Sunday Events Programme – March to May 2015
Sunday 31st May, 4.00pm
The Tagore Centre
Tagore in Symphony: Excerpts from a Rare Fusion
Join us for a unique programme where Rabindrasangeet is merged with Western classical music, inspired by the harmonies of Bach and melodies of Beethoven. Tagore in Symphony, the brainchild of Abraham Mazumder was premiered in November 2007 with a 78-member strong orchestra, the music composed, arranged and conducted by Mazumder himself. In April 2012, Muzumder was invited to conduct the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Odeon Youth Symphony Orchestra in Germany to perform Tagore in Symphony. Abraham Mazumder, founder and Principal of the Kolkata Music Academy has been a renowned personality in the Western Classical Music scene in the city for 35 years, and is also Associate and Licentiate of the Trinity College of Music, London. Mazumder is also one of the founder members of Mohiner Ghoraguli, the first ever Bengali rock band.
Also joining the programme will be Madhusree Mazumder, Director of the Kolkata Music Academy. She is a trained Rabindrasangeet artiste. Her association with the Academy began in 1998, playing first violin, before she assumed the post of Director in 2009. In addition, she conducts lessons in violin, piano and music orientation.
Anupam Roy, a student of Abraham, completed degrees in violin and music theory from the Royal School of Music, London, while serving as Concertmaster of the Academy. He is currently pursuing doctoral research on Beethoven’s music at Goldsmiths College.
The evening will comprise a talk given by Abraham, video excerpts, as well as a performance of selected songs for voice, violin and keyboard.
Swar O Lipi
This will be a composite programme based on Tagore songs, folk songs and modern Bengali songs performed by the students of Robika and The Tagore Centre. Robika is a new musical institution founded and run by well known musician and singer Sanjoy Dey, with the aim of promoting the vocal and musical heritage of South East Asia through the organization of regular classes in music and also musical and cultural events.
Farzana Sifat Sopna
Farzana Sifat Sopna started music lessons at the age of four. She studied under the legendary classical musician Ustad Akter Sadmani for over twelve years, and then continued her lessons with the Head of the Classical Music Department of ‘Chayanot’ Ustad Rezwan Ali. She has a Diploma in Nazrul Sangeet from the Nazrul Institute and is currently a teacher of Udichi music.
Tagore’s Poetry – Universal Psychospirituality
Dr Tinni Dutta
Dr Dutta currently works in the Department of Psychology, Asutosh College, Kolkata. She has written widely on Tagore, receiving many awards for her work. She also works in the field of drug addiction and HIV/AIDS, visiting many countries in her professional capacity and publishing many research papers. Dr Dutta believes that literature and psychology are intrinsically linked, and in this lecture her principal objective is to probe Tagore’s psychodynamic and creative processes. ‘The sense of oceanic wonder, the most sublimated expression of the self transcending emotions is the root of Tagore’s creation. The emotions expressed in such creations reveal the universal characteristics of psychospirituality.’
May 7th 1.00pm
Tagore’s Birthday Celebration in Gordon Square
Come and help us celebrate Tagore’s birthday at the site of his Bust in Gordon Square WC1, with poetry readings and songs.
Medieval Indian Bhakti Poetry and Tagore’s Gitanjali: Continuity of a Tradition
by Professor Indra Nath Choudhuri
Professor Indra Nath Choudhuri has been active in Academics, Administration and Cultural Diplomacy. He taught in Delhi University, Uccha Siksha aur Sodh Sansthan, DBHP, Hydrabad and University of Bucharest (as an ICCR visiting Professor). He has been visiting Professor in many other Universities including Central University Hydrabad, and CIEFL, Hydrabad, Jadavpur University and JNU, Delhi. A distinguished Cultural Administrator of India. Was Secretary to Sahitya Akademi and Minister (Culture), Indian High Commission, London and Director, The Nehru Centre, London. He was Member Secretary and Academic Director, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi. He has written books on Comparative Literature, Poetics and Aesthetics in Hindi, English and Bengali.
Professor Choudhuri is currently holding the first Chair of Tagore Studies at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, where he is engaged in promoting the study of Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy and works at The Scottish Centre for Tagore Studies (ScoTs) based at the university.
He has received many awards including the most prestigious Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Ministry of HRD Ganga Sharan Singh Award from the President of India in 2007 and also Delhi Hindi Academy award 2009.
A PART OF OR APART FROM NATURE?
This interactive talk will encourage participants to reflect upon the relationship between human beings and nature. It will subsequently discuss Tagore’s ideas on this relationship, as expressed in his writings and paintings, key among these is:
a) the Tagorean view that humanity should regard itself as an intrinsic part of nature rather than divorced from it;
b) that we should remember that our activities can and do adversely impact nature and that we should therefore behave in a responsible manner; further, that rather than exerting our power over nature in an attempt to conquer it, we must exercise whatever power we may have in the spirit of custodianship;
c) his belief that not only is humanity dependent on nature, but that we should recognise the mutual interdependence of humanity and nature.
