Nature, with its colours, fragrances and beauty, enchanted Rabindranath Tagore throughout his life. To him, the essence of his freedom was his love for the universe and nature. The inseparable link between the poet and the universe was a regular motif in his songs and poetry. He saw the presence of the Divine Spirit within the richness of nature.
To explore every seasonal hue of Rabindrasangeet through different classical dance styles, Bhawanipur Baikali Association presented Chhoy Ritu Je Nritye Mate at Kalamandir on January 7 (picture). This programme was spearheaded by Pramita Mallick, a brilliant singer and a meticulous teacher. It comprised 43 songs and poems. The entire presentation was neat, well organized and rehearsed. The evening began with the song “Nrityer tale tale” where Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Mohiniattam and the Manipuri dance style were combined. Saurav, Manojit, Chandreyee and Purbita performed impressively. Saurav’s Kathak performance was energetic and passionate; Purbita mastered the graceful Manipuri style. Chandreyee’s Mohiniattam movements were spontaneous and supple. Subir Mitra, with his suave voice and clear diction, recited Tagore’s poem, Baishakh. Since classical dance styles have rich vocabularies of expression, the choreography for Rabindrasangeet based on classical styles is often prone to interpretations that are too literal. Sometimes, the essence of the song is lost; often, the strict format of classical dancing is not followed. The dance performance to “Chokhe amar trishna” translated literature too literally.
Saurav Roy excelled in “Timiro abagunthane”, which was sung by Sasha Ghoshal. Saswati Garai Ghosh beautifully choreographed the song “Amar raat pohalo” with an apt sancharibhava which blended Odissi with Rabindrasangeet. The recitations were by Pradip Malhotra, Pramita Mallick, Saugata Banerjee, Sujoy Prasad Chatterjee and Preeta Mallick Ghosal while songs were sung by the students of Baikali. The artists were accompanied by Siddhartha Bhattacharya and Goutam Chowdhury (tabla, khol, pakhawaj), Sukhamoy Bhattacharya (sitar), Surajit Roy (esraj), Amal Sarkar (percussion) and Subrata Mukherjee (keyboards and music arrangement).
The mystery of creation was explored in Leisem, a evening of Manipuri dance at Azimganj House Terrace on December 19. Conceived and choreographed by Suman Sarawgi, the brief programme had several small performances which were preceded by a number explaining the mystery of creation as described in the Vedas. There was a dance blending all four aspects of the Manipuri style — Thang-ta, Lai Haraoba, Sankirtana and Raas. The stage was too small for group presentations. The elegant Suman was assisted by Brojen Kumar Singha in the choreography. Dancers from Manipur embellished the performances, but the show failed to touch hearts.