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Heady mix of events lined up for Bengaluru Habba

Special Correspondent



THE HABBA MOOD: Nandini Alva (left), Padmini Ravi and Deepak Meherotra, Chief Executive Officer of Airtel, look on as artist K.K. Raghava paints a "Bengaluru Habba' canvas in Bangalore on Wednesday. — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Bangalore: It is now "Bengaluru Habba" but the city festival will be back again from December 3 to 10.

To the sound of bongos, artist K.K. Raghava created a piece of art on the lawns of the Press Club on Wednesday, joined by those from Artists' Foundation For the Arts, not all of them painters. Because the Habba will have a mosaic of events ranging from street plays to classical music concerts.

This year, there will be pre-Habba events too, partnered by Spicmacay, bringing the classical art forms to school and college students. Between November 15 and 30, well known musicians and dancers like Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Hawaiin guitar), Shiv Kumar Sharma (santoor), Shashank (flute), U. Rajesh (Mandolin) and Sharmila Mukherjee (Odissi) will be performing in schools and colleges.

Nandini Alva of AFFA said: "This year to match the spirit of Suvarna Karnataka, we will showcase Kannada culture and art and the Habba will focus on talent from Karnataka, giving opportunities to young artists as well." The Government will be involved in a big way with providing infrastructure for several events. I.M. Vittal Murthy, Secretary to the Government, Department of Kannada, Culture, Information and Tourism, said in a message: "We are glad that a festival like Bengaluru Habba will present traditional art forms of Karnataka to an urban audience, who may not be aware of what our State has to offer."

AFFA managing trustee Padmini Ravi said: "There will be a series of street theatre performances across multiple locations in the city from November 25 to December 10. Young artists will present live performances at street junctions as an innovative publicity campaign for the Habba as well."

Kala Madhyam, which works to promote folk and tribal art forms, will present them at street corners too.

New items to watch out for this year will be those related to Suvarna Karnataka, a book fair, sculpture and crafts displays by Crafts Council of Karnataka and programmes will centre around the literary giants of Kannada.

Traditional Kannada theatre will be given prime place too.

The concerts will feature artists such as Rashid Khan, Gundecha Brothers, Padma Subramanyam, Shobana, Vani Ganapathy, Suma Sudhindra, M.S. Sheela and Nagamani Srinath.

Popular culture will not be left out either.

A Bollywood Night featuring the likes of Malaika Arora Khan, and Kailash Kher the Sufi singer has been arranged. The overseas organisations present in Bangalore will add variety to the Habba.

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