Desi Diary

What’s On In January


Until Jan 27:  Emperors & Jewels: Treasures of the Indian Courts. Discover the opulent lifestyles of the Mughal emperors and of the sultans of Deccan, India. The Canadian premiere exhibition reflects the splendour of the Mughals, who were great patrons of the jewelled arts, which blended Central Asian, Iranian, and Indian traditions. Exquisitely crafted pieces of men’s jewellery, once owned by the Mughal emperors who ruled India from the 16th to 19th century, bear witness to the deep love of beauty and craftsmanship. They also speak of the blossoming creativity of these highborn rulers, who adorned themselves magnificently to feast and to fight. Paintings from the Aga Khan Museum Collection, showing hunts and battles, receptions and gardens, set the scene for the jewelled works of art from the renowned al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, and reveal the artistic passions of the Mughal emperors. From whimsical rings and turban ornaments to intricately designed daggers and swords, the compilation of objects in the exhibition reinforces the status, wealth, and ceremony of the courts of the Mughals and their contemporaries. Exhibition highlights include a 17th-century dagger sash-cord ornament from Northern India or Deccan; and a cup from late 16th-century India made of jade, set with ruby, emerald, sapphire, and dark sapphire-blue and emerald-green transparent glass. More info at 

Jan. 18-Feb. 2: Hart House Theatre presents the rock musical Hair, an iconic work that celebrates its 50th anniversary at a time of new-found social justice movements and civil unrest. When a tribe of freedom-loving hippies is confronted with the realities of war and an oppressive government hell-bent on conflict, they become even more committed to their ideals of freedom, liberty from social shackles and the space to form individual expression...through “long, beautiful Hair”... Directed and choreographed by Julie Tomaino, featuring showcase performances by trained, emergent talent, and supported by a professional production team. Warning: The show contains coarse language, mature themes, sexual scenes and nudity. Tickets: Adults, $28; seniors, $17; students, $15. Call 416-978-8849 or visit

Feb. 22-24: The 17th Annual Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival, an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event, with the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, emulating a multi-stage rural summer festival. More than 150 artists will be performing at three venues and four stages on the Danforth, Toronto, over the three-day weekend. This year’s festival includes the special event showcase For King and Country, written and composed by Toronto guitarist Tony Quarrington. It’s a masterful resurrection of the presiding soldier culture that envelOntario Museum (ROM) brings visitors an exhibition of rarely-seen royal treasures from Marwar, Jodhpur, one of the largest former princely states in India. The ROM will be the final North American destination and the exclusive Canadian venue for Treasures of a Desert Kingdom: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in collaboration with Mehrangarh Museum Trust, India, the exhibition features nearly 250 artworks and objects from the kingdom of Marwar located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. The exhibition traces the kingdom’s cultural history as it was continually reshaped by cross-cultural encounters. Lavishly-made ceremonial objects, opulent jewellery, textiles and tapestries, palace furnishings, architectural treasures, and a monumental 17th-century court tent showcase the history of the Rathore dynasty that ruled the region for more than 700 years. Drawn primarily from the collections of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and the private collections of the royal family of Jodhpur, the exhibition marks the first time that most of these treasures have been seen beyond the palace walls. Treasures of a Desert Kingdom is a separately ticketed exhibition. For ticket information, visit

Mar. 14-16: DanceWorks Main-stage Series Event. Jaberi Dance Theatre presents No Women’s Land at Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Choreographed by Roshanak Jaberi, No Woman’s Land is a multi-disciplinary performance piece that explores the real stories of women in refugee camps. A three-year project featuring seven performers with composition and sound design by Thomas Ryder Payne and scenography by Trevor Schwellnus, it combines dance, multi-media and verbatim theatre and has been developed in collaboration with the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS) and Dr. Shahrzad Mojab, professor at the University of Toronto. Violence against women is the most pervasive violation of human rights in the world. More info and tickets at 416-204-1082.

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