The Telegraph
Monday , May 19 , 2014
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Capital tribute to Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore might not have come to Ranchi, where his elder brother Jyotirindranath spent the last years of his life, but capital residents did not forget to take part in a belated celebration of the great poet’s birth anniversary. Ranchi outfit Deshapriya Club organised Rabindra Jayanti on its Tharpakhna premises on Sunday.

The cultural programme opened with the recitation of Nirjharer Swapnabhanga. The recitation of the long poem was interspersed with graceful dance performances and soulful singing by the women members of Deshapriya Club. Pranati Choudhury directed the show.

Few would know that Tagore composed the poem when he was staying with Jyotirindranath and his wife Kadambari Devi at a house on Calcutta’s Sudder Street sometime in 1881-82. The Nobel laureate, in his autobiography Jiban Smriti, has written about the feeling that inspired him to write the poem. “Sun was just rising, the world bathed in a wonderful radiance,” Tagore wrote about his feeling when he woke up one morning in the Calcutta home.

Staging of Chitrangada, one of Tagore’s popular dance dramas, followed the recitation. Vipul Nayak’s troupe had been specially invited to present Tagore’s 1892 creation based on the Mahabharata episode depicting the love story between legendary archer Arjun and Chitrangada, the warrior princess of Manipur.

“We have earlier staged Gurudev’s works like Chandalika and Tasher Desh, but this was the first time we took up Chitrangada,” Nayak told The Telegraph.

While songs and narration remained the same as in the original text, Nayak’s troupe introduced elements of Kathak in some of the dance sequences. “They were added to add grace to the presentation,” said Nayak.

Bulbul Sarkar, who anchored the programme, agreed with Nayak and added that the improvisation did not render the performance any less rabindrik.