ITC Sangeet Research Academy recently presented a very colourful Arpan festival. The focus was on a vibrant autumnal offering with a bunch of Scholars – some of them among the youngest in the Academy – making it to the stage.
Starting with a Durga Stotra and a composition by Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty on Raga Durga presented by Medha Basu and Shreya Majumdar, the programme featured an enjoyable performance in Raga Gorakh Kalyan on the sarod by the trio of Swarnendu Mandal, Koustav Roy and Shounak Roy. Together, they provided a great start to the evening.
The concept of the nine personas of the reigning deity of the season, embodied in the idea of Nabadurga, was presented though bandishes in nine different Ragas. The vocalists participating in this were Moupali Choudhury, Anubhab Khamaru, Tejaswini Vernekar, Shreya Chatterjee, Sohini Koley, Sangborti Das, Shatavisha Mukherjee, Alick Sengupta, Deborshee Bhattacharjee. They presented bandishes in different genres, keeping the spirit of the festive season alive in their inspired rendering.
The Jugalbandi in Raga Hansadhwani by Paramananda Roy (flute) and Saket Sahu (violin) was mature, compact and very impactful. Kumar Mardur’s solo rendition of compositions on Ma Durga – including one by himself – was sonorous and powerful.
The evening came to an end with the inimitable Haimanti Shukla rendering some of her late father Pandit Harihar Shukla’s compositions before singing some of her very well known songs. The evening set the tone for the lively month of festivities to follow.