“For the past few years, my daughter Isha and I along with our team have immersed ourselves in this dream project. The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre is envisioned as a platform to spotlight Indian arts and culture at their best, both for the audience and the artists. A truly inclusive centre for performers and visitors, for dreamers and creators, for one and all,” says the Founder and Chairperson of NMACC, Nita M Ambani.
The result of this hard work is a state-of-the-art centre that boasts of spaces for all art forms, with murals and sculptures depicting the philosophy of Mumbai. Example: The mural on the right when you enter reminds you of local trains and the crowds in them. Each face, of the hundreds painted, has a different expression and story to tell.
The ‘Spaces’, as they are referred to by the centre, are an epitome of expanse that offers myriad miens of art and culture.
About The Art House
The Art House – a four-storey gallery – is a space for display of paintings, sculptures, sketches and more. It will host its first exhibition from April 1, 2023, and is aptly called Sangam/Confluence. It is a confluence of cultures and dreams. While the exhibition has Indian and western legends like Bhupen Kakkar and Lynda Benglis, it also has works of a tribal woman from Chhattisgarh, Shantibai. If it displays the stark orange and black medley of Fransesco Clemente, it also has Raqib Shaw’s intricate enamel and rhinestone work on wood in the same room.
Each floor has two artists whose work complements each other in an unexpected way. Remember to carry your headphones with you as you can listen to the co-curator Ranjit Hoskote’s commentary as you walk if you scan a code and connect to the virtuals.
About The Grand Theater
The grandest experience, in my opinion, is The Grand Theater. The grandeur, kind of, overwhelms you. This can seat more than 2,000 including the boxes, depending on how they intend to use the Orchestra and Media pit. The Orchestra pit can be lifted and lowered with the help of hydraulic machinery, enabling it to add a few extra audience seats if there’s no live orchestra. The ceiling is made from more than 8,400 Swarovski crystals, which serve as specially programmable lights for projections. There’s also a facility provided for translated, aided hearing for those who might need it.
About The Studio
The performing art space has two more offerings: The Studio and The Cube. The Studio seats 250 and is ideal for concerts or plays that demand close contact with the audience. Teak wood floor enables ease for dancers of all genres and also provides a good base for a platform, if necessary, for a sit-down performance. The Cube is more intimate and flexible with a capacity of 125. The seating is flexible and the place ideal for workshops or open mic kind of sessions.
All performing art spaces have a USP: The specially designed perforated wood walls. These ensure that the acoustics, even in the smallest room, are perfect and the listener can enjoy the smallest nuance of the sound – be it the Grand Theater or the Cube.
Fashion exhibition on cards at the Cultural Centre
The ground floor hosts the exhibition halls. Currently, 35,000sqft of that is busy gearing up for the ‘Indian in Fashion’ exhibition of costumes around the world designed by renowned designers of the world and India. Participants include big brands like Christian Dior, Chanel and our own bigwigs like Abu Jani-Sandip Khosla, Manish Malhotra and others.
The NMACC promises much more to follow in the coming years as its sole aim remains to promote Indian talent by giving it a much needed platform. “An ode to our nation, the Cultural Centre aims to preserve and promote Indian arts. I hope our spaces nurture and inspire talent, bringing together communities from across India and the globe,” concludes Nita Ambani.
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