CHENNAI: The last month of 2015 may have been a bleak one for Chennaites. But the city is ushering in the New Year on a musical note and high-oc tane entertainment as the much-awaited Saarang, IIT Madras’s annual cultural fest, brought to you by The Times of India, starts from January 6.
The sprawling IIT-M campus, which has always been a favourite hangout spot among the young crowd, is set to host a string of cultural events. From classical Carnatic to rock shows and EDM concerts, Indian as well as celebrated names from the international music circuit will entertain the city crowd.
While the Classical Nite on January 6 will see sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and danseuse Rukmini Vijayakumar cast magic with their notes and moves, Florida-based pop bunk band The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will enthrall the audience at The Times of India Rock Show on January 9. But what’s music without Bollywood songs and so we have the duo VishalSekhar marking the high point of the event on the last day (January 10).
“I know that there will be a lot of college students among the audience and I am very happy to be able to perform at Saarang” said Rukmini Vijayakumar. For Sriram T T of Skrat, the Chennai-based band who will be opening for The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, 2016 will be an emotional one. “From 2006 to 2009, we had been playing at competitions held during Saarang. So, coming back as a professional band is definitely a happy moment,” said the guitarist. “Saarang is special because it has always encouraged aspiring artists.”
But if you thought Saarang was only about music and dance, you are mistaken. Attend one of the LecDems (lecture demonstrations) where Grandmaster Tania Sachdev and racer Karun Chandhok will interact with students.The fest will also see a workshop by Terribly Tiny Tales. “This year Saraang will be grander in terms of the host of noncompetitive informal gaming events like Laser Tag and Oculus Rift,” said PBR Krishna Koushik, cultural affairs secretary (literary), IIT-M.
Though it’s celebration time, students have not forgotten their social responsibilities. “This is year it is more important since Chennai is fighting back,” said Koushik. “Every team has come up with ideas to help those affected by floods. The money generated from Saarang will be used to reconstruct damaged schools. The World Music Fest at the Kendriya Vidalaya Grounds where bands from Israel to Romania will perform will have a fund-raising event.
Those with a competitive edge can fight it out for awards at events like The Times of India Decibels or the Choreo Night, co-sponsored by The Times of India. For more information log on to saarang.org.