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August - September 2007


Lifestyle

Soul-stirring rendition of Rabindranath Tagore’s Work

Release of CD ‘In Many Moods’ by Nrityakala The Rhythm

Nrityakala The Rhythm released CDs “ IN MANY MOODS” on the works of Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore at The INDIA YMCA on 24th June 2007.

The target audience of the CDs is the younger generation as well as the entire global community so that Tagore’s message can be carried to a much wider spectrum.

A unique repertoire of poetry reading and songs of Tagore in several languages was produced by Nrityakala The Rhythm on the occasion of launching the CDs in English, Hindi and Bengali (Sanskrit Sloka).

The programme started with the chanting Veda an item from the collection in the CD. The melodious voice of Himika Mukherjee captured the heart of the audience. An audiovisual was screened to throw a light on the works of Nrityakala The Rhythm highlighting the aims and objectives of the organisation in particular the philosophy “learning through Dance”.

Bithika Raha (Basu) The Artistic Director and the Founder of Nrityakala The Rhythm in her opening speech welcomed the guests and mentioned although their organisation was founded primarily to teach and perform Dance the works go beyond dance in order to expose the host community and the younger generation of the U.K. to the rich culture and literature of India in particular.

Bithika mentioned there is a story behind the making of the CDs. She only mentioned that she felt very happy and privileged to have had the opportunity of working with personalities like Soumitra Chatterjee, Dhritiman Chatterjee who were pivot actors of The great Satyajit Ray, the classical singer Pt Ajay Chakravorty, Sabyasachi Chakravorty known for his unique role in “Parineeta” and another genre of artistes like Shaan and Bappi Lahiri of Film Industry of Mumbai and many more artistes from Kolkata..

Dr Marland CBE the Educational Consultant launched the CDs.

He praised the works of the Organisation in particular the emphasis on Dance then he said —“ Dance was so marvellously encouraged by Tagore – himself a choreographer” He quoted the words of Bithika from the audiovisual “Dance weaves together design, music, drama and literature”.

“ Tagore was a poet and patriot, an educationist and artist, a social reformer and philosopher. He wrote a large number of poems, dramas, novels and short stories. There is no field of literature which has not been enriched by his contribution”

He highlighted one aspect of Tagore as Educationalist “Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst got to know Tagore in Bengal. When he was starting Dartington Hall, Leonard Elmhirst invited Tagore to England and used his educational ideas literally by incorporating actual words in the planning”

The influence spread from Dartington so that up and down the country in 1920s and 30s and lingering through the post-war years many liberal aspects of schools were influenced by Tagore.

His ideas included bringing out children’s individuality, the Arts as interlinked, teaching empathy teaching impersonal relationship in a personal way.

When Dartington opened in 1926 few principles were derived from Tagore:

Much learning should be by doing (Tagore’s actuality and practicality)

Adult should be friends not merely authority figures.

‘ Education should be conceived of as life and not merely preparation for life’

His idea was “To develop all aspects of child’s personality rather than merely preparing him for exams and professions”

Dr Marland expressed his delight in welcoming the compilation and bringing together the works of Tagore in English, Bengali and Hindi.

He thiks The CDs “In Many Moods” will contribute vastly to Cultural diversity in the U.K. today quoting Tagore ‘The problem the world over is not how to become one through removing individual differences but how to unite through preserving them.’

Over many weeks I have really enjoyed listening to these two CDs. (copies were given to listen).

In Many Moods—A treasure of such a range of imagination and skill, It confirms and gives pleasure to those who know their Tagore, introduces and brings to life for those who have little or no knowledge…families who speak Bengali, the bilingual and the monolingual Anglophone, for the young of all cultural background.

“Please let’s hear that again” said my wife after one!

Let us Congratulate Bithika Raha and her colleague for the concept, the ingenious planning, the Direction and rehearsing her own parts in the performance and the audio editing.

Now we have the Tagore Treasure: In Many Moods the CDs produced by Nrityakala The Rhythm for every home and every school.

The show started with the recital by Perviz Alam “Karna-Kunti “in Urdu. His powerful presentation moved the audience.

Puspa Bhargav recited in Hindi, Bimal Sonabene in Marathi, Nivedita Sen Gupta in Maithili, Bithika, Sisir Chakravorty and Raj Aich in English and Prasanta Roy in Bengali. All the artistes individually gave excellent performance.

The Tagoreans and The Nupur School of Rabindra Sangeet performed carefully selected songs.

Bithika and Sisir performed the concluding item with song—-the Bengali rendering of the poem recited by Sisir in English accompanied by Guitar. Arum Mukherjee gave the accompaniment in Tabla and Mohit Dey in Mondira.

The highlight of the programme was the recital of Siddhartha Ganguly on Guitar who played few tunes of Tagore, songs very close to the hearts of the audience.

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