The Telegraph
Saturday , August 9 , 2014
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Training in Hindustani classical vocals is advantageous for a Rabindrasangeet singer, when some amount of ‘unlearning’ or re-working is involved. Saunak Chattopadhyay, a young and talented singer, has this advantage. He was trained classically under Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan and nurtured by Pramita Mallick in Rabindrasangeet. Chattopadhyay’s solo recital, Sikto Juthir Mala, was presented at the Netaji Research Bureau on July 26. He sang 13 songs — most of them were Rabindrasangeet, with some compositions by Kazi Nazrul Islam and Atulprasad.

The programme commenced with “Oi ashe oi oti bhairabo harashe”, a song from the barsha segment, followed by “Aji srabon ghano gahon mohe”. The artist had clear diction and a wide vocal range. However, he had to contend with very poor microphone balance.

In “Srabon megher adhek duar”, Chattopadhyay’s good training and talent became apparent. While performing “Srabono jhulate”, a wonderful composition by Atulprasad, he captured the flavour of kajri brilliantly. Equally well sung was “Megher pore megh jomechhe”. The understated cry of “Bondhua neend nahi ankhi pate” in free rhythm was eloquent. The singer caressed each note earnestly with his voice. The melodic elaboration of the Raga Gaur Malhar, followed by “Mor bhabonare”, was enjoyable. Chattopadhyay concluded his recital with “Esho shyamalo sundaro”. He embellished the song with bold throws and soft tones from the Raga Desh, and the following tarana was well crafted.

Under the guidance of Molly Roy, the students of Meerachhandam presented Taal Vinyas, an evening of Kathak at Gyan Manch recently. It was the perfect opportunity for the young, enthusiastic dancers to showcase their talent. The show commenced with guru vandana, followed by “Varsha”, an item which described the rhythm and beauty of monsoon.

The inaugural performances set an appreciable standard for the entire programme. During the item, “Chhandgati”, which was based on the teentaal of sixteen beats and tisra jati, the dancers presented amad, paran, ginti and other facets of the Kathak repertoire with confidence. A duet showed the magic of rhythm in “Tarana”, a pure dance performance based on the Raga Kalabati.

Next was a solo performance by Subrata Pandit, a talented Kathak dancer who acquired the rhythmic precision and graceful gait required in a commendable manner. He chose a taal of eight and a half beats, and showed thaat, tukra, paran, parmelu, tihai, lari and chakkar in this critical counting impressively.

Molly Roy’s dance style was charming; it reflected ease and made her performance enjoyable. She analysed the jayat taal of 13 beats in a wonderful manner. The programme concluded with chaturang.