The darker side of love
With Sunil Gangopadhyay reading out his Neera poems and the composer-singer duo of Baloo Dutta and Chandreyee Bhattacharya translating one from the series into a serene melodic interpretation, Srijan's evening of Love Poetry started on a high note (September 24). Carnal desires took over as poems of Agyeya and some unfamiliar ones of Ashok Vajpai were read out back to back. English poetry had a good representation with Anjum Katyal, Sanjukta Dasgupta and the young and happening Inam Husain reciting the darker side of love. An otherwise listless Bengali audience enjoyed some heavy-duty stuff from Sutapa Sengupta besides Srijato's impish urban imagery and some condescending utterances from Bithi Chattopadhyay. A real head-turner was young Hindi poet Abhyuday, offering his passionate pieces from the indulgent Tum-Main series.
Realism in the abstract
Celebrating its silver jubilee year, Painters '80 is a group of proficient abstractionists. Currently exhibiting their works at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, the only participant whose approach is realistic is the young sculptor Bhaskar Mukherjee, whose Face is an expressive three-dimensional piece. Contributions from guest artists included Sunil Das's Raga Mallar, Ganesh Haloi's Landscape and Jogen Chowdhury's Monsoon. Among the works of others, Alak Das's acrylic composition, Passion 3, Pradosh Paul's Birth of Venus (mixed media) ' involving an abstract assemblage of male and female procreative organs, Sunil De's Rain 5 (acrylic) and Amitava Dhar's 'Communion' series (especially Dusk and Midnight) were particularly evocative.
Kathak to Western beat
'Kathak Through Times' by French Kathak dancer Isabelle Anna was a praiseworthy and neat recital at the Calcutta School of Music (presented by Alliance Francaise de Calcutta, September 25). Aesthetically dressed in a cream and red costume, Anna began with sarswati vandana followed by dhamar in 14 beats, choreographed by Jai Kishan Maharaj of the Lucknow gharana. She skillfully blended Kathak vocabulary with classical Western music, tango and Hispanic steps in her non-traditional numbers. Anna's repertoire was nothing less than superb by virtue of its imposing dignity and serenity. She thrilled the audience with revelations of exquisite rhythm and beauty in her thumri and tarana.
Sharmila Basu Thakur