The Big Idea for this season is Legacy and we will approach the festival with the curatorial vision of Ancient Gurus: Modern Mastery. This vision will enable us to look at legacy as a continuum of the collective wisdom of past generations, its transformation in the present and propagation to the future.
From a classical sitar to a jazz saxophone, a rhythmic kathak to a stylized hip hop, a meditative raga to a trance groove; through this festival we will embark on an exciting journey to discover how traditional and contemporary artists have transformed the legacy passed down to them. Standing on the shoulders of the giants these artists are embracing age-old traditions and pushing them beyond the borders, giving new expressions and interpretations to ancient customs—while honouring the traditions and values of the maestros and celebrating the amazing array of original creative expressions of today.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Harbourfront Centre. The festival will follow the theme of Jashn or celebration. It will showcase traditional celebratory performances whose context and content has evolved over time, for example Bhangra, which was originally only a harvest dance but has now developed into a celebratory dance for any joyous occasion. Similarly the Basant kite flying festival has evolved into the Jashn e Bahaara festival for celebrating spring.
The festival will showcase music, dance, film, literature and cuisines from the various cultures of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tibet and Nepal.
— Umair Jaffar, Lead Artistic Associate