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Meet the curators of the Serendipity Arts Festival 2019

As attendees, our festival experience truly begins just as the curtains are about to be raised. What we see as a result is the final production, the perfect performance, mastered after months of preparations, rehearsals & revisions. Therefore, as an observer, it can be difficult to grasp the full extent of the efforts that have gone into the very spectacle that is about to unfold. Yet not a moment of our enjoyment in the midst of the action would ever be possible without to the great deal of work and day to day dedication of the people behind it.


And like with every great production, it all begins with an idea and it is the task of the curator to bring that vision to life.


So without further ado, we would like to introduce you to the 14 gems of contemporary art curating India’s largest multi-disciplinary arts festival, the Serendipity Arts Festival 2019.



Prahlad Sukhtankar


Prahlad is a renowned chef, sommelier and restaurant owner with a background from Les Roches, Switzerland. He was quickly picked up post his graduation by the ultra-luxury, Four Seasons group of hotels. In 2014 Prahlad with his wife and business partner, Sabreen, opened the doors to their first restaurant, The Black Sheep Bistro. With a vision and concept that stepped out of the mainstream and provided their guests with unique experiences, the restaurant has enjoyed much success through the years leading to the inception of Black Market, their second restaurant, in 2019 located in Panjim. 



Rahul Akerkar


Rahul  is all about mixing his passion for life, food, and science, and has managed to blend these key ingredients into a career as one of Mumbai’s leading restaurant moguls. Regarded as the pioneer of the independent chef- restaurateur-run eateries in Mumbai, he has shifted the focus on fine dining away from the five-star hotel domain. With his new modern-cuisine restaurant Qualia opening its doors to the public this year, Rahul and his wife Malini are a force to be reckoned with in the dynamic culinary scene of the nation. 



Arundhati Nag


Arundhati has been an actor for over 40 years with over 1000 multilingual shows, several film roles and several accolades under her belt. From Shakespeare to Karnad, Ibsen to Beckett and Tendulkar, Arundhati has performed in numerous genres. As the Managing Trustee of Sanket Trust and Creative Director of Ranga Shankara she almost single-handedly raised the necessary funds to build Ranga Shankara, perhaps the  only project of its nature in the country today, built entirely on donations and run with huge subsidies for the performing and audience communities. 



Atul Kumar


Atul is The Company Theatre’s Founder Member and Artistic Director. An acclaimed actor and director with more than 25 years of stage experience, Atul has dabbled with different languages and forms of theatre and has showcased his work all over India and abroad. He has served as a steering committee member of the International Network for Cultural Diversity, Canada and often participates in conferences, seminars and forums that are concerned with larger issues of art and culture. 




Kristine Michael


Kristine is a ceramic artist, researcher, curator and arts educator based in New Delhi who trained under Dashrath Patel at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and later with Alan Caiger Smith at Aldermaston Pottery in the UK. Her career has been an illustrious ride of exhibits and solo shows on a global scale with her ceramics being displayed in the collections of the Bradford Hall Museum UK, Clay Studio, Philadelphia USA, and World Ceramics Centre at Icheon Seoul and the NGMA, New Delhi. 



Pramod Kumar KG


Pramod is the co-founder of Eka Archiving Services, India’s first museum advisory firm that provides its services to a range of institutions / collectors and collections. Pramod is the founder director of the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing at Jaipur and instituted the Jaipur Literature Festival and is currently the co-director of Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Literature Festival. He has curated shows extensively across India and internationally besides having lectured across the world including at the MET New York and SOAS London. He is a published author and has also made contributions to several edited volumes besides journals, magazines and other publications. 



Sneha Khanwalkar


Sneha has played a significant role in changing perceptions of Hindi film music by digitally mixing disparate noises, sounds of local instruments and voices to produce a track. Unlike most music directors, who are happy sitting in their studios, she is someone who thrives when composing music outside the studio. Born and brought up in Indore, Khanwalkar was taught music as a child, as her mother’s family belonged to the Gwalior gharana of Hindustani classical music. Sneha has conceptualised projects projects like Gangs of Wasseypur, Khoobsurat, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, Love Sex aur Dhoka  and Manto with her a mix of eccentric as well as upbeat music winning accolades both nationally and internationally. 



