Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tagore and his penchant for dance

Our starting point is the account which Santidev Ghosh — a remarkable chronicler of dance-related events in Rabindranath Tagore’s life — has provided, alongside his own account of learning dance in the Indian subcontinent and abroad with Gurudev’s encouragement. Santidev documented, like a faithful Boswell, what he saw as the process of efflorescence of 15 Tagore’s dance-interests, observed over three decades at Santiniketan.

Tagore’s Mystique of

Utpal K Banerjee
Rs 1500
What was the evolutionary nature of Tagore’s dance persona? What were its cardinal features? And what kind of cross-cultural liaisons did he undertake to arrive at a clear philosophy and a coherent choreographic mind that could lead to a genre of Rabindra Nritya?

Tagore had a teenage exposure to Western dance in England and retained an obvious interest for the terpsichorean muse all his life. Seminally inspired by Spencer and Wagner, he penned, in the 1880s, two musical dramas and one opera, and encouraged his students in Santiniketan to participate in song and dance, himself participating in these activities wholeheartedly. Once Visva-Bharati was formed in 1921, his interest gathered momentum. He appointed dance teachers, and often appeared on stage as a dancer himself in his plays and musicals. He proceeded to compose several celebrations of the seasons and create musical dramas like Notir Puja, Tasher Desh and Shap Mochan — to be accompanied wherever feasible, by dance.

Full report here Pioneer

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