Culture shock

Culture shock! Why Delhi’s auditoriums can’t open if cinemas can, organizers ask | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: The city’s cultural calendar is buzzing through the winter months, but a spike in Covid-19 cases has meant no performances or events have been able to take place this season.
However, even though the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has relaxed infection soaking bans, cultural centers remain closed as auditoriums have not been allowed to reopen.
“The Kamani auditorium was booked all year round, but there are no shows there. People want to book the hall but are not allowed to,” said Shobha Deepak Singh, director of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. “I don’t understand why movie theaters are allowed to operate, but institutions like Kamani, Shri Ram Centre, Little Theater Group Auditorium are not.”
Singh, a renowned classical dancer, said artists earn nothing and institutions like the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, which also runs music, dance and performing arts schools, also face financial losses. . “We need fast food because people want to book auditoriums but don’t know when they will be allowed to open,” she said.
Tapan Sengupta, general secretary of the Bengal Association, said: “When everything from schools to markets and cinemas have reopened, what’s the problem with allowing auditoriums to resume?” The association has written to the Lieutenant Governor and Chief Minister for permission to reopen its Muktadhara auditorium at Banga Sanskriti Bhawan in Gole market in central Delhi.
Sengupta said the association regularly organizes cultural events, which also provide livelihoods for many people. “Auditors like ours or Kamani can easily be allowed to open with a ceiling over the seats,” he pointed out.
Besides institutional financial losses and loss of livelihoods for individuals, the closure of auditoriums and other platforms has also led to a disconnect between performers and audiences, said Arvind Gaur, director of Asmita Theater Group. “It seems there are no plans for performers and no emphasis on theater although movie theaters have resumed,” Gaur grumbled. “The biggest loss, however, is to our audience, whose support we have won over so many years. The performing arts need a live audience with whom performers make a real connection.
Besides auditoriums, sports complexes were also not allowed to fully open, although gymnasiums and swimming pools were allowed to open. “To allow spas and gyms to open but not sports complexes is not only an arbitrary act but betrays bizarre logic,” said Keshav Agarwal, a south Delhi resident who regularly played badminton and squash. at the Delhi Development Authority’s Siri Fort Sports Complex.
A DDA official said permission had been sought to reopen heated swimming pools and gymnasiums would also be open soon. “Activities like walking, jogging and outdoor yoga are not prohibited. We have sought clarification from DDM A on the takeover of other facilities,” the official said.