Tagore culture carnival keeps capital busy

New Delhi: The 150th birth anniversary commemorations of Rabindranath Tagore have flagged off in their wake a grand cultural carnival with numerous expositions showing off his rich literary, performance and artistic legacy.

The national capital Saturday witnessed at least half a dozen programmes taking off.

Other metropolitan centres across India are also celebrating the anniversary with special packages.

"Each state has its own official function to bring out one particular aspect of Tagore. For instance, Goa had Indradhanush - a exposition of the colourful aspects of the culture propagated by Tagore," Secretary of Culture Jawhar told reporters Saturday.

The Tagore bonanza unfolded in Delhi Saturday with an international seminar on "Tagore`s Universalism" featuring eminent speakers from India and abroad at the Vigyan Bhavan.

The Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts began screening the restored films related to Tagore, beginning with `Rabindranath Tagore`, a documentary by Satyajit Ray, followed by "Kabuliwala" by Tapan Sinha.

Nearly 500 books, music and portfolios on Tagore are on display for culture buffs at the Sahitya Akademi.

The National School of Drama inaugurated a festival of Tagore`s plays featuring `Dakghar` (Kalakshetra, Manipur), `Wife`s Letter` (The Company, Chandigarh) and `Char Rang` (Jana Natya Manch), spread over five days till May 11.

Three major exhibitions of Tagore`s art are throwing light on the artist and new visual interpretations of his works.

A showcase, `Circle of Art: The Three Tagores`, at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is a collection of the works of the `Three Tagores - Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganedranath Tagore and Abanindranath Tagore` - sourced from NGMA`s collection.

Another exposition, "Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore: A Visionary, Artist and Poet", at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts from May 10 will unravel the poet`s outlook to life through his art.

An international touring exhibition of 45 digital prints of signed artworks of Tagore, "Artist Rabindranath Tagore", which was inaugurated at the Jorasanko Thakurbari, opened at the Azad Bhavan premises of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Friday.

The exhibition put together by the ICCR and the Rabindra Bharati University will travel to Europe, the US and South East Asia later in the year.

The literature of Rabindranath Tagore is the subject of discussion at a two-day seminar (Saturday-Sunday) at the Sahitya Akademi.

"Several of Tagore`s works are being translated into English, Hindi and other Indian languages. We have also initiated an annual award for writers of children`s books to coincide with Tagore`s 150th anniversary commemoration," Sahitya Akademi president Sunil Gangopadhyay told reporters here.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi on its part is innovating Tagore`s legacy of performing arts with dance theatres based on Tagore`s poems, musical soirees and dance dramas, "Samanya Kshati" and "Bhanusingher Padabali".

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said a new culture scheme, the Tagore Cultural Complexes Scheme, will facilitate "construction of new culture complexes in big and small towns and help upgrade existing Rabindra Bhavans set up in 1961, during the poet`s birth anniversary".

"The central govenrment support will be up to 60 per cent of the project cost," he said.


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