By Rashi Wadhera

For all you performing arts loyalists and art starved folk who’ve had a rough few months, somewhere in between Salman Khan starrer Kick, Tiger Shroff’s foray into cinema, Dar @ The Mall, and a Punjabi playing a North Eastern boxer, there’s hope to get your dose of culture.

Friends of Art, a non-profit NGO started as an initiative by varied artists in the city, presents Contemporary Arts Week, showcasing contemporary performing and visual artists from across platforms {film, dance, theatre, puppetry, music, improv, slam poetry, clowning and the spoken word}. Now on its second edition, the 2013 and pilot initiative saw over 60 artists, across 10 venues, over 7 days, and saw over 6000 people. You can expect a bigger, better version as they close in on their second edition in Delhi+NCR, across venues around the city {including theaters, open air amphitheaters, bars, and seminar halls}. As you read this, they also have ongoing workshops across Delhi colleges, in an effort to engage young performers in the performing arts field, and to widen their audience, and as a result, spread awareness about the arts scenario in the city.

With them being supported by the British Council, India Habitat Centre, Zorba, OIL India, Japan Foundation, and NDTV Prime, you can anticipate some serious performing arts chops. What we’re psyched about is cross disciplinary and collaborative work; it’s always interesting to see how either/or dance, film and live music seamlessly come together. If for no other reason, watching artists play to their strengths and put in an earnest effort to present new, innovative and original pieces of art is always inspiring. There might be pieces where a description is enough to escape your realm of understanding, and are more appreciated by the discerning eye, but in the spirit of new experiences and a potential learning experience, we recommend you take it all in. If not, lucky for you there are multiple mediums, programs, and art forms to choose from.

In between dance photography exhibitions, physical theatre, clowning, dance theatre, short films, and improv pieces, you will be confused, especially since there are multiple events on any given day. Having attended the first time round, we’re blocking seats for the Chrysalis Project, a semi-residency dance mentorship program showcasing budding choreographers under the mentorship of the more established. Catch them, as they discover their range of movement, choreography and musicality. We’re equally pumped about the Slam Poetry night, where ten young poets share their stories on Delhi and battle it out. Keeping it light, from slam poetry, we’re also bookmarking the open MIC night with Varun Khullar and Appurv Gupta. There’s also gigs by Aditya Balani, MOSKO, and members from Soulmate. In true collaborative spirit, the 16th of September gives you the chance, and an open house, to share your work or ideas in progress and interact with audiences and fellow artists, and gives you a functional, constructive performers eco-system.

We’re happy to be spoilt for choice, and even happier the toss up isn’t between Rohit Shetty and Sajid Nadiadwala. Rohit Shetty would win.

Notes in our Little Black Book |

Contemporary Arts Week is a week long event comprising multiple solo, collaborative and group works across film, visual arts, improv, theater, physical and dance theatre, stand-up, music, dance, slam poetry, clowning, and the spoken word, across multiple venues. Expect amateurs, established and start-up artists to come together, to create an artful week of performing arts.

Where: Multiple Venues

When: 12th-21st September

Price: Depends on event

For the full schedule, venue and ticketing details, click here.  For live updates and last minute changes, follow them on Facebook here. 

  • SAVE