All roads over the weekend led to the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC), a flamboyantly designed multi-disciplinary space for the arts, located within the Jio World Centre in Mumbai’s bustling Bandra Kurla Complex. Global celebrities including Tom Holland, Gigi Hadid, Kat Graham, along with India’s sporting and film personalities such as Abhinav Bindra, Sania Mirza, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone as well as leading industrialists like Anand Mahindra attended the inaugural celebrations spread over three days.
The NMACC, which aspires to become the cultural hub of Mumbai, opened with three spectacular events beginning with a theatrical extravaganza conceived by renowned playwright Feroz Abbas Khan. ‘The Great Indian Musical: Civilization to Nation’ tracing India’s journey as a civilisation through music, drama and visual arts. The show which will run on for some time features over 350 artists and a 55-piece live orchestra from Budapest.
Also marking the opening was a couture display — ‘India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textiles on the Fashionable Imagination’. Curated by author Hamish Bowles and designed by Patrick Kinmonth with Rooshad Shroff, the show maps India’s rich sartorial influence on fashion between the 18th and 21st centuries. Over 140 rare costumes have been sourced from leading couture houses, unseen personal collections and prominent museums from around the world for the exhibit.
The third event was an arts show, Sangam/Confluence, featuring the works of Indian and International artists. Co-curated by American curator Jeffrey Deitch and Indian cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote, it was a veritable East-West symbiosis.
What’s to see?
Within the NMACC is The Grand Theatre — a 2,000-seater space outfitted with state-of-the-art facilities and a Swarovski crystals studded chandelier, The Studio Theatre, a 250-seater flexible space, and the 125 seater Cube, with a movable stage, conceived as an incubator for new and emerging talent and experimental art forms. The centre also features the Art House, a 16,000 sq ft four-storey dedicated visual arts space.
The NMACC’s avowed objective is to showcase the best of India’s art forms as well as bring in globally acclaimed artistes. Will it manage to keep the momentum of a strong opening going?