Chitra Kalyani

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Latest by Chitra Kalyani


Barbès and the multi-culti music fest

Wust El-Balad fuses jazz, rock, and oriental music into a mélange dubbed as “Downtown. Yet even Cairo’s ‘heart of town’ paled in comparison to the Orchestre National de Barbès in bringing out Cairo’s spirit last Tuesday at the annual Fête de la Musique (Music Festival), held at the Saladin Citadel. In its 27th year, the …

Chitra Kalyani

Dancing Gods grace Cairo Opera's Music Library

The Music Library at the Cairo Opera House is currently hosting a silent tribute to an Indian form of devotion – namely the traditional dance practices of “Kathakali and the Rituals of Theyyam. Alia “Coucla Refaat’s exhibition, which opened on Thursday, explores the ritual forms of Indian cultural dance; a side the photographer says is …

Chitra Kalyani

Sex and politics in Cairo nooks

Artellewa screens it like it is. Beating in the pulse of the nitty-gritty of Cairo life in Giza’s impoverished Ard El-Lewa neighborhood is this artsy spot that hosted two movies by filmmaker Ibrahim Abla on Tuesday. “Menena Fina (Among Ourselves), a documentary, and “El-Hob fi Zaman El-Kollah (Love in the Time of Glue), a prize-winning …

Chitra Kalyani

Women against all odds

In her first documentary feature “Miradas desveladas (Unveiled Views), director Alba Sotorra Clua explores the lives of five women bravely defining themselves through their art in often repressive regimes. Crafting such a narrative means that Clua is also defining herself through work Clua’s film inaugurated the second edition of Entre Cineastas (Among Filmmakers) Arab-Hispano American …

Chitra Kalyani

Songs of Egypt on a canvas

It began with an image of an old telephone. It had to be painted in a context; the one envisioned was of a man putting away his lighter, cigarette and watch, “putting his dreams on a hanger. From Mohamed Mounir’s song “­­­­­­­­­­­­Sheta (Winter) came the first painting that was to culminate in an exhibit entitled …

Chitra Kalyani

The dead and displaced find a place online

CAIRO: Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister may not have known what he got himself into when he used the word “shoah to describe the disaster that awaited Palestinians in Gaza in February last year. Immediate media frenzy ensued Matan Vilnai s use of the word holocaust, and the term was appropriated by Palestinians. Members of Media …

Chitra Kalyani

All smoke, no fire at Annerino's gig

With music, as with clothes, always try before you buy. Juliet Annerino’s CD “Scenes from a Life on Fire is on sale for LE 30, and it appears convenient to buy one before the concert; before it’s crowded, you think, and they run out. Annerino is introduced on the leaflet as an American jazz singer. …

Chitra Kalyani

Hip Hop steps in Helwan streets

CAIRO: It can look a bit like aerobics, as participants keep up with steps counted out loud. It looks easy enough. That is until the young performers execute the more complicated hand-stands and head-stands. From the streets of black communities in the United States in the 1970s, hip hop has found its way to the …

Chitra Kalyani

An inside look at self-publishing in Egypt

You can publish anything on your own, said self-published author Mary Mourad. Read “on your own in large print. Self-publishing in Egypt, as Mourad reveals, is not an easy endeavor. “By Monet is Mourad’s first work. She explains the process having written the book, while a friend designed the cover. The first step for the …

Chitra Kalyani

Naseeruddin Shah: the extraordinary gentleman

“Nobody becomes an actor because they want to serve art, says Indian cinema veteran Naseeruddin Shah. “They become actors because they want to be noticed, to be successful, to be known. Known for his performance rather than glitzy stardom of Bollywood, the 59-year-old actor finds that work entails compromises. “I’ve done a hell of a …

Chitra Kalyani

'Troy' retold with an Anatolian flavor

Few events do justice to a venue as awe-inspiring as the Pyramids of Giza. Yet, two historic wonders were met when Mustafa Erdogan and his dance group Fire of Anatolia had the 3,000-year old story of “Troy regaled at the foot of the Egyptian monuments. “More important than Madison Square Garden or Chicago Theater, director …

Chitra Kalyani

Walk-through Roto cinema

The stalls on your right – once gift shops bearing copies of famous Egyptian paintings – would probably go unnoticed on the walk up to the Manesterly Palace gate located at the southern tip of Al-Rodha Island in Cairo. On Thursday night, the storage space outside, now the Um Kolthoum Museum, was transformed into a …

Chitra Kalyani

'Bluzapalooza' sets Cairo Opera House on fire

When the US ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey says a band has a “nice mojo, you better take her word for it. When blues artist Billy Gibson repeatedly sang “I like my mojo, pushing Scobey throughout the evening to dance, the American ambassador finally relented with the compliment at the evening’s finale. A collection of …

Chitra Kalyani

Steve Bell's key to cartooning

There’s always a key to unlocking a character, celebrated British cartoonist Steve Bell said. Margaret Thatcher’s “mad left eye, for instance, was Bell’s key to depicting the former British prime minister. “I unlocked it, says the bushy bearded Bell, whose work is published at The Guardian UK under the title “If . A freelance cartoonist …

