The Telegraph
Thursday , February 6 , 2014
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Tongue twist to Tagore’s work

A literary masterpiece by Rabindranath Tagore will get a twang twist.

Jamshedpur’s The Bengal Club and Jharkhand Bangabhasi Samanvaya Samiti will organise a performance of Chandalika, the popular dance drama written by the Nobel laureate, at The Bengal Club on February 23.

But this time, dialogues will be uttered in Manbhum dialect of Purulia, Bengal.


The organisers believe that promoting Tagore’s work in different languages will help it reach out to a larger audience. The programme is being organised to celebrate International Mother Language Day that falls on February 21.

“We usually get to see Tagore’s dance dramas only in Bengali, but literature like this have been translated into various other languages too — Hindi and English being the main two. We thought why not give the performance a different angle linguistically. Let people who speak a different dialect understand the essence of Tagore. We want people to understand his works closely and thus this initiative has been taken. When one sees something in his/her language, he/she can relate to it more easily,” said Asim Dey, joint secretary (cultural) of The Bengal Club.

As many as 20 members of Calcutta-based Lalan Academy, which mainly deals with folk art and literature, will stage the dance drama. They have already translated the work into Manbhum.

Chandalika, an untouchable and the daughter of a black magician ‘Chandal’ emerges as a voice of the silenced and marginalised in history. She is a rebel who questions societal norms that relegated her to an existence of a lesser being, an untouchable.

Based on a Buddhist tale Chandalika was published in the form of a dance drama way back in 1938.

To make the performance more popular among Manbhum-speaking people, members of the organising committee have also decided to invite audience from the neighbouring state.

The Bengal Club has also lined up a host of programmes in order to promote art and culture.

To begin with, the club has collaborated with Lalan Academy to host workshops where artists from Calcutta will train youngsters on folk music like Lalangeeti.

A similar attempt was made a few months ago.