Aneesh Pradhan


One of India’s leading tabla players,  Aneesh Pradhan is a disciple of the illustrious tabla maestro Nikhil Ghosh from whom he inherited a rich and varied repertoire of traditional tabla solo compositions from the Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukhabad and Punjab gharanas. Greatly appreciated by both the cognoscenti and the lay listener as a soloist and accompanist, Aneesh Pradhan is the recipient of several prestigious awards. He has been a keen researcher of trends in performance, music education and patronage that unfolded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a period that continues to fascinate him for its direct relation to and reason for the musical situation he finds himself in. 



Ravi Agarwal


Ravi has an interdisciplinary practice as an artist, photographer, environmental campaigner, writer and curator. His work explores key contemporary questions around ecology, society, urban space and capital. He works with photographs, video, installations, and public art and has been shown widely in shows, nationally and internationally. Agarwal is also the founder of the Indian environmental NGO Toxics Link which has pioneered work in waste and chemicals in India. He serves on several high level policy committees, and writes extensively on sustainability issues in journals and books. 



Rahaab Allana


Rahaab is the curator/publisher of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts in New Delhi, and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society in London. He has curated several exhibits, edited and contributed to national and international publications, and worked closely in museums and galleries such as The Brunei Gallery (London), Rencontres d’Arles (Espace Van Gogh), and the Rubin Museum (NY), among others. He also teaches an annual diploma course on the history of photography at Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai. Rahaab is the Founding Editor of PIX, one of India’s first theme-based photography quarterlies, and is the author of Filmi Jagat: Shared Universe of Early Hindi Cinema



Leela Samson


Leela  received the impulses for her growth as a dancer from Kalakshetra, Chennai, where she was a student initially from 1961 to 1967, while also studying in the Besant Theosophical High School. From 1975 to 2005 she taught at the Sriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra and privately in Delhi, and choreographed a body of work called ‘Spanda’ known for its innovations in Bharatanatyam. It is now twenty years since its inception and Spanda continues to enthrall audiences with it’s innovativeness in tradition. Leela has travelled extensively and performed at leading festivals of dance in India and abroad, along with serving as Director for Kalakshetra from 2005 to 2012. From mid 2011 to early 2015, she also served as Chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification. 



Mayuri Upadhya


Mayuri is a choreographer, an educationist and a creative entrepreneur, her career has foraged beyond the conventional dance network.Her transformation from a simple girl-next-door to a visionary entrepreneur is attributed to her grounding in Indian classical forms, complemented by contemporary training. A beautifully balanced mix of visual interpretations, cultural sensitivity, conditioning future generations and capacity building, marks her two decades long journey of making dance a sustainable industry in India. Currently heading Bangalore based premier dance organization Nritarutya, her canvas of work depicts a wide range. The “International Competition of Choreography for Asian Dance Productions”, South Korea and the BROADWAY WORLD Best Choreographer Award for the epic musical Mughal-e-Azam are just a few of the numerous awards that Mayuri has won for her works. 



Sudarshan Shetty


Sudarshan, best known for his enigmatic sculptural installations, has long been recognized as one of his generation’s most innovative artists in India. Shetty(b.1961) completed his BFA in painting from Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai in 1985.Moving from painting exclusively to installation early on in his career,Shetty explores the fundamental ontological challenges presented by our immersion in a world of objects. His installations are developed around a rigorous grammar of materials, mechanical exposure and unlikely juxtapositions of things that may belong to culturally distinct spheres.



Jyotindra Jain


Jyotindra, former Director of the National Crafts Museum; Professor of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU); and Member Secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, was also a visiting professor at Harvard University and a Rudolf-Arnheim Professor at Humboldt University, Berlin. An eminent scholar of Indian art and popular visual culture, Dr. Jain has extensively published in the areas of his specializations, and curated exhibitions shown in some of the most prestigious cultural institutions and museums in India and abroad. A recipient of the Prince Claus Award for Culture, The Netherlands in 1998 and the Cross of Merit, the highest civilian award of Germany in 2018, he presently is a Member of the International Advisory of the Humboldt Forum, a multi-arts complex in Berlin; a Tagore National Fellow; and Editor of Marg Publications, Mumbai.


All information & imagery kindly provided by Serendipity Arts Festival.

Curious to see the kind of experiences these 14 creative minds will curate? The Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 is free & open to all with exhibitions & performances taking place across the city of Panjim December 15th to the 22nd.


So mark your calendars, plan your visit & we'll see you soon!



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