Following a workshop-like format, the session will then facilitate participants’ responses to Tagore’s thoughts on the above-mentioned relationship.
One of the team recently appointed to work with the Tagore Centre’s archives, Aurogeeta Das is a visual artist, researcher, writer and curator. She has been posting on the Tagore Centre’s website about her ongoing explorations. In this presentation she will expand on her interest in Tagore and give a preview of the new work she is developing as a personal response to his legacy.
Tagore through Dance
(this event starts at 11am)
A special day exploring various approaches to Tagore’s work through the medium of dance. The morning will be led by Bisakha Sarker MBE who has recently collaborated with poet-translator William Radice and actor-dancer Shobna Gulati in a choreography based on Tagore’s poem Nagar Sangeet (Song of the City).
Bisakha Sarker is a leading practitioner of Indian creative dance. She was trained by Uday and Amala Shankar and later with Manjushri Chaki-Sarker. She has worked as a performer, choreographer, researcher, educationalist, and video maker. Her innovative work, much of it with disabled people, has challenged traditional cultural boundaries and her spiritually imbued creativity has inspired many others to dance. Song of the City is merely the latest in a series of works she has made which have been inspired by Tagore. Previous examples include The Gift, Golden Boat, Ahalya, and a solo portraying the relationship between Arjun and the warrior princess Chitrangadaa.
The second part of the day will consist of proposals by young dancers and musicians for new interpretations of Tagore’s work. This special practical workshop session will run from 11am until until 4pm and is open to dancers of all kinds as well as those who would just like to observe. It has been conceived in collaboration with Pulse/Kadam and is supported by Arts Council England
Unfortunately this event has been postponed due to illness.
An artist film-maker who has been working intensively over the past few months in the Tagore Centre Library. She will talk about her research on the qualities of dislocation, isolation and melancholia in Tagore and she will show some examples of her moving image work.
Sabrina Osborne studied Art at Delhi University and Goldsmiths, University of London. Her works have been exhibited at London Tate Britain, National Gallery Bangkok, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sofia, Belgrade Art Fair, Espacio Enter, Tenerife Spain, Tenderpixle Gallery, London, Galerie Muller and Plate, Munich, Id Art Fest, International Dynamic Contemporary Art Museum, Macerata Italy, OED Gallery, Cochin, India and Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford.
SHAROD SAMMELAN (AUTUMN CELEBRATION )
Song, dance, recitations, readings and storytelling by Tagore Centre members and guests.
Free format ‘Get Together’. Everybody welcome.
Come along and take the Stage.
Anshuman Das Gupta teaches in the Art History department in Kalabhavan, Santiniketan (Visva Bharati University) and is completing a PhD in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, London University.
He did his BFA (1990) and MA (1992) in Art History from Santiniketan, and M.S.U., Baroda, respectively. He joined Santiniketan in 1997 as a lecturer of Art History.
His essays and seminar papers have been published in several journals and publications like the Marg publications- Art & Visual Cultures in India 1857- 2007 (2009), Akbar Padamsee (in Press, 2009) and Contemporary Indian Sculpture, among others. Anshuman has taken up several curatorial assignments at various times, which include; exhibition organized by the French Embassy in Delhi on the birth centenary of Antonin Artaud in 1996, Khoj International artists’ workshop events in Bengal in 2006, Ramkinker Baij Centenary exhibition in Santiniketan in 2007, ‘Santhal Family: positions around an Indian sculpture’ for the Museum of Contemporary Art, MuHKA, Antwerp (a collaborative curatorial venture) in 2008. He has participated in around thirty national and international seminars, including Patterns of Reflection: writing contemporary Indian art (Oct, 09, Santiniketan- Lalit kala and kala Bhavan) Periferry in Guwahati, Assam (2009); MuHKA, Antwerp (2008); seminar organized by ZKM & MMB in Delhi (2008). He also organized the Ramkinker Baij Centenary international seminar in Santiniketan in 2007.
This Sunday’s programme has unfortunately had to be cancelled due to illness.
Writing under the nom de plume, S.B. Veda, Sujoy Bhattacharyya is a former consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He worked in the financial districts of both Canada and the USA before embarking on a distinguished career in the Canadian public sector holding various posts, including reporting to the Deputy Minister of PWGSC and President of The Treasury Board of Canada as Special Strategic Advisor.
