Charged with a mission to provide a platform for cultural, artistic and educational exchange, Eye on India (EOI) paves the way for the diaspora to blend two cultures together. Promoting Indian culture, not just the classical arts, but also contemporary arts and fusion. The festival will showcase the best of Indian performing and visual arts, including street theater, an outdoor yoga session celebrating UN’s World Yoga Day, film screenings and discussion, and a book fair with exposure to literary heavyweights.
The festival was conceived by Teamwork Productions of New Delhi, responsible for the Jaipur Literature Festival. Events will take place during three weeks of June in San Jose, Palo Alto, and Berkeley.
The kick-off event will start with participation in the Bay Area Book festival in Berkeley, where five authors representing EOI will participate in three sessions spanning two days. Poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, whose poetry is notable for the small details of everyday life in India; author Prajwal Parajuly, whose latest book, Land Where I Flee, has garnered critical acclaim; Indu Sundaresan is the author of six works of fiction, including the latest novel based on the 186 carat Kohinoor diamond, The Mountain Of Light; Chandrahas Choudhury who writes a weekly column on Indian politics, society and literature for Bloomberg View and Tania Malik, author of Three Bargains.
The festival features Cineplay’s Between the Lines, a contemporary play set in urban India, where well educated, affluent couples find themselves caught between modernity and tradition. There will be a screening of the play, with a talk back via Skype with the actress Nandita Das and Cineplay’s director Shubodh Maskara.
As part of the festival, India Currents magazine, in partnership with Enacte Arts presents Look Who’s Talking, a literary discussion. Moderated by Vandana Kumar, Publisher of India Currents magazine, Bay Area residents can get up close and personal with celebrity artists and thinkers. The audience will have the opportunity to have dinner with the authors, followed by a spirited discussion with Vamsee Juluri, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, and Chandrahas Choudhury.
EOI hosts a community day in partnership with the San Jose Museum of Art, presenting glimpses of the performing arts. Highlights of the evening will be a street theater performance by EnActe Arts including a performance by the kids group of EnActe, a live fashion show, and a slide show of art from emerging artists in India.
The evening continues with music by Indian Raga, an MIT-based digital music education startup that promotes young talent in Indian classical and allied musical genres, and creates new-age music videos that are relevant and relatable to the younger generation.
The Indian Raga Fellowship brings together the most talented young musicians from Indian classical music, selected by a panel of international judges and experts. The program gives talented young musicians an opportunity to work intensively on a new creative idea in a team, with the support of facilitators in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. Fellows engage in an artistically rigorous process with peers from Indian and international genres to create a visual experience for their music, and to make Indian classical music relevant to a global audience.
June 21 has been declared as the International Yoga Day by the United Nations General Assembly. To celebrate, EOI collaborates with local yoga practitioners and schools, to have daylong outdoor yoga sessions, demonstrations, and sacred music.
The festival will conclude with a concert, India Jazz Generations, in collaboration with Stanford Jazz workshop. Featuring musicians George Brooks (saxophone), Vikku Vinayakram (ghatam), V. Selvaganesh (kanjeera and other Indian percussion), Swaminathan (kanjeera), Osam Ezzeldin (piano) and Kai Eckhardt (bass).
Eye on India is an excellent platform for dialogue and discussion about contemporary India and the diaspora in the Bay Area. “The events are new and explorative, changing as the arts coming out of India evolve and forging new and exciting partnerships with mainstream organizations,” says Padma Chari, Event Chair for EOI.
June 6-7, 10-7 p.m. Bay Area Book Festival. Downtown Berkeley (Martin Luther King, Jr. Way between Allston Way and Center St.)
June 7, 5:30 p.m. Nandita Das and Divya Jagdale’s Between the Lines. Jewish Community Center of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley.
June 8, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Look Who’s Talking—A Discussion with Eminent Authors. Trianon Theatre, 72 N 5th St., San Jose.
June 18, 5 p.m. An Evening of Performing Arts. San Jose Museum of Art, 110 S Market St., San Jose.
June 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. International Yoga Day. Plaza in San Jose City Hall, 200 E Santa Clara St., San Jose.
June 28, 6:30 p.m. Indian Jazz Generations. Stanford University, Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford.
For tickets, visit www.eyeonindia.com, www.eventbrite.com. Padma@events2please.com.