A ballet on the life of Tagore

Scene selection from the premiere performance of the ballet ‘RabiThakur’ on November 12th 2012 at Victoria Theater, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ To schedule a performance with either a small ensemble or symphony orchestra: info@tabla.org. RabiThakur, a completely new piece and one of its kind, presented as part of the South Asian Theater Festival co-hosted by NJPAC and Epic Actors’ Workshop.

Conceived, Composed and Directed by Samir Chatterjee
Music arrangement and conducting by Cristiano Tiozzo
Choreographed by Ryan Daniel Beck

Rabindranath Thakur, also known as Tagore, had a very complex life. He was continuously in the midst of ambivalence driven by uncertain preferences between the east and the west, city and village, isolation and company and many such dichotomies. Yet, how he churned out the nectar from this ocean of turmoil is a miracle to observe. The emotional upheavals of Tagore’s life contributed enormously into the making of what he became, and they always found expression in his creativity. He had failures as much as successes, shortcomings as well as triumphs. The study of such juxtaposition is important in understanding what made him so different, so far elevated from the rest of us: how he transcended from mere human to the superhuman level.

RabiThakur is a portrayal of the intricate pattern of Rabindranath’s emotional life through music and dance movements. Rabindranath himself said, “In my life I may have done many things that were unworthy, with or without knowing, but in my poetry I have never uttered anything false; it is the sanctuary for the deepest truths I know.” RabiThakur is our approach to that Truth. It is developed in seven movements.

Movement I : Childhood – adolescence:
Prevailing emotions : curiosity, mystery, wonder, expanded connection with nature and tradition.

Movement II : Early youth
Prevailing emotions : anticipation, enthusiasm, excitement and frustration, romance, ecstasy, confusion.
Movement III : Youth
Prevailing emotions : shock, transience of life, confrontation with the eternal phenomenon of the life, restlessness, transformation finding creative expression.

Movement IV : Matured youth
Prevailing emotions : validation, motivation, galvanized to change.

Movement V : Middle Age
Prevailing emotions : satisfaction in the realization of utopia, peace, settlement

Movement VI : Matured Age
Prevailing Emotions : trust in the qualities of mankind, in the universal unity of intellect, blend of east with west

Movement VII : Death/Passing
Prevailing emotions : Concerned on the degradation of mankind, struggle to reinstate faith in the qualities of human beings