Sujoy Bhattacharyya was born in London, and grew up in Canada, to Bengali Indian parents. He has been a senior contributor to the Montreal-based newspaper Pragati and award-winning former editor of The Lance-Chronicle. He has written for publications in Canada and India, and co-founded The Global Calcuttan Magazine (www.globalcalcuttan.com) a web-based review on art, culture, lifestyle, and global reportage. He has been recognized for his reportage by both The Ottawa Citizen and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Having written three plays, including the critically acclaimed musical comedy, Kismat, which was co-produced by the Canada Arts Council and played at Toronto’s historic Hart House Theatre, Bhattacharyya is in the process of work-shopping the manuscript of his first novel at a Master Class at the University of East Anglia Creative Writing programme in the UK, in association with The Guardian where he is a student of European Literary Prize Winner and Booker Prize short-listed Author Adam Foulds, FRSA/FRSL.
Between The Lines
Re-thinking Tagore for the Twenty-First Century
A day of explorations, performances and critical enquiry into Tagore’s work.
A special day long programme to examine how the performing art forms of Rabindra Sangeet and Rabindra Nritya are furthering Tagore’s own ideas, values and aesthetics, or whether indeed they are.
Between the Lines will première Praan, a Kadam/Pulse commission of a dance work to live vocal accompaniment, created by Urja Desai-Thakore with Mrityunjoy and Aritra Bhattacharya.
Two further works-in-progress will be presented: Untitled, based on The Gardener, by Katie Ryan/Ranjana Ghatak and The Curse, by Arunima Kumar/Sohini Alam.
Kali Chandrasegaram will present a re-staging of Bisakha Sarker’s Song of the City.
Taking part in the day, speaking, singing, dancing or playing, will be Amit Chaudhuri, Ansuman Biswas, Sohini Alam, Rishi Banerji, Sahana Bajpaie, Aritra Bhattacharya, Kali Chandrasegaram, Sharmila Chauhan, Sangeeta Datta, Arunima Kumar, Urja Desai-Thakore, Tanika Gupta, Mrityunjoy, Matthew Pritchard, Katie Ryan, Ranjana Ghatak, Oliver Weeks.
For the full programme, line-up and artist profiles, see this page;
Rich Mix, London
Saturday 2nd November 2014 | 11 am – 5.45 pm
£15 (£10 students/unwaged)
Shruti Dasgupta was lovingly named by her grandfather after the minute musical intervals that characterise Indian ragas. Rising to this etymological challenge, she made her stage debut at the age of three and performed a solo concert in London aged seven. By the age of nine she was expertly singing complex Sanskrit slokas at the first UK production of the famed Durga Puja show – the Mahalaya. Since then Shruti has performed at major venues in the UK and India including special concerts for rising artists, attended by dignitaries such as the UK Minister of Education & Schools and the Chief Minister of West Bengal. She has been a lead voice in popular musical shows such as Guldastaa, Shakha Proshakha, Kahata Kabir and Kavita K2K staged at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London.
In addition to core Hindustani classical kheyal, Shruti is also adept in applied musical genres that embrace Bhajans, Ragpradhans, Rabindrasangeet, Najrulgeeti. Her broad –based training allows her to combine rigorous discipline with soulful aesthetics derived from varied sources such as the Patiala and Bishnupur styles and many individual composers. Shruti draws her inspiration and tutelage from her musical family. She has been taught by her aunts & uncle – Pratyusha Chaudhuri, Pragga Banerjee, Arup Banerjee – as well as her parents Dalia and Bhaskar Dasgupta.
Shruti read Law at the University of Sheffield and currently works in a London law firm. She also has a grade eight distinction in piano.
Tagore Centre AGM
Ansuman Biswas will give an overview of the various activities that have been supported over the last few months by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Please note that all events start at 3.30 at the Tagore Centre unless otherwise stated.
Award Winning Film Screening ( Bengali)
Details to be announced…
Operatic Music and Bengali Songs
By Sanchita Basu De Sarkar and Tanaya Basu De Sarkar
Sanchita has been learning English folk and classical music since the age of 11 and Tanaya since the age of four. Both are students of the Tracey King Singing Studio. They have won prizes at music festivals in both the solo and duet categories at the Watford Music Festival and the Hounslow Music Festival.
Sanchita is Assistant Manager at the independent Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill and is passionate about children’s literature.
Tanaya is in her first year at University College London (UCL) where she is studying Classics.
Music by Kakoli Sengupta
Born in Naihati, near Calcutta in India, Kakoli has been brought up in a musical environment and trained in Indian classical vocal music under the guidance of her venerable master, Sri Gopal Biswasji, till the age of twenty.
Now settled in Paris since 1974, Kakoli participated as an internationally recognised exponent of the Hindustani tradition of Indian classical music at the prestigious Bourges Spring Festival in France in 1984. She also performed in Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Martinique, Guadeloupe, the United States of America and of course in India.
