Sundeep Bhutoria

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tanmoy's play

August 17, 2011: Yesterday evening I went to Kalamandir to watch a play `Natun Bhabnay Tasher Desh'.
I went there on a personal invitation from my friend Tanmoy Bose (file picture) who also happens to be the director of the play. This play, based on Tagore's Western opera-influenced famous dance opera Tasher Desh, was presented by Celebrations International.
The story is about a Prince who feels suffocated in his palace and goes out in search of adventure accompanied by a far more conventional travelling companion - a merchant. The mismatched pair get shipwrecked and find themselves in the Land of Cards where the inhabitants are playing cards, well regulated and devoid of emotions. With the wild force of his personality, the Prince starts to effect change in the Cards and gradually their humane qualities begin to emerge.
This play is an experimental venture as far as music and choreography is concerned. The songs for this vibrant play were sung by popular a group of non-Rabindra Sangeet singers who revere Tagore. The dances have been choreographed in various genres including Manipuri, Chau and Contemporary.
For the country cards, Chau dance, a folk-form from Purulia and Saraikela, have been incorporated with its vibrant drum beats and masks. To depict change, contemporary dance movements have been used for which Rachel Krische of Leeds Metropolitan University (England) and Warda Rihab, dance director from Bangladesh, contributed by blending their respective styles into the dance.
I met Bickram and Jaya Ghosh, Usha Uthup, Reba Som, June Malliah, Rashid Khan, Amala Shankar and many other artistes. Krishna Bose introduced me to her son Sugato Bose who has been appointed the Chairman of Presidency University.
The front rows at Kalamandir were packed and I had a trying time getting a seat. I think the overwhelming response is the result of the personal equation that Tanmoy has with everybody. I wanted to go to The Times of India debate at The Taj Bengal but skipped it for Kalamandir.
Usha Uthup complained why I missed out on the CD launch with Nasiruddin Shah on August 14. I told her that I was out of station.
Today evening I shall miss the programme Rabindranath Tagore’s Tasher Desh being organized on the occasion of the Convention on International Relations by The Jadavpur Association of International Relations and supported by The Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, at the Rabindranath Tagore Centre, ICCR Kolkata.
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