Well Received Barnali by Tagore Society of Houston (TSH)

Barnali 1in

From left: Sanchali Basu, Partha Sen, Sanghamitra Bhattacharya,
Aloke Roy, Bidyut Ghosh, Kamalpriya Roy, Rupa Ghosh.
Photos:Pradip Ghosh

HOUSTON: This is the one program of the year that  Tagore Society indulges in performances of all genres and not necessarily Tagore related. And, August 23 did turn out to be quite an entertaining evening at the Houston Durga Bari Sur Auditorium when TSH celebrated Barnali.
Sharmishtha and Subrata Kolay, a well loved  musical couple got the audience going with their medley of songs ranging from Rabindra Sangeet, folk, retro and current Bengali and Hindi songs. Subrata on his electric steel guitar, and Sharmishtha in her sweet, lilting voice complimented each other very well and were very charming.

Shalini Das was graceful with her opening dance, Megh Pallavi, a quick rhythmic dance in the Odissi style, conveying the various moods of the rainy season and strangely enough, it actually started pouring right after this dance.

Maumita Chaudhary the runner up at the North American Bengali Conference (NABC)Idol 2015, held recently in Houston, next presented a couple of popular Rabindra Sangeet, Aakash bhora and Aamar parano jaha chay with tremendous poise and control.

Shreya Mandal performed “Abhishar”, a dance in Odissi style, based on Tagore’s poem of the same name. She portrayed the story of compassion between dancer Basabadatta and monk Upagupto very passionately.

Barnali 2in

Shreya Mandal

Shyama Mishra, the local favorite who had impressed everyone at NABC Houston impressed everyone again with her choice of 2 uncommon songs, one in Hindi from the movie Lootera and a Rabindra Sangeet.

Sohinee Adhikary brought a different flavor to the evening with a contemporary ballet performance. In her lyrical rendition of , “Elastic heart”, she conveyed how resilience and strength can bring inner peace  even through sadness.

Kheya Banerjee, a graduate of Visva-Bharati University sang a Geeta Dutt favorite, Ei shundor swarnali shondhyay very apt for the evening, and a Rabindra Sangeet, Megh bolechhe jabo jabo.

Rhittika Roy brought some funk to the evening with her jazz dance composition to, “Uptown funk” and made everyone in the audience feel like gettinu up on their feet and dancing.

Sangeeta Mondal, another graduate of Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan also paying tribute to her alma mater sang two Rabindra Sangeet, Aami Kaan Pete Roi and Aamar Praner Maajhe Sudha Ache really well.

Ritvik and Ritika Bhattacharjee, the brother and sister duo wrapped up the dance performances beautifully with a fast paced thillana showcasing all the complex elements of Bharatanatyam.

Sanchali Basu, Saikat Ghosh, Biren Das Biswas, the executive committee members of TSH were felicitated by president Ruma Acharya, and a special award was given to Supradipta Dutta, the  well respected Odissi danseuse and teacher for her regular contributions to TSH activities.

The highlight of the evening was a special Geeti alekhya (song and narration routine), Robir Notun Bouthan directed by Sanghamitra Bhattacharya from Philadelphia. Sanghamitra flew down and collaborated with locals Partha Sen, Kamalpriya Roy, Rupa Ghosh, Bidyut Ghosh, Aloke Roy and Sanchali Basu and presented the heart-wrenching, yet uplifting relationship between Rabindranath Tagore and his sister-in-law Kadambari Debi (Notun bouthan), in an excellent audio visual format. It was applauded by the audience.

Sanchali Basu, emcee for the evening, carried the audience through the program ably. Jhal Muri, Peyaji, vegetable chop and dahi wada all got sold out and Tagore posters and picture post cards were available for sale.