Chandalika finale to Tagore festivity

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By SHUCHISMITA CHAKRABORTY
  • Published 7.05.12
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The year-long celebrations to observe Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary is drawing to a close. On Monday — the D-Day — Calcutta-based artiste Dipa Choudhury will present Tagore’s dance drama Chandalika at Rabindra Parishad.

Monday’s performance will not be Choudhury’s sole contribution to the festivities.

The artiste, with her troupe, kept audience in Patna glued to their seats on Saturday evening as well. She presented another dance drama of the bard — Shyama — at the Rabindra Parishad.

There were at least 300 people in the auditorium. Cheers and applause rang out in the hall throughout the 90-minute performance, as Choudhary took on the lead role of Shyama, a court dancer.

“I liked Dipa Choudhury’s performance of Shyama today (Saturday) a lot. Her facial expressions were great,” said Tanima Sarkar Sen, a teacher of Don Bosco Academy, after the performance.

As Central Bank of India employee Shibani Sarkar found Choudhury’s performance in the lead role extraordinary, her 22-year-old daughter Aditi was no less happy.

She said: “In Calcutta and other metros, such performances are organised frequently. But in Patna, we do not get to see such performances, especially by renowned artistes, a lot. I really appreciate Rabindra Parishad for organising this kind of programme.”

Rabindra Parishad, in association with the state art, culture and youth affairs department and Ram Mohun Roy Library Foundation, has organised the yearlong birth anniversary celebrations of Tagore.

Shyama revolves around a court dancer. Bajrasen, a foreign merchant, falls in love with Shyama on first sight. But the narrative takes a turn when the king of the land imprisons Bajrasen on the charge of stealing his queen’s necklace.

Shyama tries to convince the king, only to be disappointed. Uttiyo, a secret admirer of Shyama, takes the blame on him so that Bajrasen is free. However, when Bajrasen gets to know Shyama convinced Uttiyo to take Bajrasen’s blame and surrender, he leaves Shyama.

When The Telegraph caught up with Choudhury after her performance, she said: “This was not my first performance in Patna. Last year, when Rabindra Parishad started this celebration, our troupe had performed Chitrangada. The response was overwhelming. On Saturday, however, I felt the audience connected more with our performance.”

On Sunday evening, Choudhury once again presented Shyama, at Udyan Parishad in Munger.

“We will stage the dance drama, Chandalika, at Rabindra Parishad on Monday,” she added.

Provas Roy, the general secretary of Rabindra Parishad, said: “We have organised many competitions, including poetry recitation, rangoli and painting, as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore. While Dona Ganguly and her troupe performed Chitrangada on May 3, we also organised Rabindrasangeet performances where many popular artistes participated.”