An artiste making a debut raises a lot of expectations and it takes a lot of nerve, hard work and genius to make a lasting impression on the audience. Even if he falters in the execution of a few strokes, he can be given the benefit of the doubt if he manages to display a flickering of creative brilliance. Newcomer (or a “visiting sitarist from New York”, as the invitation card put it) Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury’s maiden recital at Gyan Manch on February 15 failed to live up to expectations. His alap lacked depth, his gatkari was neat, but had no variety. His jhala was inspiring only at certain points. His rendition of Desh and Kafi didn’t quite capture the essence of the ragas. The performance was, however, well packaged with dance performances by his cousin Koel Mallick and New York-based kathak dancer Natalia Hildner.
Santoor, in the absence of glides and oscillation, faces a tough job as a classical instrument. Shivkumar Sharma and Bhajan Sopori, however, have evolved techniques to mask its deficiency. Tarun Bhattacharya has imbibed those techniques adding his own innovative nuances. As such raga Hemant with all its melodic refineries blossomed into an enchanting beauty during his recital at a concert organised by Anirban Foundation at Gyan Manch on February 16. Subrato Bhattacharya’s intuitive tabla echoed the santoor’s variant rhythmic patterns. The evening began with a recital of young tabla debutant Debjit Patitundi
The grandeur and glory of Government College of Art and Commerce became evident in the exhibition mounted in several halls of the campus recently. The exhibited works spanned from its inception in the mid-19th century to the present day. Despite not being properly mounted and catalogued, the exhibition revealed the trends from the early colonial days to modern times. One had visual references that indicated the gradual transformation of styles, from westernisation to modernism and post-modernism. Atul Bose’s portrait of an unknown person and Jainul Abedine’s famine scene were straight out of the book of art history. The Indianisation of British transparent watercolours was evident in Ranen Ayan Dutta’s rendering of a sad person and Samar Ghosh’s pilgrims taking early-morning dips in the Ganges.