The NCPA or the National Centre for the Performing Arts is a thriving cultural centre located in the maximum city of Mumbai, India. The main goal of NCPA since its inception has been to promote and conserve India’s rich heritage of music, dance, theatre, movies, literature and photography. NCPA also promulgates novel and innovative initiatives in the performing arts arena. NCPA was founded in 1969 by JRD Tata and Dr. Jamshed Bhabha.

The NCPA also boasts of housing the Symphony Orchestra of India that was set up in 2006 by NCPA. In 2010, the orchestra became the first one from India to perform at the Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Moscow at the 5th World Symphony Orchestra Festival

India’s foremost full-length classical ballet was staged by New Jersey Ballet with its Nutcracker production.

In 2016, NCPA in association with Shapoorji Pallonji Group brought out Mughal-e-Azam, a Broadway-style musical based on the classic movie from the 1960s by the same name.

NCPA Activities

NCPA was established with the aim of preserving and promoting performing arts and visual arts. The NCPA complex occupying an area of around 32,000 sq ft at Nariman Point houses five theatre complexes, each of which is an embodiment of performing arts.

Jamshed Bhabha Theatre: From operas to orchestras, this theatre hosts some great shows that have technical finesse. The  Proscenium theatre has a seating capacity of 1,109 and has been functional since 1999. Several international shows that have included opera, ballet and renowned musicals have been staged here. A magnificent marble staircase along with a dazzling double level foyer are the highlights of this theatre.

Tata Theatre: A brainchild of famous American Modernist architect Philip Johnson Rustom Patell-Patell Batliwala & Associates along with acoustician Cyril Harris, the Tata theatre opened in 1982. Indian classical concerts, Chamber music and theatre are the performing arts that take place at this venue. A revolving stage along with amazing acoustics and a foyer with some magnificent sea views make Tata Theatre a great choice amongst performers as well as art connoisseurs.

Experimental Theatre: This theatre became functional in 1986 and has 300 movable seats that can be moulded to suit a variety of events. The exclusive ‘black box’ auditorium is used extensively for small scale dance and music events as well as for novel theatre acts. As the name suggests, this theatre is also an alma-mater for teaching and workshops of performing arts.

Notable Performances at NCPA

Over the years, NCPA has hosted varied performances that include classical as well as modern forms in dance, theatre and music.

Notable Indian artists who have performed at NCPA include Vilayat Khan, M.S Subbulakshmi, Birju Maharaj, Smita Patil, Savitha Sastry and many more renowned personalities.

NCPA has also staged performances of International artists like Yehudi Menuhin, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Marcel Marceau and many more reputed celebrities.

NCPA Facilities Available

Besides the above theatre facilities, NCPA also has a gamut of facilities enlisted below:

West Rooms housed in Jamshed Bhabha Theatre used for rehearsals, conferences and meetings

  • Piramal Art Gallery displaying works of leading photographers across the world
  • Libraries catering to reading as well as listening
  • Dance, drama and music studio for archival documentation
  • A separate block dedicated to teaching and research
  • A research laboratory dedicated to computerised music
  • Open Air Plaza for formal occasions
  • Experiential theatre garden for informal gatherings
  • Sunken Garden, with a stepped-up seating for small scale performances
  • Tata Theatre Garden, a green space with scenic views
  • An Audio-visual documentation library having more than 4,000 hours of recording and rich literature based on theatre along with an automated databank for hassle-free access.

NCPA Box Office Entry Timings

  • The NCPA Box Office which is situated at NCPA is open from 9 AM to 7 PM on weekdays as well as weekends. It is closed on public holidays.
  • For Tata Theatre and Experimental Theatre, tickets can be bought at the venue about one hour prior to the showtime.

How to get to NCPA?

The NCPA is situated at the southernmost corner of Marine Drive, in proximity to Trident Hotel

By Train: NCPA is close to Mumbai’s largest railway stations, namely Churchgate and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)

By Taxis: Share taxi schemes are available from CST and Churchgate to Nariman Point which lies next to NCPA

Buses: Bus routes of B.E.S.T, namely 108 and 137 halts just outside NCPA. Moreover, buses also ply from Churchgate and CST.

A Peek into some of the upcoming events at NCPA

ShowGenreDateNCPA VenueNCPA Ticket Price
Mudra Dance Festival by Sonal Mansingh and Mandakini TrivediDance25 Apr at 06:30 PMNCPA Experiential theatreRs 300 onwards
South Asian Symphony Orchestra    Western Classical music26 Apr at 07:00 PMNCPA Tata TheatreRs 500 onwards
Wild WomenMusic Show27 Apr at 07:00 PMNCPA Experiential theatreRs 200 onwards
Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds    Drama28 Apr at 12:00 PMNCPA Dance Theatre GodrejRs 400 onwards
Making News! Literature Live!    workshop 30 Apr at 02:00 PMNCPA West Room 1Rs 4720

Book tickets online on BookMyShow to enjoy the above and many more shows in the offing at the NCPA!

NCPA Experiences

Besides hosting various shows and events, one can also embark on a guided tour of NCPA complex that comprises of 5 theatres, rehearsal and teaching areas, libraries, studios dedicated for recording as well as living spaces for resident musicians. Some of the most notable experiences that one can take back home are:

Backstage Access: Get to know what happens backstage and how things actually work to bring that magnificent spectacle to life on stage.

Experience Real life Dramas: Get intrigued by some very fascinating stories about India’s biggest artists like Nasseruddin Shah who have performed here.

Get Enamoured by the Architecture: Appreciate the opulent architecture of the theatres as well as the open spaces of this iconic structure called NCPA.

Enjoy Culinary Arts at the Restaurants and Cafes: The art and culture lovers of the maximum city should definitely visit the Amadeus Restaurant that has its walls adorned with photos of cultural icons. Explore your taste buds with delectable Spanish and Levantine cuisine that can be downed with exquisite wines.

NCPA Café is another place worth visiting before attending those workshops, events or dramas. This all-day café is an al- fresco eatery that is set against the lush expanses of Open-Air Plaza and in proximity to Amadeus. This is a place where coffee and conversations flow freely for the art and culture connoisseurs.

NCPA Learning Experiences

Knowledge Sharing: NCPA, besides playing a host to world-renowned events and shows also endeavours to educate art lovers through various education and appreciation programs like workshops, talks and seminars, master classes as well as scholarships. Furthermore, NCPA houses music libraries as well as book libraries. Music connoisseurs can enhance their music knowledge by exploring the Automated Transcription for Indian Music (AUTRIM) and the Instrument Research Programme.

NCPA is a true haven for art and culture lovers who can delve into the fascinating world of performing arts while also enjoying the ambience and seeping in the rich heritage of the place.

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