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How concerts & live performances have changed in 2020

Noor Anand Chawla

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The arrival of October has always been the signal for festivities and outdoor recreations to begin. These range from puja pandals to music festivals, food fests to concerts, and live performances on stage. The sense of revelry in the air is palpable and calendars booked months in advance for pleasant fall and winter evenings! The pandemic may have dimmed our ardour for crowded outdoorsy events, but it has not taken away the need for social and cultural engagement.

 Artists, musicians and performers have taken to the digital medium to ride out these tough times. Performances, sharing recorded pieces and teaching classes on their craft, have kept them busy thus far. However, these virtual performances and recordings mostly cater to the existing fan base of the particular artists and are quite limited. Many of them face the problem of connecting with a new audience as they would have earlier, through organised events. This is where brands like ShowCase Studio are instrumental in bridging the gap between the artists and the audience.

 A branch of ShowCase Events, known for organising fabulous folk concerts, ShowCase Studio produces a weekly talk show, “In Conversation”, where a performer is invited to speak to an expert in their field while treating the audience to live performances. The show takes place every Sunday and tickets are sold on Townscript. It is an event unlike anything available in the overcrowded online space. Having thoroughly enjoyed the last few episodes, I was inspired to write this article.

 Concerts and live performances have changed immensely in 2020, but their virtual iterations have advantages too: 

A VIRTUAL LIVE SHOW HAS A UNIQUE CHARM 

A live performance given by an artist from their home or personal space, offers a sense of intimacy. It allows the viewer to feel privy to the lives of the artists — a far cry from the forced distance of raised concert stages. This sense of informality is further enhanced as the audience sees only themselves and their family members during the performance. It is a feeling of exclusivity, generally accorded to a privileged few. Digital media comes with its own peculiar challenges, but even these glitches somehow enhance the realness of the entire experience.

 A GLIMPSE INTO PERSONAL STORY OF ARTISTS

 Where most staged concerts and live performances are limited to the performance and perhaps a line or two of engaging banter with the audience, they never offer a look at the personal story of the performer. Virtual performances go a step beyond, as they allow the performer to speak about subjects they love above all else — their own craft. Most artists have in-depth knowledge of the history and evolution of their chosen forms of art, but keep that knowledge restricted to print and the odd TV interview, which have two drawbacks in comparison to the virtual live format. They do not allow the audience to participate in the questioning and discussion, and they are restricted to talking, with no scope for an amalgamation of the performance and the speech! 

CLASSIC ENTERTAINMENT FOR WHOLE FAMILY 

The pandemic has forced us to reassess our general spending habits, and it has also provided us with opportunities to be more frugal, as we venture out less. This is an added advantage, as entire families have the ability to view an episode or virtual concert on the price of a single ticket, as opposed to pre-pandemic days where they would necessarily buy tickets for each attendee. An unexpected yet welcome bonus! Though virtual concerts and live performances lack the largesse of in-person live concerts, they certainly have their own charm. Until things return to a semblance of normalcy, innovative performance-based talk shows like “In Conversation” hosted by ShowCase Studio are fulfilling the need for cultural entertainment. If you have been missing live concerts and performances, buy a ticket on Townscript for this Sunday’s episode where maverick vocalist and flautist Rasika Shekar performs and speaks to music journalist Narendra Kusnur. 

The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles on her successful blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be found on Instagram @nooranandchawla.

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Bollywood in awe of Pushpa & Allu Arjun

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Mumbai: Pushpa star Allu Arjun, the talk of the town, has absolutely impressed
his fans,audiences, actors in the South and also many bigwigs in Bollywood. The
stylish star with his emphatic performance has won the hearts of many in the Hindi
speaking regions. Now, Bollywood is all praise for Pushpa Raj aka Allu Arjun and
the movie, reiterate what the stylish star has said in the film, ‘Pushpa is not flower,
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and also as the Hindi version in the North belt alone grossed Rs 100 crore
in box office collections in 25 days of its run, actors and big producers
in Bollywood have taken notice, and are now speaking about the
stylish star’s ability to charm viewers.
At a time when Allu Arjun has amassed a big fan following in
Hindi-speaking regions, there are reports of Bollywood producers lining up to cast him in their next Hindi films. Also, many
Hindi actors are showing interest to act in his upcoming pan-India movies. It is also reportedly said that producers are looking
to get Hindi dubbing or remake rights of the icon star’s upcoming films as they feel he will dominate the cinema space now.
The passion Allu Arjun put into his Pushpa Raj character is
so evident that people are just captivated by him.

