Together with Tagore

While Rabindranath Tagore is recognised as a nationalist and cultural force that brought India, not just Bengal, to the attention of the international community, his vehicle for achieving this recognition was the large body of arts indigenous to the Bengal region. The poet's 150th birth anniversary will fall in May 2011, and Impresario India is planning a yearlong calendar of events leading up to it. The curtain-raiser comes this weekend, with its Panorama of Bengal's Art Heritage, taking place at the Gandhi King Plaza of the India International Centre. The work of senior artistes associated with Rabindra Bharati University are major attractions.

Friday features “Raas Lila”, a dance drama in Odissi based on Padabal Kirtan, choreographed by Debamitra Sengupta. Kirtan is a traditional Bengali art, which the choreographer is trying to popularise and revive. The songs are sung by Seema Acharya Chaudhury, renowned Kirtan exponent. “Raas Lila” pictures Krishna and Radha celebrating a festival of dance with other gopis on a full moon night in the month of Kartik. Songs of Tagore will be presented on Saturday. On Sunday, Kalavati Devi presents students of Rabindra Bharati in a blended presentation of Tagore's works, including “Bhanusinger Padabali” and “Tasher Desh”. Then there is a play of Budhadeb Basu, “Anamni Angana”, directed by Bijaylakshmi Barman, based on a Mahabharata story, with women actors only. Starting 6.30 all days.