A recording artist since 1991, Kakoli has seven solo albums and many compilations to her credit. A special mention must be made of her participation in 1995 in the spectacular musical composition of Michel Garnier, presented at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This composition has also been released on CD.
Kakoli also performed with artists of new age pop (Premananda-Turkantam), zouk (Jacob desvarieux), ambient (Dj CAM), and even avant garde rap (IN VIVO)!
Although undiscovered in Indian playback scene, in Europe her voice has appeared in the soundtracks produced for both TV and cinema.
A list of her solo albums, compilations and other recordings is available on request.
Discussion by Ms. Sangeeta Bahadur, Director The Nehru Centre
Sangeeta is an Indian Foreign Service officer of the 1987 batch, and is currently posted in London as Minister (Culture) in the High Commission of India and Director of The Nehru Centre. Her earlier postings include Spain, Bulgaria, Mexico and Belgium. She has also served in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi in various capacities, including as Deputy Director General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Bengali New Year Celebration
Unfortunately Sanjoy Dey has had to cancel his performance.
Instead there will be a film screening.
Song, Dance and Recitations performed by talented children.
This is an Open Forum event, please contact Arundhati Biswas for participation.
Rabindra Sangit and Baul by Sahana Bajpaie
Sahana Bajpaie, brought up in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India, started taking music lessons from her father Prof. Bimal Bajpaie – a Tagore scholar – at a tender age. He was the inspiration behind Sahana’s singing. Her debut album ‘Notun Kore Pabo Bole‘ is a tribute to him. Both her parents were professors of Political Science in North Bengal University, West Bengal, India.
She was brought up and educated in Tagore’s own land, Santiniketan. According to her, “Growing up in Santiniketan is an enlightening experience”. Sahana trained in Indian classical music and Rabindra Sangeet under Bijoy Sinha, Madhumita Roy, Chitra Roy, Shyamoli Bandopadhyay, Chandan Munshi and Mita Huq (Bangladesh) among others.She is a founder member of the Bangladeshi Sufi-Baul fusion band, Bangla along with Bangladeshi musician Shayan Chowdhury Arnob She has written several popular songs for the musician Arnob and performed backing vocals for his solo albums, ‘Chaina Bhabish’ (2006), ‘Hok Kolorob’ (2007), ‘Doob’ (2008). She has performed at Alexander Hall, Canary Wharf, London, with the Bangladeshi Sufi-Baul fusion band Bangla, 2006.
Sahana joined BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh in May 2005 as a Lecturer in English from where she resigned in May 2008 to pursue further studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, where she now teaches Bengali. She is a regular performer at major UK Musical venues.
Saurav has carved a niche in the hearts of Indian and international audiences through his performances for Coke Studio, MTV, the 57th Idea Filmfare Awards, Jaipur Literature Fest, and also projects for the European Union & UNESCO. He recently presented ‘River Songs of Bengal’ at Les Orientales Festivals De Saint le Vieil in France. In 2012 he completed a successful tour of the UK and in January 2014 performed at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.
A Talk by Professor Siddharta Sen
Professor Sen was born in Kolkata, where he attended La Martiniere College, Presidency College, then studied Pure Physics at Science College. He gained a Doctorate from MIT in the USA and later joined Trinity College, Dublin, retiring as Head of the Department of Mathematics. A distinguished academic, Professor Sen’s research interests are in Mathematical Physics and he has written over 100 research papers and 5 books. Besides Physics, he also has an interest in History and Vedanta, and has written on Grierson for the Irish National Biography.Professor Sen’s talk will be on Sir George Grierson ICS, briefly describing the way the East India Company was formed, how it came under the control of Britain, how the ICS was set up and how Grierson persuaded the British Government to organise and carry out a Linguistic Survey of India. He will also describe the way the survey was planned and its main conclusions.
Grierson was born in County Dublin. He was educated at St. Bees School, Cumberland and Trinity College, Dublin, where he was a student of mathematics. Grierson qualified for the Indian Civil Service in 1871 with very good results. He also won prizes for Sanskrit and Hindustani in Trinity during his two probationary years spent in Dublin He would eventually become Magistrate and Collector and later, Opium Agent. In 1898 he was appointed Superintendent of the newly formed Linguistic Survey of India. Grierson spent the thirty years after retirement editing the enormous amount of material gathered by the survey.
Grierson published scholarly works throughout his career: on the dialects and peasant life of Bihar, on Hindi literature, on bhakti, and onlinguistics.
Most of Grierson’s later work deals with linguistics. In a celebratory account of his life, F.W. Thomas and R.L. Turner refer to the extensive publications of the Linguistic Survey of India as “a great Imperial museum, representing and systematically classifying the linguistic botany of India”.
He died in Camberley, Surrey, England.