Wonderflip festival X The Nicobar Edit

This winter The Nicobar Edit is headed to Udaipur for the year’s last stop. Spanning two magical days and three glorious sunsets, from November 9-11, we’re sealing a year of new beginnings with The Nicobar Edit at Wonderflip festival—a communal gathering for the arts and its attendees that has the bones of a circus, and the roving spirit of theatre. Set in Ravla Khempur, just an hour away from Udaipur, an opulent haveli with a storied past will house our travelling tent festooned with tropical greens amidst natural desert thickets.

The Edit’s signature home, a canopy of ivory decked out in a selection of our goodies, branches out to include two new additions: a tea lounge with a pick of teas from the heart of the Himalayas served by Mumbai’s Pahadi Local, and a stopgap massage parlour, for a weekend of relaxation. Pop in for a variety of Pahadi Local’s green and black teas sourced from Himachal’s Kangra Valley. Piping hot helpings will come in our limited-edition kulhars designed and dispatched exclusively for Wonderflip. You’ll find our signature stripe in two renditions, and two designs in motifs that champion the circus and the outdoors from floating hot air balloons, through to trapeze artists and unicyclists. Coming back for seconds? Each time you leave, one of our kulhars is yours for the taking when the sun sets on the festival.

Ahead of the festival, we met with Aliya Rashid—the woman behind Wonderflip. Hailing from Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal, Rashid and her cousins grew up running along old hotel alleyways (courtesy her folks’ Jehan Numa Group), sprawled out amidst picnic spreads and flitting between boating expeditions and long hours reading Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. Inspiration for Wonderflip has been with her all her life: “While I am not a musician, my love for music came early, all thanks to my mother: from Julio Iglesias, to Dean Martin, Sinatra, to the Beatles and ABBA and so much more. I was the only one in boarding school who carried a small boombox and used to make mix tapes for friends,” she recalls fondly.
Why Wonderflip?
This festival has seen many forms in my head and has been many years in the making; I’ve thought and spoken about it many times but it is only now finally seeing the light. When I came up with the idea of doing a circus for a festival, I really wanted to focus on playing with this sense of wonder – that special feeling when you know you are seeing and experiencing something truly awe-inspiring. We want to inspire, to move. But we also want to turn things on their head a little bit – our themes push boundaries of expression and we are not a traditional circus in the ways of old, rather more artistic, more edgy and more ‘flipped’. The name itself came from a series of wordplays, but the feeling it evokes somehow captures the spirit of the event beautifully. Our three nights, themed as Vintage Circus, Salvador Dali and Fairyland will capture this energy through our performers and visuals.

What sort of space does the festival aim to fill?

We hope that people who come leave feeling like they have experienced something new—the space we shall fill, if at all, shall be of the expression of the magical and fantastic through art and entertainment. We want to host this as an annual space where people who are dreamers and creators in dance, music, art, installations, fashion, photography and so much more come together with us to weave a new story for our guests each time. Collaborative and immersive experiences are the key takeaway’s from our festival. We have seen a tremendous excitement about the new format and hope that it will give rise over time to a platform that pushes the boundaries of expression and allows creative talent to express itself in all kinds of new ways.
Nicobar X Wonderflip. Thoughts on the collaboration?
Inspiration drawn from travelling and exploring the world around us: this resonates with our story of this world of performers, nomads and travellers, who shall come together to celebrate life and all its energy for this one weekend in Khempur. We are so excited to have Nicobar along with us on this journey for our first edition. The creative geniuses at Nicobar are infusing a little of bit of the circus into their offering at the Edit – it is something that can be experienced only here at Wonderflip. I don’t want to give away everything, but let’s just say the takeaway is going to be simply tea-tastic in every sense of the word.

Anything about the festival you'd like to call to attention?
I am very excited about an installation done by our closest friends—Prateek and Gautham—from Klove Design. They are creating an old school ‘maze of mirrors’ room which shall be open only at night and shall have a design installation of their incredible lights. Another highlight shall be the Royal Enfield stunt zone. This is going to blow people away, the sheer power and control of the riders to manage those bikes – we also are planning a surprise stage with amazing acts here! To be revealed soon. Finally, I think the performers shall be the biggest draw—we have stilt walkers and aerial dancers, fire breathers and ballerinas all in one place, it really is going to be something spectacular to watch—the curation of the acts along with the bands and DJ’s. To me the festival feels like a big live theatre set where one is actually running the entire show in real time. Looking forward to seeing people’s reaction to this aspect especially!

Find Wonderflip on Facebook here, and get your tickets to the festival here.