His masters words

first_imgAs a tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, four prominent choreographers presented some stunning performances based on the translations of some of Tagore’s poems alongside the Bengali originals at India Habitat Centre’s Stein Auditorium. The evening was also a token of love and affection towards Padmashree Utpal Banerjee, who turned 80 on 27 September. So what’s the connection between Utpal Banerjee and Tagore you ask? Here’s the answer – Banerjee has penned 10 books on Tagore’s dance, drama and songs, creating a record by publishing seven of them within a year, which has been recognised in Limca Book of Records. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He has also written a book  Tagore’s Mystique of Dance which is prescribed as text-book for courses on dance in Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. Banerjee is also a Tagore Research Scholar (under Ministry of Culture) and a translator for National Sahitya Akademi, who has published these volumes. The choreographers – Rama Vaidyanathan with Dakshina Vaidyanathan (Bharatanatyam), Padmashree Shovana Narayan (Kathak), Padma Shri Bharati Shivaji (Mohiniyattam) and Santosh Nair’s Sadhya (Mayurbhanj Chhau and Contemporary) – took on Tagore’s works and presented them in their own signature styles on stage. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe evening also included the launch of Banerjee’s four volumes of English poems which has been translated from Tagore’s satirical and whimsical rhymes. Shovana Narayan, picked one of the ‘nonsensical’ versse from the Khapchhada series of Tagore, choosing the piece on Motilal Nandi, a character that we can all identify with. Very often in our lives, learning of grammar and vocabulary have eluded us and left us frustrated. So was the case with Motilal Nandi. Dakshina Vaidyanathan performed Rabibar which is a child’s innocent complaint about why Sunday takes a long time to come. Rama Vaidyanathan presented Shishu Bholanath which is about a mother reveling in her naughty and vivacious child who goes around destroying everything around him. In her performance she addressed Bholanath – Lord Shiva, the creator and the destroyer. The music was been composed by vocalist Ranita Dey who also sang the poems. Padmashree Bharati Shivaji along with students – Olga, Lakshmi Ramakrishnan and Deepthi Nair presented an extract from Janmakatha where the mother is asked by her child where did she pick him from? Astonished by his queries, she explains how from the very beginning of evolution of the Universe he has been there with her. Santosh Nair’s Sadhya presented a choreographed piece titled Kalpnik which is based on Tagore’s two poems from the fantasy volume namely The Dream (Swapan) and There was a Tiger (Ek Chhilo Bagh). The poem Swapan is about the magic dream of the child to become a cloud and Ek Chhilo Bagh brings forth a tiger who speaks the human language and displays all the human emotions. The choreography revolves around the dream of an individual who falls asleep while reading the fantasy volume and how the readings reflect in her dreams creating a fiction of its own.last_img

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