The Rabindranath Tagore Centre of the ICCR recently presented, as part of its Horizon series, the well-known professor, Bharati Ray (picture), in Teen Kanya, along with Prabuddha Raha and Aditi Gupta. Conceived by Ray, the production tried to explore Tagore’s modern and humanitarian view on women through readings, recitation, songs and dance. Ray selected three short pieces by Tagore — “Suoranir saadh” from Lipika, and “Dalia” and “Shasti” from Galpoguchha.
“Suoranir saadh” dealt with the ambitions and frustration of a queen, while “Dalia” was a tale of romance between a prince and a princess brought up as a fisherman’s daughter. “Shasti” took us to a peasant family and revealed the spirit of rebellion against patriarchy shown by a peasant woman. Ray interpreted Tagore’s empathy for women as a part of his wider vision where nature and the almighty became one. Thus the evening began with “Ei je tomar prem ogo”, rendered brilliantly by Raha. The overall impression conveyed was that of a soulful prayer. Ray had a warm and natural manner of story-telling that touched one’s heart.
All three stories were presented along with dance, music, recitation and songs. Gupta showed her exquisite vocal skill in her singing of “Mamo chitte niti nritte”, while Anita Mullick, a senior Bharatnatyam dancer, enjoyed the rhythmic pattern of the song through her innovative choreography. It was marked by crisp footwork and elegant postures. It was heartening to see that the choreography was not a literal translation of the song.
Suvadeep Chakraborty took part in the recitation and Debojit Mukherjee participated in dance. The entire programme was neat and compact. The artists were accompanied by Goutam Chowdhury on the tabla and Surojit Das on the keyboard.
Ani-Square Creations presented Saat Taraay... Saanjh Belaay — a creative endeavour through music, narration and recitation — at the Rabindra Sadan recently. It was a tribute to seven legendary poets — Jibanananda Das, Subhas Mukhopadhyay, Nirendranath Chakraborty, Sankho Ghosh, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Shakti Chattopadhyay and Joy Goswami — through songs sung by Lopamudra Mitra and recitation by Raja Das.
The evening commenced with a dance to the song “Aguner parashmoni” by Thillana Nrityayan under the guidance of Kasturi Das. Mitra, with her usual flair, began with “Abar asibo phire”, an immortal creation by Jibanananda. Subhas Mukhopadhyay followed up with “Baan diker buk pocket”. Mitra’s ability to communicate with her audience made the evening rich and lively. Raja was impressive in “Keu katha rakhe ni” by Sunil Gangopadhyay. He was earnest and emotional in his presentation of Shakti Chattopadhyay’s work. Madhumanti Maitra compered the entire programme with Abir Chattopadhyay. The script was done by Chandi Mukhopadhyay and Shyamali Acharya while Jayanta Mukherjee designed the appropriate lighting.