Science merges with art in laser tribute to Vivekananda

August 22nd, 2012 - 10:52 am ICT by IANS  

Chicago, Aug 22 (IANS) Denver-based Manick Sorcar, son of the legendary magician P.C. Sorcar, has produced a laser documentary on Swami Vivekananda as a tribute to the revered saint on his 150th birth anniversary.

“Swamiji” is the world’s first laser documentary on the great monk and takes the audience on a journey that starts from his birth and ends with his ‘Mahasamadhi’, the Indian American artist told IANS.

“Swamiji” will be premiered at Kolkata’s Grand Theatre of Science City Oct 10.

The Kolkata premiere will be followed by screenings in other major cities in India, the US and other countries, Sorcar added.

The innovative one-hour documentary starts with rare, black and white original images from the pages of an old picture book where the audience visits famous scenes from the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago before arriving at the Columbus Hall of the Art Institute.

There, Swami Vivekananda gives his famous speech at the Parliament of Religions, where the opening line produced a standing ovation that lasted over two minutes. As his message of religious tolerance is carried out and white doves are seen flying from the roof of the Art Institute, the pages flip back to the front page as the black and white images come to live in colourful laser and three-dimensional visual effects to narrate the story from the beginning - all through the medium of the state-of-the-art lighting technology.

The laser documentary is preceded by Vandana, a laser-live extravaganza paying homage to the Holy Trio - Sarada Devi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and Vivekananda, Sorcar said.

“The entire 90-minute show is conceived as a pure, educational, entertaining and magical experience for the entire family,” he added.

Research for this project started several years ago when Sorcar visited the Art Institute in Chicago.

“It was my heart’s desire to do a laser documentary on the life story of Swamiji who has been the inspiration all my life”, he said. “Then came an invitation from the Ramakrishna Mission Cultural Institute who wanted me to do this unique documentary and my dream came true”.

Students especially will enjoy the merger of art and science in the documentary, Sorcar claims.

Earlier this year, his brainchild, India’s first laser animation laboratory, and a formal educational course at Jadavpur University were inaugurated.

Sorcar’s interest in science and art has its genesis in the back stage work he did as a child for his late father’s touring magic shows where he managed the lighting designs in addition to helping on stage.

“Later, I chose to get into my own brand of magic of art and lighting, rather than get into stage shows like my father,” he said.

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