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THE COURAGE TO EXPERIMENT

Innovative and experimental presentation is always welcome in the arena of dance. Exploring new dimensions and directions should always be appreciated. Therefore, it was heartening to see Jalpaiguri Iman present unique works on diverse subjects such as Rabindranath Tagore, folk theatre and post-colonial Shakespeare. The works on Tagore were especially well-researched.

Their previous production, Chandalika, was a novel attempt. Led by Saibal Basu, Katha Chitrangada, their latest production staged at ICCR, did not feature the rendition of “Mohini maya elo or guru guru guru guru ghano megha garoje” — a group presentation — as is the case usually. Katha Chitrangada was an intertextual script based on Tagore’s verse play (1892) and the dance drama (1936) presented in a dance-theatre style. The presentation was a blend of narrative and active mode of theatre, with research-based music and choreography. We saw both Madan and Rituraj Basanta in the presentation. The gotipua style from Raghurajpur was intelligently used in the compositions. Moumita Sengupta, as kurupa Chitrangada, was bold and confident, even though Jhinuk Talapatra failed to impress with her singing. Gauri Ghosh was glorious. Ritu Sengupta, a brilliant dancer, brought out the character of surupa Chitrangada elegantly. Her postures and movements were precise and graceful. Indrani Sen rendered the songs of surupa. The dancers and singers performed credibly in the duet, “Ketechhe ekela birahero bela”.

The most remarkable performance came from Mohan Singh as Arjun. His tonal quality, diction and, above all, his depiction of the character were poignant. The portrayal was memorable on account of the passionate performance. The presentation involved the use of numerous props as well as intricate movements and interactions. A bigger stage would have lent greater depth to the presentation. The accompanists included Biplab Mondol (pakhawaj, khol), Shankha Subhra Talapatra (esraj), Subrata Mukherjee (piano), Sudip Chatterjee (flute) and Kaushik Mukherjee (sarod). The lighting was designed by Barun Kar while Saibal Basu oversaw the aspects of script and direction.

Anamika Kala Sangam presented Upanishad — Ek Anubhava at the G.D. Birla Sabhagar on June 1. Conceptualized by Bimal Lath, the presentation comprised dance, music and painting. Under the direction of Aloka Kanungo, eight classical dance styles were presented. Paramita Moitra, Rajiv Kalia, Abhoy Pal, Molly Roy, Madhuri Majumdar, Kalamandalam Goutam, Suman Saraogi and Aloka Kanungo participated in the presentation.