Harman Patil (Editor)

National Centre for the Performing Arts (India)

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Type  Arts, complex
Construction started  1981
Opened  1985
Phone  022 6622 3737
Location  Mumbai, India
Completed  1985
Height  46 m
Architect  Philip Johnson
National Centre for the Performing Arts (India)
Main contractor  Larsen & Toubro Limited
Address  NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400021

The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is a multi-venue, multi-purpose cultural centre in Mumbai, India, which aims to promote and preserve India's heritage of music, dance, theatre, film, literature and photography. It also presents new and innovative work in the performing arts field. The Centre was founded in 1969 by JRD Tata and Dr Jamshed Bhabha.


The NCPA is also the home of the Symphony Orchestra of India, which was established by NCPA in 2006. In 2010 the orchestra performed Beethoven's 9th Symphony in Moscow at the 5th World Symphony Orchestra Festival - the first time an orchestra from India had performed there.

Principal aims and objectives

  • To establish a national centre for the preservation and promotion of classical, traditional and contemporary performing and visual arts.
  • To establish, equip and maintain schools, auditoria, libraries, archives, museums, studios, workshops and other facilities necessary to fulfil the above objectives.
  • To disseminate knowledge, promote appreciation, provide training and sponsor or undertake scientific research in these fields with the objective of further development by encouragement of innovation within India and by interaction with the arts of other countries.
  • Theatres

    The NCPA complex occupies an area of about 32,000 square metres (340,000 sq ft) at Nariman Point, on land reclaimed from the sea.

    It has 5 theatres in its premise, each catering to a unique genre of performing arts

    Jamshed Bhabha Theatre,From large format orchestras to full-scale operas, the most technically complex performances can be staged at this Proscenium theatre with a seating capacity of 1,109. Named after our founder, and operational since 1999, its technical facilities allow for international productions of opera, ballet and major musicals.

    This well-equipped, elegant theatre also boasts of a historic marble staircase and a dazzling double-level foyer. It is, undoubtedly, the cornerstone for theatrical extravaganzas staged in South Asia.

    Tata Theatre, This distinctive space that can seat 1,010 is the best of both worlds. It effortlessly combines the intimate ambience of a small-scale venue with the splendour of a full scale arena. A revolving stage, brilliant acoustics and a foyer with a scenic view of the sea are just some of the things that make the Tata Theatre the venue of choice for both, performers and audiences.Created by the renowned American Modernist architect Philip Johnson and the legendary acoustician Cyril Harris, this theatre opened in 1982. Today, it is Mumbai's preferred venue for Indian classical concerts, Western chamber music and theatre.

    Experimental Theatre, As flexible as its name, this theatre opened in 1986 and has 300 movable seats which allow it to be configured to suit a range of events. Its unique 'black box' auditorium is the perfect platform for innovative theatre productions as well as small-scale dance and music performances. It also doubles up as a teaching and workshop space.

    Other facilities

  • Piramal Art Gallery
  • Reading and listening libraries
  • Studio for archival documentation of dance, drama and music
  • Teaching and research block
  • Computerised music research laboratory
  • Audio-visual archival vault with over 4,000 hours of recording and theatre research material, and a computerised databank for easy retrieval
  • Performances

    Throughout the years NCPA hosted many performances including classical, traditional and contemporary performing arts in dance, theatre, and music. Notable Indian performers who performed at NCPA include Vilayat Khan, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Birju Maharaj, Kelucharan Mohapatra, Savitha Sastry, Mani Madhava Chakyar, Shakuntala, Smita Patil, Parveen Sultana and Shabana Azmi.

    NCPA has also attracted many international performers including Yehudi Menuhin, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Navoi Bolshoi Ballet of Uzbekistan, Marcel Marceau, Barber of Seville opera, production of Jane Eyre, and other British Council commissioned theatre productions. In 2006, New Jersey Ballet staged India's first full-length classical ballet with its Nutcracker production.


    National Centre for the Performing Arts (India) Wikipedia