Recently I watched Woody Allen’s latest film “Midnight in Paris” in which the central character (Gil Pender), during his visit to Paris with his fiance’, manages to slip back in time to the Paris of the early 1920s. There Gil meets the greatest of the worlds literati during the period like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and many others. Gil always thought that the 1920s was the golden age of literature and art and Paris was the center of this world. It was Gil’s dream come true. There in the 1920s Gil falls in love with the beautiful Adriana, Pablo Picasso’s lover. But to Adriana of the twenties, the golden age was “la Belle Epoque”, the European revival during the late 19th century. By a twist in the tale, Gil and Adriana travel back to the “belle Epoque” era to Maxim’s and meet Edward Degas, Toulouse Lautrec and Paul Gauguin, the great artists of the period. But when asked, these great artists say that to them the golden age was the period of Renaissance! Continue reading
The count down to NABC 2010 has started. In little more than seven months from now, Bengalis from all over USA and abroad will converge upon Atlantic City in New Jersey. Kallol of New Jersey, the host organization of NABC 2010, is working at a hectic pace to make it a great event. Most of the performers have been lined up, registrations pouring in and the committee members are busy working on the final details like scheduling and fund raising. On January 8th, 2010, a kickoff meeting/press-conference will be held in Kolkata in the presence of most of the artists and performers.
Lets take a look at some of the foreign performers who will grace the Atlantic City convention center stage. I’ll not be able to cover all of them in this article and plan to continue in future posts. At the 2010 NABC Kallol will be presenting some performers who are relatively unknown to the Bengali crowd in USA. One such group is Sapphire Creations Dance Workshop who will be performing at the opening ceremony. Sapphire Creations is a premier experimental dance company based in Kolkata and the only one of its kind in Eastern India performing regularly and popularly in festivals and arts events in India and abroad. Their objective is to integrate in its dance an awareness of tradition, a dimension of experimentation, an urge to entertain and a purpose to provoke consciousness to inspire us to reach brighter horizons. Continue reading
The classical Indian dance form Kathak is now quite well known amongst the dance connoisseurs of America. Americans who have some familiarity with classical music and dance of India, know about Kathak – a dance form that truly blends together the various components of Indian music – melody, rhythm and the beauty of the physical form. It is true that many stalwarts of the Kathak dance form like Pandit Birju Maharaj and others have graced the American stage with their amazing performances, but the primary reason for its popularity and sustenance in this country is due to the tremendous efforts put in by several Kathak dance schools and academies run by the immigrant dancers from India who wanted to spread their passion for this art form amongst the next generation. Once such school is Kalamandir of New Jersey led by its director, Malabika Guha.
This cartoon was done for “Proma” a long time ago. Abstract art has always drawn the attention of humorists and cartoonist. This one exaggerates the abstractness to the extent that the artist himself does not have any clue regarding his own painting, not event it’s orientation. Many of us, the naive (read pseudo) art connoisseurs, think that abstract art – the art that does not represent any form that we are familiar to, is quite easy to render. Many of us consider them nothing but few blotches of paint and maybe some geometric patterns in an arrangement which does not resemble anything that we see in our daily lives. Hence, many pseudo-artists tend to declare themselves as artists by creating such absurd canvasses and trivialize the bewildered viewers as “uneducated an uncultured” brutes. This is true not only for fine arts, but also in those branches of art that thrive on abstractions and absurdity – like poetry, play, film, music and even short stories. Hence it is of utmost importance, that we make an attempt to train ourselves to be able to appreciate these art forms – to open up our minds to appreciate forms and colors and movements and sounds that are beyond our accustomed reality.
Long time ago, I used to draw cartoons for some magazines like Proma (published in Kolkata), Udayan (published from NY), Sangbadik (also published from New York) and News India Times. I would like to share some of them with you. This cartoon was published in Proma few years ago. It is a take on art valuation. Let me know how you like it. In future weeks I’ll post one cartoon a week, from my old archives.