La Fontaine experience at Bahrain-by Umesh

We reached the race track after a short flight from India. It wasn’t a race track after all. It was the Bahrain International Airport with flyers allover screaming out loud ‘2009 Formula 1 Grand Prix’. I always wanted to see a race apart from feeling like a Formula 1 driver and racing through the busy roads of Bendakaaluru aka Bengaluru. For heaven’s sake this was Bahrain and it is supposed to be hot; o hell it wasn’t a bit hot. We were warmly welcomed by the drizzle and our smiling cab driver, who we located after many moments.



After we woke up from our afternoon lunch and siesta, we reached the beautiful La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art. It was this building which you can only imagine in your dreams. Each square inch of the wall, handmade and textured like an artists’ hand had drawn all over a geometrical off white canvas box. A bold application of plaster gave the building a rustic touch, a visual freshness of its own and a mystic appeal. Finally, I was seeing this gallery for real where many great performers have performed and the best of the best artists have displayed their art works. I had a great feel about this place; more over I was told it was the best in Bahrain!


This 150 year old European styled chateau is a mixture of Islamic  architecture which has now been converted into a centre of contemporary art; La Fontaine also boasts of a restaurant, spa, a state-of-the-art Pilates studio, an amphitheatre with great ambiance and this is where we, Nritarutya  would perform.

This time, it started to drizzle right when we wanted to rehearse. We were due to perform in two hours and some helpers at the venue were both pessimistic and optimistic at the same time about the rain stopping. Anyways, we went into our green rooms which were a spa in itself with a pool alongside and many misleading doors and staircases. We rehearsed and were ready.


Thank god the optimists are always, always right!

The rain stopped. We performed in the amphitheatre to a great audience.
Dinner time, we were hungry and on the menu – meat, meat and meat; I preferred vegetarian this time and lots of Pherni. Alongside for music was the great large fountain pouring out gallons of water and large candles giving out light onto people wearing black outfits. A perfect movie setting.
The next morning we decided to shop and went to this mall called ‘The Seef Mall’.You would find anything you ever wanted in Bahrain as long as you have your mastercard.
Next, we went back to the gallery to meet up with the gallery curator and this time I saw this place in its entirety!



It was beautiful in the sunlight and for viewing pleasure was coffee off a sophisticated machine which I think I killed after many tries. Then, cookies! Yum! We were glad to find that she really wanted more time from us in our next performance and we were leaving right that evening.

So, we packed and left to the airport which was now looking like a perfect Grand Prix set up. I only wish I can race once more back to India and in my Formula 1 plane.I was missing ‘Ghar ka Khaana’ and La Fontaine at the same time.


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