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LATA MANGESHKAR TO REMAIN UNDER SUPERVISION FOR A FEW MORE DAYS

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MUMBAI : Giving a health update regarding legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, her doctor on Sunday shared that the megastar will still remain in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), under the supervision of doctors for a few more days.

The Bharat Ratna recipient was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai last week and her treatment is still going on. The 92-year-old star is suffering from corona as well as pneumonia. Dr Pratit Samdani who is treating the veteran singer said that “Lata ji is still in the ICU, she still that is why she is kept under the supervision of the doctor in the ICU.” “Lata ji will remain under the supervision of the doctor for a few more days, it is difficult to say how many days it will last. No one is allowed to meet.” The doctor also said that there is a need for people to pray for her recovery.

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Mouni started her acting journey with TV shows and rose to fame with supernatural ‘Naagin’. 

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KURUKKU VAZHI IS A CRIME THRILLER: SHIRA GAARG

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CHENNAI: What started as a surprising opportunity for actress Shira Gaarg to explore her passion became her career path once she started getting good reviews from reputed film critics for her role in her debut Tamil film Baby. Hailing from Bengaluru, Shira Gaarg was pursuing her college studies when a photoshoot caught the attention of director Balaji Sakthivel and his production team. They were looking for a fresh face for the movie Baby. She did not have any experience in acting then but after motivation from the director and support from her family she accepted the offer. Later after completion of her MBA she decided to take acting as her full time profession. Actress Shira Gaarg has recently completed the shoot for Tamil film titled Shot Boot Three directed by Arun Vaidyanathan and is currently shooting for her next movie Kurukku Vazhi directed by N.T. Nantha. In a candid conversation the actress avers, “Kurukku Vazhi is a crime thriller. It describes about what happens when people take short cut in life and how it would impact others. It is a very emotional role and the character has to go through mix of emotions. The story is about four people and what choices I make while dealing with them.” The film is produced by K Singh and A. Sharma. Apart from writing and directing the film, N.T. Nantha has also handled cinematography and composed the music. Apart from these projects, Shira Gaarg has also played the lead role in a Tamil web series Chewing Gum for Hotstar Network. She further added, “All my roles are unique and distinct. I am looking at playing meaty kind of roles. Fortunately the roles which I have played are all different and diverse.” 

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PRIYANKA CHOPRA, NICK JONAS ENJOY ROMANTIC BEACH STROLL

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WASHINGTON: Celebrity couple Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas were recently spotted enjoying their romantic evening stroll at a beach, near San Diego. As per the pictures obtained by TMZ, the star couple was chilling at Del Mar Dog Beach, near San Diego. They meandered on the sand for about 30 minutes as their dogs took in the sights, sounds and smells. Visitors on the beach told the outlet that Nick and Priyanka were super happy, chatting most of the time as they held hands and walked with their two pet dogs.

The global actor was seen wearing a black casual jacket with a pair of blue jeans teamed up with sneakers and black shades.

Nick was also seen wearing a white t-shirt beneath a black jacket. He also wore a pair of casual jeans and white sneakers. This comes days after the ‘Fashion’ star addressed the scrutiny that followed after she dropped her husband, Nick Jonas’ last name from her social media handles last year.

She added that the experience served as a prime example of the microscope celebrities find themselves under in this age. “It’s a very vulnerable feeling, actually, that if I post a picture, everything that’s behind me in that picture is going to be zoomed in on, and people are going to speculate,” the ‘Quantico’ star explained.

“It’s just a professional hazard… Because of the noise of our social media, because of the prevalence that it has in our lives, I think it seems a lot larger than it is. I think that we give it a lot more credence in real life, and I don’t think it needs that,” she added.

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EMMA SAYS SHE WOULD ‘DEFINITELY’ RETURN FOR ANOTHER ‘HARRY POTTER’ REUNION

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WASHINGTON: Emma Watson fans rejoice as the actor that appeared in the recent HBO Max’s ‘Harry Potter’ reunion, said she would “definitely” return for a second reunion in another 20 years.

The HBO Max’s ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts’ special made headlines at the start of the year. The special episode reunited key cast members from the movie franchise, such as Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. Watson, as fans know, played Hermione Granger in all eight of the franchise’s films, recently said in an interview obtained by Variety that she would “definitely” return for a second reunion in another 20 years.

Watson said the emotional high point of the reunion was sitting down with Grint and acknowledging that they will always remain a family even if months or years go by without them reconnecting.

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