Serendipity picks pace, closes third day with three major performances
Panaji : The Serendipity Arts Festival, which has now become a buzzword in the Goan arts and public engagement scene, and is seeing thousands attend its 90+ projects, closed its third day with the hip-hop and rap performance of L.A. based Grammy nominated musician Raja Kumari, curated by Sneha Khanwalkar.
The recreation of a Goan marketplace in a centrally-located park in the coastal state's capital, a massive charpai installation that allows children to mix fun and learning about traditional weaves, and life-size photographs of reimagined urban spaces capture the public spaces of Panaji.
Alongside these public arts interventions that continue across the length of the eight-day multidisciplinary festival, are events that give the visitors only a solitary chance to engage.
Tanashah, a solo performance by acclaimed Bharatnatyam dancer Navtej Johar was the one such event that saw long lines outside the Kala Academy here.
A performative meditation on the jail diaries of Bhagat Singh, particularly his essay "Why I Am An Atheist", curated by noted dancer and Gati Dance Forum head Ranjana Dave, was one of the key highlights of the third day.
Another musical curation by Khanwalkar, a nominee of the Filmfare Awards in the Best Music Director category for "Gangs of Wasseypur", was the reverberating performance of rhythm and percussion by Boombay Djembe Folas.
As the festival picks pace, it also gets more visible across the city. Colorful 3D installations of words like "Engage" and "Encounter" paint the city rainbow - the colors of Serendipity - and allow opportunities for the public to engage.
A regular at the annual festival, Ajay, told IANS that he wishes he had more time to spend in the festive city since there is something new to see everyday.
"There's beer tasting, there are exhibitions, there's so much to do but so less time," he said.
A non-resident of Goa but a regular here, Ashley, who also handles a food stall here at the festival's venue DB Football Ground, recalled that although the previous edition(s) of the festival were bigger in setup but the "2018 version has gathered a bigger footfall".
While the organisers are yet to come up with compiled footfall statistics for each day, a rough estimate of the attendance runs into thousands, shooting up even more for the night musical and dance performances placed strategically.
He also hinted at sales picking up in this edition.
Santagio, a local resident of the state, on his first day visiting the festival commented that Serendipity is the biggest arts festival here and brings a positive change to city's atmosphere.
He, however, claims that the organisers seem to be "spending their money wisely" at lesser marketing material but by bringing forth the content.
The Festival will conclude on December 22.
(Siddhi Jain is in Goa at the invitation of the organisers of the Serendipity Arts Festival. She can be contacted at email@example.com)