The National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) is the cultural epicenter of Mumbai. This cultural Mecca is located right at the end of the famous Nariman Point in South Mumbai and is a multi-cultural, multi-genre and multi-purpose center that aims to promote Indian culture and heritage in South Asia. One regularly gets to witness Music, Dance, Theatre, Photography, Film and Literature along with Drama, Contemporary Dance, Opera, Jazz, Orchestral Concerts and Chamber Music here.
Inaugurated in the year 1969, NCPA was the brainchild of JRD Tata and Dr. Jamshed Bhabha, who envisioned a need for a world-class performing arts centre for India. Spread across 32,000 square meters with 5 theatres dedicated to a unique genre of performing arts, the land this Centre stands on has actually been reclaimed from the sea.
The largest of the theatres in the complex is the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, which has a seating capacity of 1109. It is here that technically complex performances can be enacted. It has been operational since 1999 and has hosted many international Operas, Ballets, Orchestras and other major Musicals.
With a seating capacity of 1010, the Tata Theatre uniquely combines the feel of an intimate theatre with the experience of a full-scale theatrical arena. It is a theatre of choice for artists and audiences both thanks to its brilliant acoustics, a revolving stage, and a foyer that gives a scenic view of the sea. Tata Theatre was opened in the year 1982 and is the venue for Indian Classical concerts, Western Chamber Music, and theatre.
The Experimental Theatre opened in the year 1986 and consists of 300 movable chairs. The space is very flexible and can be arranged to suit any event taking place here. It is usually used for small-scale dance and music performances as well as workshops. There is also a Godrej Dance Theatre with a capacity of 200 seats and is used for dance performances and movie screenings while the Little Theatre nurtures and promotes new talent.
The who's who of the theatre circuit including Naseeruddin Shah, Rajit Kapur, and Rahul Da Cunha perform at NCPA regularly. The place is also home to the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI). What’s peculiar about the place is that shows here start bang on time with a strict discipline expected from both artists and audiences.
NCPA also consists of art galleries, a reading and listening library, a studio of archival documents of Dance, Drama and Music, a Teaching and Research Block, an Audio-Visual Archival Block, and a Computerized Research Library. NCPA usually publishes a monthly calendar on their website that can help you culture vultures to plan an itinerary.