Chitra Kalyani

Selling civilization in a beauty jar

When the West burnt and hurt with chemicals, what I did was sell them 3000 years of civilization in a jar, the renowned Indian beauty expert told Daily News Egypt on her make up philosophy. A household name in India with a signature company established 39 years ago, Shahnaz Husain originally started out learning beauty …

Chitra Kalyani

That thing called jazz

Adam Miller croons into the microphone at the Imperial Boat in Zamalek on Saturday, punctuating phases in jazz history with chosen songs. The audience – a modest group of guitarists, jazz and music enthusiasts – is in turn moved and entertained by the depth and variety offered at the workshop. Part of the four-day jazz …

Chitra Kalyani

Yoga enhances athletic performance, says instructor

You perform the “shavasana (the corpse pose), as you have done the night before. You go through “yogasanas (yogic postures), and “pranayama (breathing exercises); months and years of meditation and training now distilled into 20 minutes. Finally, you focus on the moment and your performance in it. This is how you prepare to shoot, yoga …

Chitra Kalyani

A sanctuary for Egyptian caricature opens in Fayoum

By the shores of Lake Qarun in Fayoum, a bus full of artists, journalists, and fans arrived from Cairo to attend the opening of Egypt and the Arab World’s first Caricature Museum. Painter Mohamed Abla’s old dream of establishing this museum, which he started to put into action earlier this year, finally materialized on schedule …

Chitra Kalyani

Along the compulsory detour

As they continue marching steadily against the flow, the Alexandria-based band Massar Egbari knows how to take you with them. The progressive rock group derives its name from the road sign (Massar Egbari means compulsory detour), mocking Egyptian society’s conforming rules that force the average citizen to stray from his/her own purposes and follow the …

Chitra Kalyani

Meek at work

Writing is hard work, acclaimed British writer James Meek assures me. A journalist of 20 years, and a writer with two short story collections and four novels to his credit, Meek has won awards in both journalism and literature. That’s why it’s hard to buy that a writer of his caliber would struggle with words, …

Chitra Kalyani

To be so black and blue

We haven’t forgotten, jazz virtuoso Charlie Young told Daily News Egypt. “We know the importance of Africa in the world. A regular member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra since 1988, Young is also a professor of saxophone at the Howard University in Washington DC. “When we say the word African-American, the African part is a …

Chitra Kalyani

If you want to be published, just say 'hello'

Maybe one does not fully understand the opportunities available at the Cairo International Book Fair where the United Kingdom is this year’s Guest of Honor. Besides exchanging words with renowned writers – writers with biting intellect, inspiring imagination, and quotable turns of phrases – you could just meet the person who helps your secret scribbles …

Chitra Kalyani

A world ending in water

A pasted moon on the top left corner of a photograph stands out, somewhat in contrast to the rest of the work. But it does the job, pulling into the frame, and those like it, tides of water that drench their subject. Entitled “Eschaton, Egyptian artist Nermine Hammam’s collection of 46 paintings, currently on exhibit …

Chitra Kalyani

Analyzing magic with Booker Prize winner Ben Okri

“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once famously said. But what magic do words possess to bestow order to a chaotic world? Ben Okri’s visit to Cairo’s 41st International Book Fair – where Britain is the guest of honor – provided an opportunity to contemplate that puzzle. …

Chitra Kalyani

India in primary colors

As the title suggests, “Colors of India is largely a preoccupation with the color of Indian objects, be it the red of a door in Udaipur, a view of “the blue city of Jodhpur, or a snapshot of multicolored bangles. Armed with a course in photography at the Contemporary Image Collective and the enthusiasm of …

Chitra Kalyani

48 Hours in New Delhi

Forty-eight hours is little time to do credit to any city, especially one the size of the Indian capital. But if you do decide to undertake that Herculean task there are a few places you must see. First the basics. In the absence of private transport, Delhi can be navigated through hand-pulled rickshaws for short …

Chitra Kalyani

Could-be president makes outstanding citizen-conductor

Music conductor Enrique Bátiz’s father had different plans for him; he wanted his son to be the president of Mexico. But then the country would perhaps have been deprived of one of Latin America’s most famous musical talents. His contribution to his nation has earned Bátiz many national accolades, including Mexico’s Mozart medal awarded to …

Chitra Kalyani

Links of Interest

While many questions can be answered by www.google.com and www.about.com; for some good old fashioned advice, visit elderwisdomcircle.org. The site provides counsel from those in the 60 plus age bracket, be it age old wisdom on career or relationships. Browse previous letters to identify someone to whom you’d like to address your question, or direct …

Chitra Kalyani

Links of Interest: Do-it-yourself

If you are an alien that has recently found itself on Earth in human form, worry not, the web is here. The site www.instructables.com offers amusing step-by-step instructions on everything from tying one’s shoelace to baking cookies to building a solar panel. There are ongoing contests on the site to encourage and foster the instructor …

Chitra Kalyani

Links of Interest: Santa Claus is Coming.

What better way to meet up with Santa Claus than pay a visit to www.northpole.com? Young visitors to this cute, cozy, and Christmassy spot can look forward to Santa’s personalized stories and answers to questions like “How does Santa get up and down my chimney? Mail services also exist to send letters to Santa (expect …

Chitra Kalyani