In A Flash, Yuva Mobbed The Docks

By Manu Shrivastava

For the Mumbai Urban Art Festival (MUAF) organisers, the bright and sunny Sunday afternoon of 12 February 2023 was a special one. It was the first time they held an event with a difference. This time, at Sassoon Docks in Colaba - one of the venues of the festival that is underway at other locations in Mumbai like Mahim and Bandra - was celebrated the cultural diversity of the local communities of the zone.

The community event was organised by St+art India Foundation to involve locals with the Art Festival
The Sassoon Dock Art Project of St+art India and Asian Paints’ Mumbai Urban Art Festival returned to Mumbai after a successful run in 2017. The second-time collaboration with Mumbai Port Authority, this time on the special occasion of its 150th anniversary, was bigger and better.

At Sassoon Docks, the efforts to involve the locals with the art festival culminated into an evening of scintillating performances by individuals and groups from Colaba and Cuffe Parade areas showcasing their talent. 

Children rocked Sassoon Docks' 'slippery' dance floor with their moves
Among the many performances was the Flash Mob performed by 25 students of a local dance institute on a medley of Bollywood songs. The dancers enthralled the audience with their cool moves and electrifying energy as they turned the slippery roads of Sassoon Docks into their dance floor.

A local instructor said, "There was a definite disconnect between the festival and the locals of the area. It’s great that they are reaching out to the locals this year. I feel next time they should give a chance to local artists and painters also to create artwork for the festival."

The electrifying energy of the dancers pervaded the air at Sassoon Docks
Another added, "Many parents were not even aware of the art festival underway at Sassoon Docks. When informed that their children will perform at the Docks, some of them were apprehensive. But, once they reached the venue and saw the audience response, they forgot everything.”

Local resident Hema Rodrigues attended the event with ten-year-old daughter Ananya, student of St Anne's High School, who was part of the Flash Mob and a Cultural Dance. She says, “I was really happy to see so many children there. At a very young age, Ananya showed a natural proclivity towards dance. She is the happiest when she dances. In fact, this event was right in the middle of her exams but that didn’t deter her from participating.”

The Alexandra Girls' English Institution
student Rutwi Pagdhare with parents
Ananya’s friend and co-participant Rutwi Pagdhare, student of The Alexandra Girls' English Institution, too performed at Sassoon Docks. Rutwi’s mother Shraddha says, “I was so proud to see my daughter perform with all the other children. The response from the people was overwhelming. It was an amazing experience.”

K.C. College student Ayaat Mir has been dancing for more than eight years now. She too was a part of the 25-member dance troupe that took the crowds by surprise when they broke into the Flash Mob dance. 

“I am very passionate about dancing. Today it has become a very important part of my life. Performing at Sassoon Docks was a one-of-its-kind experience. The venue was great and the people were so responsive and encouraging. We all had a great time.”

Sassoon Docks has reinvented itself as an art hub now. As part of the MUAF, Sassoon Docks is offering permanent outdoor murals and three indoor experiential exhibitions. The installations and the artworks immerse the viewer in reflections between the sea and the city. Every weekend, Mumbai Urban Art Festival features an array of performances, talks, artist interactions, walking tours, workshops and more.

DraftCraft International through 'The Sassoon Docks Project' ( generates media to document the heritage of the zone, lives of locals and provides legal support to stakeholders. To volunteer with the project, write in to or visit (Media Partner: The Draft)