Gitanjali in Manchester

To celebrate the centenary of Tagore receiving the coveted Nobel Prize for his work, 'Gitanjali', which opened dialogue between East and West, Moksha will present ‘Tagore Utsav’at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester on June 7
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Anjana Parikh

Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali (song offerings), has a special connection with England.
To celebrate the centenary of Tagore receiving the coveted Nobel Prize for his work, Gitanjali, the iconic piece of work which opened dialogue between East and West, Moksha will present ‘Tagore Utsav’at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester on June 7.
Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, the great grand-niece of the poet, will be narrating the journey of the poet winning the coveted prize. It’ll be interspersed with English poetry and the original Bengali songs which will be performed by Moksha’s artistic director, Rishi Banerjee.
Speaking to Asian Lite, Banerjee said: “The manuscript of Gitanjali was brought to England in 1912, and the first edition was printed in this country, therefore, it has a huge significance. As recognition to the great man and his works, we’ve organised the programme in Manchester.

“It is befitting to be presenting the globally renowned Sharmila Tagore, the great grandniece of the bard, when celebrating the centenary of his Nobel Prize award. Gitanjali This dynamic project hopes to continue his legacy.”

The premium show will also feature collaboration between the Moksha choir and students from Manchester-based Surangon – school of Bengali music. The choir which will bring together women from different faiths and communities across Greater Manchester will be performing alongside Surangon.
“This is a good opportunity not just for the Bengalis but non-Bengalis as well to learn and know more about Tagore’s works. Everybody knows William Shakespeare but not many know that Tagore was a person who had lots of elements,” said Banerjee who was introduced to Rabindra Sangeet by his mother at the age of 3.
In order to keep the musical element as aesthetic as possible, Banerjee said, “No artificial sounds have been added, only piano, tabla and percussion will be used.”
And, the second half of the evening will premier – PUTRA – which explores the male protagonists in Tagore’s musical operas such as Balmiki Pratibha, Kalmrigaya and Mayar Khela.