Somnath Chakrabortyís impressive exhibition of sculptures at the Academy of Fine Arts comprises mostly bronze works. Then there are some in brass, terracotta and fibre glass too. Chakraborty follows both lost-wax and sand-casting techniques with diverse patina. He does not actually distort the human figure, but strives to elongate and inflate mass within the confines of the volume of the anatomy. He plays with light as it falls on the key points of the body and slides down the tactile surfaces. This gives each of the pieces the monumentality that is so characteristic of sculpture. There are two erotic works. Engrossed depicts the passionate intensity of foreplay and Very Intimate a prolonged kiss. Chakraborty is apparently influenced by Debabrata Chakrabortyís sculptural idiom; itís time he gets rid of them.
Worse than a potboiler
Itís not often that a play comes off worse than a Hindi potboiler, but Bogdader Hoori (Madhusudan Mancha, September 19) achieved that distinction ' and with relative ease. Each and every character is as flat as a snooker table, the confusing mess that is the plot lurches from one meaningless incident to the next and the acting is uniformly uninspiring. The play, based on the fable of the commoner becoming a king for a day, has pretensions of a costume drama. What the audience sees instead are crude sets of tinsel and a motley group of actors with henna-coloured beards pretending to be at the court of Haroun al-Rashid. But thatís hardly surprising. The jatra script by Sailesh Guha Niyogi, from which the play is adapted, can hardly be expected to provide more food for thought.
The 23rd annual programme of Padatik Dance Centre featured an array of group compositions by the students of the institution (Gyan Manch, September 15). A spontaneous zeal marked the invocatory number, performed by young dancers. The beauty of nature was showcased through the movements of birds and deer in Basantbahar. However, Riyaaz, choreographed by Neelanjana Sengupta, was a rather dull item. The ecstacy of rhythm and joy of supple body movements were aptly expressed in Ghe ghe ghe ghe, Na na na na paran and other traditional numbers of Kathak repertoire. What was disturbing was little dancers entering the the auditorium with their make-up on during the programme.
Sharmila Basu Thakur