The Inaugural of EEMAGINE 2019 Celebrated Indian Performing Arts Like Never Before

Entertainment | August 28, 2019 | Interview

Gitikka Ganju Dhar EEMAGINE EEMAGINE 2019 Ministry of Talk - Made in India Sanjoy Roy

Amidst a colourful and entertaining ‘Swagatam’, EEMAgine 2019 began with an Inaugural Ceremony hosted by industry favourite EMCEE Gitikka Ganju Dhar. As the convention started with enthralling enthusiasm and energy, delegates from the world of events came to be a part of it. The theme of EEMAGINE 2019 was Inspire, Innovate and Integrate - Sanjoy Roy, MD, Teamwork Arts, and President, EEMA along with Gitikka and others were given the responsibility to curate the inaugural session, in addition, to host it.

In conversation with EVENTFAQS, Gitikka speaks about what the concept for the inaugural session was, and how the teams came together to produce the same...

Over the years, you have diversified and applied your expertise as a top anchor, to moderating business panel discussions and now curating important/formal segments of business events. What has been your main asset/strength whilst dabbling in these new areas?

I can safely say that after twenty-odd years of talking on stage, I have literally seen it all, heard it all and done it all. Also, by nature, I am an observer. Co-incidentally, I made sure that as an anchor; I was not typecast and was engaged across event genres. So, I have had an all-embracing on-ground experience. I have had the good fortune of working with the best experiential agencies, corporates, government bodies, speakers, leaders, and artists from across the country. This is a big reservoir to draw from. Both instinctively and realistically, I know what works with audiences and what may not. And like all of us do, I keep abreast of the latest communication trends in the experiential world and am eager to see them applied to the Indian stage. 

To innovate content and evolve formats and not be scared of trying the new, I'd say is my main port of call. When designing business sessions, whether panel discussions, debates or chats, one has to burn the midnight oil to make sure research is all-encompassing, that the content is designed as the fundamental takeaway of the audience and the format delights with a new on the shelf, feel. My audience needs to feel no doubt on whether the experience was great or not. I secretly call it - Bulls-Eye Design.

Please elaborate on what was your vision for the EEMAgine inauguration segment? How were the final elements brought together?

The EEMAGINE inaugural was designed based on three action calls - Inspire, Integrate and Innovate, the theme of the 2019 edition. The goal was clear; it had to be a meaningful start to the flagship summit. It had to showcase the might and impact of homegrown Indian performing arts. The President of EEMA Sanjoy Roy leads this belief, as he often says that his journey has been about showcasing Indian fare and building brand India along the way. The Chair of EEMAGINE KJs Gurna and Co-Chair Harjinder Singh also concurred with the tangent chosen. Also, never before had an EEMAGINE Opening Ceremony centered its content completely around such acts.

Four live hosts, Dinesh Soni, Ritika Jhanji, Sanchalli Arora and Chaitanya Rathi from different zones of EEMA, along with regional folk dancers led each zone's entry into the hall, India's Nagada Maestro Nathu Lal Solanki opened with royal beats of welcome, Padma Shri Dadi Padumjee and artists of the Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust joined them to inspire, songstress Vidya Shah rendered the Indian National Anthem along with the children from the Welfare Centre of Persons with Speech and Hearing Impairment, 52 seconds that I knew would elicit an emotional reaction from the delegates.

Industry Leader Brian Tellis sang about peace and oneness as he urged everyone to EEMAGINE-Imagine, legendary street theatre exponent Arvind Gaur and the Asmita Street Theatre Group put the issue of Climate Change under the spotlight. Zenith Dance Company presented an act that integrated us into one space, as contributors to the evolution of our industry. We paid homage to members of the fraternity who passed on in the year gone by. I had the pleasure to weave these elements together as the Sutradhaar. Could it have been better, bigger and bolder? Yes, but, remember, every time you change course, the first ride is a challenge, but the satisfaction of having changed the course is the noteworthy happening.

What kinds of events do you think you can leverage this expertise in? Is it necessary for you to be hired as host/anchor as well?

No, I write content for other anchors too, through my company Ministry of Talk - Made in India. We design business sessions. Curating content for entire events is a logical outcome. So, I do not need to be hired as a host as well. Though I often joke, when it is a challenge, the hosting bit, pencil me in. Makes it easier for everyone. I'd like to stress here that my career as an anchor will never take a backseat. I have a lot of steam left in me as a talker, many more ideas and dreams to unfold, unfurl and execute.  These are parallel journeys. With a competent team in place, brimming with ideas, it will all bloom.

What are your plans to further enhance these skill-sets?

The simple mantras - Travel, view, experience, read, focus, observe, practice and learn.

In conversation with EVENTFAQS, Gitikka spoke about being one of the curator at the EEMAgine Inaugural Ceremony, various skill-sets required for events and more.

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