Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Uttarayan’s ode to monsoon

Cultural programme at Shilpakala Academy
Marking the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore and the first anniversary of music school Uttarayan, a cultural programme featuring Tagore’s monsoon- themed songs along with recitation was held at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on July 29.
With the theme “Ebong Borsha”, the event also featured instrumental recitals. Noted Indian music director Durbadal Chattopadhyay, on violin, led an instrumental troupe consisting of Rahul Chattopadhyay (sitar), Gautam Shome (keyboard), Shubhayu Sen Majumder (esraj) and Joydev Nandi (tabla).
The troupe kicked off the event with an instrumental recital that seemed like a musical vision of the monsoon. While the hosts of the programme, Bhaswar Bandyopadhyay and Dahlia Ahmed, recited from Tagore’s style of ushering in the monsoon (e.g. celebrating the season by holding borshamongol and composing songs on those occasions), the troupe performed in the background. Durbadal Chattopadhyay directed the music at the event.
Bhaswar Bandyopadhyay recited a Sanskrit shlok (verse) replete with allusions of the monsoon. Rendition of a choral song “Aahwan Asilo Mohotshober” by the artistes of Uttarayan followed. In 1857, Tagore wrote a poem “Oi Ashey Oi Oti Bhairab Haroshey”. The tune was composed 28 years later. The artistes also presented the number in chorus.
With references, Mahfuza Hilali compiled the overall programme which was presented by the host duo.
“Baishnav daughter Radhika’s abhishar in a drizzling night, the images of monsoon from Chandidas to Rabindranath, monsoon and aches of melancholic hearts, lovers’ longing for affinity on a monsoon night — all the natural elements and human feelings are reflected in Bengali literature,” pointed out Bhaswar Bandyopadhyay in his presentation.
The choral numbers by Uttarayan artistes such as “Hridoye Mondrilo”, “Ei Shrabon-er Buker Bhetor “Timir Obogunthoney”, “Pagla Hawar Badol Din-e”, “Mon Mor Megher Shongi”, and “Aaji Jhorer Raat-e “ were widely appreciated.
Solo rendition of “Chitto Amar Haralo Aaj” and “Jetey Dao” by Lily Islam and Himadri Shekhar respectively received applause. Unfortunately several solos and two duets fell flat much to the disappointment of the audience.
According to the compilation, in 1936, the festival of Borshamongol was held in a different atmosphere; on the bank of a big pond in the village of Bhubandanga. Rabindranath planted a Krishnachura (Caesalpinia Pulcherrima) sapling beside the stage. Tagore would term the tree as ‘Moru Bijoyer Keton’ (the flags of conquering desert). That was how Tagore initiated the campaign of tree plantation. The tradition carries on at Shantiniketan during Tagore’s death anniversary.
A number of artistes of Nrityanandan, a school led by noted dancer Sharmila Bandyopadhyay, entered the hall from the doorway. Four artistes carrying a sapling on their shoulders were in the middle while Sharmila Bandyopadhyay with a madol around her neck led a dance procession. Several other artistes including Tathoi played mondira and danced to the number “Moru Bijoy-er Keton” rendered by Himadri Shekhar and others. Director of Uttarayan Lily Islam along with other dignitaries came out from the hall room and planted the sapling at Shilpakala Academy premises.
The event would add lustre if several dances had been accompanied with live music. Nasirul Haque Khokon with Zunayed Yousuf, Nur Uddin Faruk Shubho and Ahsan Reza Khan Tushar aesthetically designed set, light and video projections on the theme of the monsoon.
Sponsored by Rupayan Group, the programme was planned and directed by Lily Islam.

-With The Daily Star input

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