Bhowanipore Baikali Association’s Jatrapather Anandagaan catered to an audience that was aware of what lay in store for it that evening at Rabindra Sadan. No wonder, then, that long queues were spotted much before the event started and everyone stayed put for the entire duration of the evening.
It was nothing short of amazing that even though many of the songs were sung by a chorus with pre-recorded tracks for accompaniment, not a single cue or pause was out of sync. In fact, the chorus communicated a rare vibrancy without smothering Rabindranath Tagore’s vision, thereby elevating the mood.
Meticulously curated, most of the group songs were dexterously sung and created an immersive ambience. The music and ruminations swirled together in “Anandadhwani jagao”, “E din aaji kon ghore go”, “Baje baje ramyobina” and “Ananda dhara bohiche bhubane” to evoke a feeling of déjà vu. Pramita Mullick should be lauded for guiding and training the group so well.
The young artist, Pratyush Mukherjee, sprang a delightful surprise with an assured rendition of “Hobe joy, hobe joy”. His performance was emotionally rich, yet astonishingly terse, eliciting newer, more raw, feelings. “Amalo kamalo sahajo” was high in energy in Prakriti Mukherjee’s lithe voice, highlighting the split-second bridges in the song. Here is an upcoming singer with immense potential, whose powerful voice swells, putting emotions right up front, and has the ability to go beyond the lyrical content. Sounak Chatterjee (“Prane khushir toofan”) and Debasrita Ghosh (“Gaye amar pulak lage”) put in a straightforward riff throughout. Chatterjee sounded assured while singing the amalgams of pounding hooks and beats.
A motley crew of dancers put up structured ensembles, both group and solo, to elevate the music. The male dancers struck a balance between technically conservative and socially progressive choreography. Purbita Mukherjee showed the different spirits of femininity, some of which were delicately poised and some others fairly subtle in the messaging.