Community News Bites: NABC 2009 and Urhalpool

North America Bengali Conference (NABC) 2009 kicks off at the San Jose Convention Center on July 2nd. The biggest Bengali event of the year will run till July 4th and will feature some of the best performers from India, Bangladesh and USA.

Urhalpool editor Goutam Datta will be awarded the “Distinguished Service Award” at NABC 2009 on Friday, July 3rd at 6:45PM in “Banga Mancha”. The award is given by the Cultural Association of Bengal (the umbrella organization of NABC) for helping the cause of propagating and nurturing Bengali culture in North America.

URHALPOOL (www.urhalpool.com) had been chosen by NABC2009 as their internet media partner. URHALPOOL in association with NABC2009 will be presenting extensive coverage of the event for all 4 days from July 1st to July 4th. Catch up with all the NABC excitement at URHALPOOL(www.urhalpool.com).

On June 26th, Anandamandir hosted their monthly “Sahitya-o-Alochona” meetings where the attendees discussed the celebrated Bengali poet Joy Goswami. The attendees read Joy Goswami’s poems, discussed the artistry of his work and shared their personal experiences with the poet.

Tauryatrika 2009 [the annual cultural program of Bharatiya Kala Kendra - BKK] was a mega success. The event started with an excellent and highly interactive seminar, followed by screening of a movie on Ustad Bismillah Khan [directed by Goutam Ghosh]. In the cultural program, students of BKK put an excellent presentation. At the end, Bappi Lahiri was on top of his form.

Banaprastha – Only if the message could be clearer

A Review by Amitava Sen

Banaprastha: Biswajit Kaberi and ParikhitAs I entered the theatre the house was full and audibly expectant; as the play ended crowd was visibly appreciative and a few even ecstatic which was quite an achievement and cause for satisfaction for the group of people who presented Banaprastha at Edison Valley Playhouse on May 31, 2009. The play was generally well produced. A full house helps to create an environment of connectivity between the performers and audience. Perception of a full house and ambience that it helps create encourage the players to be their best. Selection of this adequately equipped arena, small in size, reflects producers’ sensibility about the importance of interaction between the players and the viewers and economic prudence at the same time.

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Habib Tanvir : The Legend Lives On

Habib TanvirVery few theatre personalities in India have become legends in their life time. Habib Tanvir was one of them. Born as Habib Ahmed Khan on September 1, 1923 in Raipur, Chattisgarh, Habib Tanvir has reinvented Indian folk theater and brought it out on the world stage in its full glory.  I still remember the evening in Calcutta when I watched his brilliant creation “Charandas Chor”.  The presentation of the play in a traditional folk form looked so modern, so fresh, that I couldn’t think of anything comparable in contemporary theatre. Habib,  through is work, has left a legacy that is difficult to carry on – because it demands a level of dedication that many of our modern theatre workers will fail to match. The sensitivity with which he nurtured the folk forms, experimented with content and presented them with such grace and simplicity – only a true genius can achieve such excellence. 

Habib Tanvir passed away on June 8th, 2009, but the lengend he became still lives on and inspires theatre workers all around the globe.

Thank You

Suranjana and Pallab in BanaprasthaI’d like to express my sincere thanks to all those of you who came to watch our play “Banaprastha” (The Retirement).  We had full houses on all the four days and it was a testament to the fact that New Jersey Bengalis like to watch quality theatre if we can offer them. However, it was not only Jerseyans who came to our show, people came from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York city and even Buffalo New York. The overall feedback has been extremely positive,  and people are asking for more shows.  Such encouragement is what makes all this hard work worth it and drives us to our next venture. We hope that with your good wishes, we’ll be able to keep up with your expectations and put New Jersey on the map of serious and quality Bengali theatre for time to come.

Thank you once again for supporting us.