Kumar Sanu brings Bengali show alive in Toronto

July 7th, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, July 7 (IANS) Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu brought the 23rd annual North American Bengal Conference (NABC) alive here with his high-voltage performance. By belting out his hit Bengali and Hindi numbers, the playback singer Sunday night provided a befitting finale to the North American Bengali mega-show which came to town after 10 years.

Singing to a packed house at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Bengali heartthrob had the audience shouting for encore as he regaled them with Bollywood hits - “Ek Sanam Chahiye”, from the 1990 musical hit “Aashqui”, and “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha”, from “1942: A Love Story” - and Bengali versions of Ashok Kumar’s hit songs.

Before him, Arnab Chakrabarty had the audience spell-bound with his renderings of some of Rabindranath Tagore’s musical compositions.

The famous Calcutta Choir performed the closing ceremony by creating a riveting display of colour, dance and puja, making Bengali expatriates nostalgic about life back home in its all aspects.

Conceptualised by Calcutta Choir, the show by Toronto dancers sent the 6,000-strong gathering away with sweet memories of “Banga Sammelan”.

The highlight of the last day of the three-day conference was NextGen events.

Under the event called Ice Breaker, second-generation Bengali youth met with one another to network.

Under Speed Dating, they were encouraged to know the opposite sex to find - if possible - their perfect match.

“Our aim is to reconnect our second generation with their Bengali roots. We are happy that about 20 per cent of our participants this year were below 20 years of age, showing they want to reconnect with Bengal,” conference co-chair Ganadev Sinha old IANS.

“There is now more interest in Bengali performing arts among our people here. We estimate that Bengali artists in North America accounted for about a third of all the cultural presentations at the conferences,” he said.

Sinha said about 65 per cent of their sponsorships came from India-based groups and corporates. “It is because they want to tap the Bengali diaspora.”

Indeed, many of these corporate sponsors had put up their stalls and shows at the venue to attract clients.

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