`Eye on India` to celebrate Indian art and culture

Chicago: The first annual `Eye on India` festival, a unique cultural extravaganza including film screenings, art exhibition and puppet shows, is beginning here today.

The 10-day festival includes a screening of `Chandni Bar` on July 11 as part of an Indian film retrospective, to be hosted by Bollywood star Tabu who won the Best Actress National award in India for the 2001 film.

The Indo-American Center (IAC) will be hosting a dinner on July 10 in the honour of the 40-year-old actress, who will be in Chicago to promote Indian films.

`Eye on India` is focused on Indian artists and their local and international works, literary events and many other chances to participate in a celebration of Indian life and culture.

Presented by India-based Teamwork Films in partnership with Chicago-based Anookul Inc, `Eye on India` opens with a performance by internationally acclaimed Indian classical violinist Dr L Subramaniam with special local guests, the Chicago Children`s Choir and Natya Dance Theatre.

Anookul, founded by Anu Behari, a long-time Chicago resident, aims to bridge the gap between modern Indian cultural arts and the Midwestern United States.

Daily events will include literary panels with esteemed journalists and authors including Tarun Tejpal, Hari Kunzru, Shrabani Basu and political commentator Nayantara Sahgal; a `Music Without Borders` concert featuring Susheela Raman; a performance by India`s Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust; and The Wellbeing Experience, which will include several yoga and wellness events.

An Indian art exhibit entitled `Where The Streets Have No Name` will be on display at Coalition Gallery for several days, July 8-13.

Curator Dr Alka Pande brings together artists and children to create twin canvases to explore the varying perceptions of the street, in the one-of-a-kind `Street` art exhibit from the residents of the Salaam Baalak Trust.

Millennium Park will host two free, family-friendly events, including Indian music and yoga at the Family Fun Festival Tent on Chase Promenade on July 15 and a morning Yoga in the Park session on the Great Lawn Saturday, July 16.

The Wellbeing Experience on July 17 will feature several yoga workshops led by local schools and practitioners, guided meditation, lectures, demonstrations, private Ayurvedic consultations with certified practitioners from India, local yoga schools, and AYUSH (Indian Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy).