On Monday 2 March, the Indian Embassy with Teamwork Arts (the company that organises the festival) gave a press conference at the Semiramis InterContinental Hotel to announce the programme for India by the Nile 2020 (2-10 March) in Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and Fayoum.
The largest international festival in Egypt, India by the Nile provides audiences a flavour of the subcontinent’s vibrant culture while strengthening artistic collaborations and bilateral ties between the two countries. Present were Director of Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture Liyaqath Ali, who deputised the Indian Ambassador to Egypt Rahul Kulshresht, art director of the festival Ila Gupta, one of the pillars of Teamwork Arts Company, and Iman Hamdy, head of the Festivals Department at the Ministry of Culture.
India by the Nile is a celebration of India through classical and contemporary performing and visual arts, food and popular culture. In a note printed in the festival’s brochure, Ambassador Kulshreshth, says, “As India by the Nile enters its eighth year, we look back with gratitude at the warmth and affection with which our Egyptian friends have received this festival in the past. It is indeed due to their love for Indian culture that IBN is billed as one of the biggest foreign cultural festivals in Egypt. Encouraged by the heartening response, we are proud to present the 8th edition of IBN and, as before, to bring to you the vibrant, colourful and diverse facets of Indian culture in celebration of the historical and civilisational bonds between our people.”
India by the Nile 2020 offers an eclectic programme with a variety of shows, including performances by the Kutle Khan Project, heady folk music from the desert sands of Rajasthan flavoured with contemporary global music trends. Kathak, a classical dance form which tells stories through exquisite choreography and facial expressions, will be performed by the charismatic Astha Dixit and her ensemble which will bring to life the timeless poetry of the Sufis. The Astha Dixit dance company is rooted in traditional Kathak but incorporates a fresh modern perspective. En route to Bollywood, an exciting dance show, will present the electrifying music and dance of Bollywood films through a series of spectacular dance sequences across multiple cities. There is, in addition, Bollywood dance workshops with Gilles Chuyen, the well-known Bollywood choreographer, in Cairo and Port Said.
Ali, Gupta, and Hamdy
The highlight of this year’s Food Fiesta is the celebrated chef and entrepreneur Vikram Udaygiri. He is the founder of Food Sense, a venture that specializes in setting up restaurants, microbreweries, and cloud kitchens. Udaygiri has worked in over 26 countries and is also a first-generation agripreneur who has ventured into producing high-quality microgreens, sprouts and edible flowers. His expertise lies in curating festivals around the world that promote traditional and modern regional Indian cuisine. He will curate a delectable gastronomical journey in Indian fine dining from the country’s vast cuisine repertoire at Semiramis InterContinental Hotel in Cairo from 4 to 8 March.
As a part of the eighth milestone chapter of India by the Nile, TCI Sanmar is holding a day of exciting activities that will let everyone discover the magic of India in Port Said, India Day, on 5 March. The day will include exclusive performances and workshops in yoga and dance as well as music and dance shows, engaging families and the larger community with a carefully curated programme that appeals across age-groups. In addition, yoga sessions will be offered in Cairo, Alexandria, Fayoum and Port-Said.
India by the Nile is organised by the Embassy of India in Cairo and the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture in partnership with Indian Council for Cultural Relations. It is made possible with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism, Grand Arts Centre, the Cairo Opera House, and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina among others, as well as the pioneering entertainment company Teamwork Arts, India. (For the full programme see Listings).
*A version of this article appears in print in the 5 March, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly