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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Perfect tribute

Sanyamath has wielded his pen like a master painter — applying broad strokes as well as fine ones — unerringly capturing the essence of Nazrul’s life experiences and his emotional responses to them

Dipankar Sen Published 13.04.24, 07:35 AM
A moment from Jhilimili Ankabanka

A moment from Jhilimili Ankabanka [Source: Rajsekhar Choudhury]

Jhilimili Ankabanka, a Rabindra Bharati University Theatre Repertory production directed by Gagandeep, has been crafted with care and performed with flair. Ratan Sanyamath’s script packs the major events of Kazi Nazrul Islam’s life within a relatively brief runtime of one and a half hours — a daunting task, given the fact that the poet had a remarkably eventful life. Sanyamath has wielded his pen like a master painter — applying broad strokes as well as fine ones — unerringly capturing the essence
of Nazrul’s life experiences and his emotional responses to them.

As director, Gagandeep has chosen a minimalist design using traditional set elements like blocks and frames and has aptly complemented it with an austere light scheme. And, yet, the visuals helped project a modern dramatic sensibility with clean straight lines, sharp angles, and play of light and shadow, pulling the audience right into the performance matrix. Gagandeep’s urge to extract maximum meaning from every component of play-making is evident from her costume design that incorporates both naturalist and symbolic elements.

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Almost all the actors, evidently groomed thoroughly by their university tutors, turn in consistently evocative performances. Most of them are adept at using their voices and bodies to effectively communicate with the audience without too much visible effort, which is commendable in performers so young. Puja Pal, in a role that requires her to play a character much younger than her actual age, is a bundle of scintillating energy as the child Nazrul. Arnab Sengupta as young Nazrul is a study in composed, contained acting. Sayantee Ghatak plays the challenging role of Nazrul’s soul with a comprehensive understanding of her brief, underscoring with feeling Nazrul’s profoundly romantic spirit. Quite expectedly, a number of songs penned by the poet have been used in the play and these have been rendered with superb dramatic impact. Let it be noted that Bengali-language theatre’s long-overdue tribute to Nazrul has finally been accorded by Gagandeep, a Bengali by cultural choice and not by birth.

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