The Telegraph
Saturday , February 22 , 2014
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She is a leading Hindusthani classical vocalist from a musical family. Her presence is as charming as her renditions. She speaks well and knows how to connect with her audience through her captivating presence and performance. She is Kaushiki Chakrabarty, daughter of the Patiala gharana exponent, Ajay Chakrabarty, and an illustrious performer in her own right.

The Birla Academy of Art & Culture recently held a musical soirée at the lawns, adjacent to the Academy itself, where Chakrabarty presented dadra, bhajan, thumri, ghazal and other items in her own innovative style. Chakrabarty commenced her recital with “Shyam basuria bajae”, a dadra based on Raga Kirwani. In her sonorous voice, Chakrabarty set the mood for the evening with this number, a wonderful composition by Ajay Chakrabarty.

Her treatment of the words, “Jeevan jaisa bahta pani”, in this song was wonderful. Next, she offered, “Prem madita man se kaho Ram Ram Ram”, a bhajan, with an emotive expression. The pin-pointed precision of notes made her presentation enjoyable. It stood out for the effect, emanating from the chemistry of words and melody. She proved that a skilled display of deep sentiments form the essence of art. This was followed by two compositions, in Bengali and Hindi, done by Jnan Prakash Ghosh. She was in her elements in presenting the Hindi one.

Then came a thumri, in which the sparkling clarity of her voice was praiseworthy. What was interesting about the entire programme was an experimental soundscape, where classical tradition received a fresh coat of paint. Keeping intact the soul of classical music, she tried to see it from a newer perspective and left adequate room for the accompanying artists.

Thus Shubhayu Sen Mazumder, a brilliant esraj player, took the opportunity to improvise. With greater emphasis on the gliding fingers on the frets, he explored the ragarup of Yog, a versatile post-sunset raga which Chakrabarty chose for her next number. Her simple and direct approach was studded with twirling loops and cascading taans. With a firm grip on laya, she retained the meandering gait of the raga. The Coke-Studio famous number, “Lagi lagi”, got a roaring applause.

The programme came to an end with “Ami sure sure ogo tomae chhue jai”, a soul-stirring rendition, which touched everyone’s heart. She was accompanied by Sandip Ghosh (tabla), Prasenjeet Sil (percussion), Jeemut Roy (harmonium) and Parthosarathi Das (flute).

Nritya Kalangan presented a programme of Bharatnatyam, Kathak and other dance numbers at Rabindra Sadan recently. Directed by Jalsa Chandra, various Bharatnatyam numbers on Ganesha and Krishna were presented by the students of the institution. The tillana was lively and refreshing. The programme concluded with “Ami Chitrangada.”