We asked our critics what were their top five art picks of the 2017?
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MUSIC: ‘Sukanya’ – The Ravi Shanker inspired opera proved to be a triumph.
Abida Parveen – Well-known outside of her native Pakistan, the Sufi music star draws huge crowds and massive admiration. Listening to her live was something very special.
Bharat Symphony – Dr Subramaniam is one of the foremost musicians of his age and comes to the Barbican to play a special concert as part of UK-India Year of Culture with wife Kavita Krishnamurti…
The women in music event organised by Sama Arts Network (April 20- July 2). A series of concerts showcasing women musicians from UK, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran and other Asian countries was one of my undoubted highlights.
THEATRE: ‘Guards at the Taj’ This play about one of the most iconic buildings ever created was thought-provoking and beautifully intense – I can never look the Taj Mahal in the same way again and nor I suspect can the others who packed out the Bush Theatre night after night for this.
A shout-out too for theatremaker Nassim Soleimanpour and his ‘Nassim’ – which previewed at The Bush before going to Edinburgh and playing at the Traverse theatre. This is where an actor is handed a sealed-enveloped script and has to go on and perform it. Meera Syal was just one of the actors who subjected herself to the challenge.
‘The Kite Runner’ was also poignant and haunting – the stage adaptation of Khalid Hosseini’s best-selling novel is a work of great humanity and insight into a troubled country – Afghanistan.
DANCE: Shobana Jeyasingh’s ‘Bayadère – The Ninth Life’ at Sadler’s Wells was hugely enjoyable – a contemporary and brilliant work that also had some reference to her background as a Bharatanatyam composer and the challenges of identity in a fluid world.
FILM: There were a lot of films I enjoyed seeing but one event stands out – documentary maker Sanjay Kak came to the BFI to talk about his work. It was fascinating.
ART: Manchester Whitworth Art Gallery – there are some great exhibitions. Raqib Shaw was a particular highlight.
The Shaw exhibition was part of #NewNorthSouth with the display ending in November.
BOOKS: The Bradford Literature Festival gets bigger and better every year and draws in many different strands. Impressive.