Artists from across India to pay homage to Tagore (Lead)

July 18th, 2010 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

By Pradipta Tapadar
Kolkata, July 18 (IANS) Be it a play in Punjabi, a puppet show or Western classical music, the works of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore will come alive in many hues as artists from across India converge here to pay homage to the poet.

The nine-day Rabindra Utsav frin Aug 10 will be organised by the NGO, Happenings Kolkata, as part of the Bard of Bengal’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations.

“Artistes from all over the country will come to Kolkata to perform Tagore’s literary works. They will interpret Tagore’s message in their own way,” Viji Iyengar, spokesperson of Happenings Kolkata, told IANS.

“Dak Ghar” (The Post Office), a play by Tagore that describes the sufferings and emotions of a young bed-ridden boy Amal who wants to cut the bonds of the narrow four walls and get absorbed in the limitlessness of the external world, will be presented in English and Hindi versions by Sunil Shanbag from Mumbai.

Neelam Man Singh Chowdhury, one of the leading protagonists of Punjabi Theatre, will present the literary genius’ story “Streer Patra” (Wife’s Letter) in Punjabi. It is about the conflict of thought and idealism in contemporary Bengali society and a learned lady who is much ahead of her time.

The gurus of ITC Sangeet Research Academy will present Tagore’s rich oeuvre of Rabindra Sangeet in a traditional Indian classical format.

Abraham Mazumdar will interpret and position Rabindra Sangeet in a Western classical context. It will be a philharmonic approach.

Another attraction will be a theatrical presentation of Tagore’s revolutionary song “Aguner Parashmoni” by using life-size puppets. The director and producer is Sudip Gupta.

As part of the festival, the lifers and other prisoners in West Bengal Correctional Services will present the short story “Tota Kahani” in Bengali.

A dozen schools and colleges will hold discussions on the present education system and values vis-a-vis Tagore’s own ideas on the subject.

“We have been organising this Rabindra Utsav for the last few years in Kolkata. But this time we are doing it on a grand scale because of the special occasion. This is our homage to Rabindranath Tagore,” Iyengar said.

The celebrations for Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary next year began across the country May 7 amid great enthusiasm.

Tagore was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913, for his collection of poems “Gitanjali”. He was born at Jorasanko in the northern part of Kolkata in 1861.

(Pradipta Narayan Tapadar can be contacted at pradipta.t@ians.in)

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