With some of the very best of Tagoreís music and its contemporary exponents, Baitalikís programme at Sisir Mancha on March 14 turned into an enriching experience. Arghya Senís Gaye aamar pulak, Pramita Mallickís Nibhrita praner debata and Sraboni Senís Tai tomar ananda were a journey into the soul of metaphysics. Senís Amal dhabal in free rhythm brimmed with pastoral splendour. Swastika Mukhopadhyay excelled in the intricate tappakari of Jagatey ananda jogney, showing a rare clarity of tone and grammar. Roma Mandal gave a charming rendition of Aamar matha noto, while Debarati Som reached spiritual heights in Dhaye jeno mor. Rupali Bit and Jewel Rudra Pal among the newcomers showed promise. However, careless slips by some of the singers (wrong lyrics, nervous tremor) reduced the professional finesse.
Originality in the syntaxing of shapes and forms as well as the novelty of adumbrating the pictorial space with unfamiliar yet persuasive colours constitute the basic aspects of an artistís personal idiom and aesthetic ideation. Debasish Manna, a 31-year-old village-based but academically trained painter, combines all these qualities in a remarkably eloquent mix of colour and line, seldom abjuring an essential human or motive content. Apparently a figurative artist, he resorts to creative distortions to highlight the gestural body language of humans, animals and the flora. Mannaís figurations are replete with distortions that are pregnant with abstractionist innuendos, at the same time capturing the pristine beauty of nature.
To mark their centenary year, National Library organised a two-day seminar which began on March 15. Students of South Gurukul Society staged Odissi items under the guidance of Sutapa Talukdar. The staircase and the lawn were transformed into a proscenium. The idea was good but at times simultaneous presentations at two points caused distraction. They began with a slokam on Lord Shiva, describing the cosmic power of Nataraja, the god of dance. With lamps in hands, two small groups of children encircled the front part of the staircase while the adult dancers performed on the upper half of the so-called stage. This was followed by three more presentations. The entire show would have been more attractive if the choreographer had thought of smaller pieces instead of such big ones.