India’s first-of-its-kind, multi-disciplinary cultural space, the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre, opened on March 31, 2023 with an exquisite showcase of the best of India across music, theatre, fine arts and crafts to audiences from India and the world. The centre will mark another definitive step in strengthening India’s cultural infrastructure and bringing to fruition the best of India and the world in the sphere of arts.
The launch programming featured a specially curated art and craft exposition called ‘Swadesh’ along with three blockbuster shows – a musical theatrical called ‘The Great Indian Musical: Civilization to Nation’; a costume art exhibition called ‘India in Fashion’ and a visual art show called ‘Sangam/Confluence’. Together, the programming is an exploration into the diversity of India’s cultural traditions and their impact on the world, while also showcasing the diversity of spaces at the Cultural Centre.
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Nita Ambani said, “Bringing this Cultural Centre to life has been a sacred journey. We were keen to create a space for both promoting and celebrating our artistic and cultural heritage in cinema and music, in dance and drama, in literature and folklore, in arts and crafts and in science and spirituality. A space where we showcase the best of India to the world and welcome the best of the world to India.”
The Centre will be highly inclusive with free access for children, students, senior citizens, and the differently abled, and will strongly focus on community nurturing programmes including school and college outreach and competitions, awards for Arts teachers, in-residency Guru-shishya programs, art literacy programs for adults, etc.
The launch programming has been imagined to highlight India’s immense cultural impact and provide a platform where the artist meets the audience. The one-of-its-kind art and craft exposition called ‘Swadesh’ celebrates unique and iconic Indian regional artforms including eight stunning crafts that the Reliance Foundation has supported over the years, such as Pichwai, Banarasi weaving, Pattachitra, Sozni embroidery, Blue Pottery, Kal Baffi, Paithani and candles made by the visually impaired.
The three arts showcases carry the theme forward:
1. ‘The Great Indian Musical: Civilization to Nation’ - India’s biggest ever musical, with a line-up of exceptional Indian talent, along with a Tony & Emmy award-winning crew, has been conceived and directed by Feroz Abbas Khan. The immersive theatrical experience will
premiere inside the Centre’s 2,000-seater Grand Theatre, which also features a world-class stage that is framed by the largest proscenium in India.
The marquee production will bring together exceptional Indian talent such as Ajay-Atul (music), Mayuri Upadhya, Vaibhavi Merchant, (choreography) along with 350+ artists including an epic 55-piece live orchestra from Budapest, to showcase India’s cultural journey through history. The visual spectacle will also feature over 1,100 costumes designed by leading fashion designer Manish Malhotra.
2. India in Fashion - Curated by prolific author and costume expert Hamish Bowles and designed by award-winning exhibition designer Patrick Kinmonth along with Rooshad Shroff, this first-of-its-kind exhibition will showcase over 140 pieces of costume documenting India's impact on the global fashionable imagination. The India-inspired pieces have been sourced from some of the biggest museums and unseen personal collections from around the globe. The exhibition’s spectacular set will feature costumes from iconic brands such as Chanel and Dior to key historic pieces dating as far back as the 18th century.
3. Sangam/Confluence - Marking the opening of the Art House - a dedicated space for visual arts, it will feature multiple pieces from 5 Indian and 5 international artists celebrating India’s diverse cultural impulses and traditions. Curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Ranjit Hoskote, the exhibit is inspired by the idea of unions deeply rooted in Indian culture. From the works of internationally acclaimed artists like Anselm Kiefer and Francesco Clemente - whose pieces will be displayed in India for the very first time - to the works of traditional Indian artists like Shantibai, this show is truly a melting pot of unique narratives.
With this, the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre invites everyone to a sensory journey of India’s rich cultural history. Audiences can book tickets on nmacc.com or BookMyShow.
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