Rabindra Utshab 1419: Chhayanaut holds two-day programme

A group rendition by young artistes of Chhayanaut (top); Sharmila Banerjee led the dance performance to live music. Photo: Mumit M. Zahangir Alom

To celebrate Rabindranath Tagore’s 151st birth anniversary, his works and philosophy, Chhayanaut held a two-day ‘Rabindra Utshab’ (festival) at the main auditorium of Chhayanaut Sangskriti Bhaban in Dhanmondi, Dhaka. The festival began on May 8. Leading and upcoming Tagore artistes of the country as well several cultural organisations participated in the event.

This is the fourth ‘Rabindra Utshab’ by Chhayanaut. The organisation was founded in 1961, on the occasion of the Tagore birth centenary.

The festival began with a song-and-dance presentation by the young artistes of Chhayanaut. Several dancers performed to a live rendition of the song “Momo Chittey Niti Nritye”.

Dr. Binayak Sen presented as essay, titled “Bhinno Mot-er Rabindranath: Chithi Potrer Shakkho”, on the opening day. President of Chhayanaut, Dr. Sanjida Khatun, welcomed and thanked all at the event.

Dr. Binayak Sen meticulously pointed out the excerpts of the constructions of alternative that Tagore created, especially in his letters written to several litterateurs, his friends and family members including Priyonath, Sudhindranath Dutta, Buddhadev Bose, Amiyo Chakraborty, Sanjay Bhattacharya (editor of Purbasha), Kadambini Devi, Indira Devi and Hemanta Bala Devi.

“We find Tagore’s viewpoints on political, social, economic, agricultural and theological opinions and philosophies in his letters. The bard was absolutely a free thinker and was never stuck to certain ideas. He had even gone against the societal customs too. Sometimes, he clarified his visions with a hint of ambiguity but never leaving out humanity. Tagore’s love for entire humanity was his unique religion,” said Dr. Binayak Sen in his essay.

A cultural programme followed the presentation. The event featured dance performances, poetry recitation and rendition of choral and solo songs.

Artistes of Chhayanaut performed “Kothao Amar Hariye Jawar Nei Mana” that seemed to reverberate with the presentation of Binayak Sen, in tune.

Noted dancer and teacher Sharmila Banerjee, her daughter and also a Chhayanaut teacher Sudeshna Swayamprabha, and four other artistes of Chhayanaut danced to a Tagore song “Bajey Bajey Romyobeena Bajey” at the event. Chhayanaut artistes, Rafia Sultana and Sonia Rashid, also presented a duet dance.

A number of Chhayanaut and several guest artistes including Swati Sarkar, Nilotpal Shadhyo, Chhaya Karmakar, Fahmida Khatun, Jhuma Khandakar, Elora Ahmed Shukla, Pratik Endo (Sylhet), Samapti Roy (Faridpur), Kanchan Mostafa, Tania Mannan, Saikat Mukherjee, Shusmita Ahmed Borna and Suman Chowdhury and others staged solo performances. Artistes of Jatiyo Rabindra Sangeet Sammilan Parisad (Dhaka City) also performed a group song at the event. Meer Barkat and Israt Jahan recited at the programme.

Almas Ali on violin, Asit Biswas on esraj, Iftekhar Hossen Shohel on keyboard, Pradip Kumar Roy on mondira and Enamul Haque Omar, Swarup Hossain, Gautam Sarkar and Iftekhar Alam Prodhan Dollar on tabla accompanied the singers.

The curtains came down on the opening day of the festival with a rendition of the national anthem. Dance performances, poetry recitation, and renditions of songs by leading and upcoming Tagore artistes marked the concluding day (May 9) of ‘Rabindra Utshab 1419’ that drew a large number of Tagore enthusiasts. Mobile phone operator Robi assisted the programme while ATN Bangla was the media partner of the festival.