, sharp, affectionate, sometimes moving glimpses of the urban citizen's idiosyncrasies and obsessions. The artist, through characters that change with lightning speed, takes the audience on a roller coaster ride that goes from the spiritual journey of an NRI jogger to the car-obsessed travails of a television cookery expert to an incomparable audio visual ‘autobiographical tale'… and more.

Classical and contemporary

Parijat Desai Dance Company performs a blend of Indian classical and Western contemporary dance. Choreographer Parijat Desai presents two works — ‘Make Space' and ‘Songs to Live For'. Set to electronic music by South Asian American artists, ‘Make Space' rewires the sculptural positions of Indian dance using dynamic modern dance, and remixes classical footwork rhythms. ‘Songs To Live For' explores Hindustani love songs, through Western contemporary dance and subtle Indian classical gestures.

Hip Hop with DNOAX

DNOAX (Desi Number One Artistes X), a band of rappers, showcases Hip Hop in a new light. Their diverse music challenges the misconception of Hip Hop as the music of drugs, cash, cars, clothes, semi-clad women and bling.

A personal dialogue

Directed by Peter Arun Pfaff and choreographed by Sandra Chatterjee, “Tagore on Vinyl – Travelling with Thakur” is presented partly through dance, text and video.

Searching through her father's collection of music records, Sandra finds traces that lead her to the work of Rabindranath Thakur. Alongside the memories of the Bengali songs of her childhood, she is fascinated by the philosophical and political ideas of the world-traveller Tagore, who saw the encounters between “East and West” as an important facet of the current age. Between these overlapping layers of exploration and memory, a very personal dialogue with Rabindranath Thakur's work emerges.

Play time

Best of Short+Sweet Chennai: Short+Sweet Theatre is the biggest festival of 10-minute theatre in the world, starting in Australia in 2002 and held annually in 30 cities in seven different countries, including India (Delhi) from last year.

Short+Sweet aims at providing a platform for actors, writers and directors to create high quality new work in professional theatre and a collaborative environment where established practitioners may pass on knowledge to others in the theatre arts. The Short+Sweet South India was presented by Prakriti Foundation along with The Blu Lotus Company in Chennai for the first time in July 2011. Six plays that reached the finals this year are being staged again at The Park's New Festival — ‘Because The World Needs Unicorns', ‘The Fruits of War', ‘The Artiste', ‘Breath of Life', ‘He and She' and ‘The Lost Audition'.

Donor passes for the event are priced at Rs. 500 and Rs. 300 daily and season passes at Rs. 1,000. Tickets are available online at www.bookmyshow.com or www.indianstage.in.

The Festival Schedule

September 21: Maya Krishna Rao – Museum Theatre, 7 p.m.

September 22: Parijat Desai Dance Company – Museum Theatre, 7 p.m.

September 23: DNOAX – Pasha, Park Hotel, 7 p.m.

September 24: Tagore on Vinyl – Travelling with Thakur – Museum Theatre, 7 p.m.

September 25: Best of Short and Sweet – A collection of six 10-minute plays – Museum Theatre, 7 p.m.

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