The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Street vignettes

A young man leaning on his scooter handle or an old man displaying his wares on the streets or a barber taking good care of his moustache ' Ashish Avikuntak has seen them all in the Calcutta streets. He hasn't missed out the dull vacant gaze in their eyes. Nor has he stopped wondering at the curious zest as they stare on. Avikunthak showcased some of his portraits in the ongoing exhibition at Max Mueller Bhavan. True to the exhibition note which promises an endeavour to combine standard portraiture technique with classical street photography, the large black-and-white prints display empathy for the subject as well a keenness to make the most of the ever-mysterious chiaroscuro effect.

Anshuman Bhowmick

Frivolous movements

ITC Sonar Bangla Sheraton Hotel, in association with Seagram India, Patton and Open Doors presented Dancing Drums, featuring actor-dancer Shobana in collaboration with the innovative percussionist Bikram Ghosh, on November13. Bikram drew upon Indian classical music, Carnatic, Western classical, jazz and folk music to concoct a pot-pourri, his exciting production Rhythmscape. Shobana began her recital depicting the grandeur of goddess Kali. It was far from the spirit of classical presentation and full of frivolous, filmi movements which marred the elegance of classical art form. Endowed with a rare sensitivity and balance, Debshankar and Jyotishankar on violin truly represented all that is aesthetic. Partha Desikan's melodious voice and sweeping range was praiseworthy.

Sharmila Basu Thakur

Durga's many forms

Galerie La Mere's annual show on the subject of Durga this year includes a few new artists. The titles used vary from Ashurbahini to Ganesh Janani to Bijoya to Singha Bahini to Mohini to many others. The medium ranges from water colour, gouache, tempera, ink-and-wash, conte on the one hand to oil, acrylic and mixed media, on the other. The names are appropriately suggestive of various facets of the goddess, including her benign, motherly image as well as her enchanting self as Shiva's loving consort or the daughter of the Himalayas practising rigorous austerity to win her cherished partner. Among the paintings deserving special mention are Amitava Banerjee's mixed-media piece, Arunima Chowdhury's gouache work and the creations of Shanu Lahiri, Shyamal Dutta Roy and Uma Siddhanta.

Samir Dasgupta

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