Countdown to the 6th editon of India by the Nile festival

Reham El-Adawi , Monday 5 Mar 2018

At a press conference on Sunday, the organizers of India by the Nile revealed details of the event, which will run between 6 and 17 March in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said

India by the Nile
Thari-The Loom band (Photo: courtesy of the Indian Embassy Media Office)

The Embassy of India in Egypt held a press conference together with Teamwork Arts on Sunday to announce the cultural activities offered by the sixth edition of the India by the Nile (IBN) festival 2018, which starts on Tuesday.

The media event at the Semiramis InterContinental Hotel was attended by Indian Ambassador Sanjay Bhattacharyya and Teamwork Arts Managing Director Sanjoy K. Roy, together with Hisham Mourad, the head of the Ministry of Culture’s Egyptian Centre for International Cultural Cooperation.

The annual festival showcases a range of Indian cultural output, including contemporary and classical music, dance, puppet theatre, visual arts, food and yoga. It is supported by TCI Sanmar and will be held from 6 to 17 March 2018 in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said. The biggest foreign festival in Egypt also encourages artistic collaborations between the two countries.

Ambassador Bhattacharyya said, “India by the Nile is a spectacular display of the classical as well as contemporary art and culture of India. IBN represents the dramatic changes taking place in India. It reaches out to audiences in Cairo and other cities to share the diversity and developments in our music and dance, theatre and films, handicrafts and arts, and even sports and the economy to build new bridges, especially with the youth.

"This year, IBN will feature Brand India to promote understanding between the people and create new opportunities for cooperation. The biggest foreign festival in Egypt seeks to grow even bigger!”

The Indian embassy organizes countless events throughout the year, in Cairo and other cities, all of which underscore the country’s involvement in Egypt’s cultural life. There are screenings of Indian films, alongside yoga classes and Bollywood dance clubs. Meanwhile, the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) serves as one of the major platforms for numerous events, seminars and workshops revolving around India.

The IBN pulls together these various strands, providing a rich and compact showcase of India’s cultural presence, bringing an assortment of Indian art forms to several Egyptian cities.

India by the Nile
L-R: Hisham Mourad Sanjay Bhattacharyya and Sanjoy Roy during the press conference (Photo: Ayman Barayez)

This year's event also has a special historical significance. 2018 marks the 70th year of Indian independence and celebrates 70 years of diplomatic relations with Egypt, a fact that will be underscored during the festival.

This year, the event also features a film festival, a food fiesta, and a fashion show, in addition to a series of seminars on India-Egypt economic ties, Indian tea and yoga, as well as classical music performances.

Indian and Egyptian experts in yoga and alternative healing will share their experiences at various venues in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said. A seminar on Yoga and Well Being will be hosted at the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture.

On 14 March, Dr Khaled Gawdat, an Egyptian physician with a special interest in India, will exhibit photographs taken during his visits to India entitled People and Places at El-Sawy Culturewheel.

The Semiramis InterContinental Hotel will host the Indian Food Fiesta from 10-16 March. Acclaimed Indian celebrity chef Vikram Udaygiri will curate an exquisite gastronomical journey in Indian fine dining from the country’s vast repertoire. He will introduce Indian whisky to pair with the food.

In the performing arts, India by the Nile 2018 has an eclectic programme, with a variety of shows at the prestigious Cairo Opera House and Sayed Darwish Theatre in Alexandria, including performances by the iconic sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan.

One of the undisputed masters of the music world and credited with reinventing sarod technique, Khan has won numerous awards, including a Grammy nomination and a Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum. He will perform in Cairo and Alexandria on 8 and 10 March respectively.

There will also be performances from renowned Bharatanatyam dance exponent Malavika Sarukkai, who has been honoured with numerous awards, including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civil award in India. She will dance in Alexandria and Cairo on 6 and 9 March respectively.

Meanwhile, the Kabir Cafe, a unique collective of folk musicians, will produce passionate and energetic Sufi and Indian folk melodies from 11 to 15 March.

The hugely popular Bollywood choreographer Gilles Chuyen will provide a heady, high-energy dance experience through multiple workshops in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said.

A series of Indian films will also be screened, targeting various audiences, including a morning show on 15 March at Al-Hanager Cinema, presenting Hindi children’s film Hawaa Hawaai and an evening show for Baahubali: The Beginning, which was the biggest box office hit in the history of Indian cinema. The sequel, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, will be screened at Karim Cinema in Downtown Cairo on 16 March.

India by the Nile
Kabir Cafe band (Photo: courtesy of the Indian Embassy Media Office)

India is rapidly consolidating its position as a strong and emerging force in the global economy. The IBN 2018 will also host an economic seminar titled “India-Egypt Economic Engagement Poised for Transformation” at the Semiramis InterContinental on 11 March.

The event will provide an opportunity for prospective investors to interact with stakeholders from India and assess key investment opportunities. As part of the seminar series, there will be an India Tea Seminar led by the Indian tea delegation, including internationally famous personalities in the field of Indian tea.

At Sunday's press event, Ambassador Bhattacharyya highlighted the fashion show, featured for the first time at this year’s festival. Tarun Tahiliani, one of India’s most celebrated fashion designers, who has been acclaimed in Paris and London, will be making an appearance in Egypt this year.

“He will bring with him two Indian models, but the rest of the models will be from Egypt,” said Bhattacharyya.

Teamwork Arts' Sanjoy K. Roy said, “On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence, we are delighted to showcase India’s cultural diversity and create opportunities for exchange and understanding between the world’s oldest cultures and civilizations.”

The IBN Festival is organized by the Embassy of India in Cairo and the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) in partnership with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and their Egyptian partners – the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, the Cairo Opera House, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and pioneering entertainment company Teamwork Arts, India.

Check the festival programme here.

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