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You are warmly invited to Rabindranath Tagore's glorious Operatic Dance Drama, "Chitrangada", in West Kensington, London, this Sunday eveningat 7:00pm, 23rd April 2017.   It will be sung in the original Bengali language, with narration and visuals in English.
The curator of the this operatic dance drama, the renowned Tagore expert, Dr. Ananda Gupta, who, like myself, reveres Rabindranath Tagore and feelsinspired to take his wonderful work out into the mainstream.  Dr. Gupta has kindly designated me a Guest of Honour at this event, and has pressed me to invite my friends and associates.  
Dr. Gupta's day job is as an Eye Specialist in a London clinic, and he undertakes his Tagore work as a labour of love in his spare time.  Most unfortunately, he has only just managed to put the FREE tickets for "Chitrangada" up on the Eventbrite ticketing website in the past few hours.  With the performance being only four days away, I would be most grateful if each of you would be so good as to let any relevant contacts of yours know about this delightful [FREE!] event, as it really will be a wonderful evening, and we wish to have a full house.
I do apologise for the short notice of this event, but it was due to circumstances outside my control.  I am hoping to sit down with Dr. Gupta in the near future,to discuss how, in future, more notice can be given of these Tagore events.
Friends of mine who attended another delightful operatic dance drama by Tagore, "Nobeen", which was curated by Dr. Gupta in London last month, found it an inspiring and delightful evening.  None of these friends of mine had previously been to a Tagore opera, so it was quite a revelation to them! 
Please find below, together with my write-up on this operatic dance drama, the Eventbrite link to book FREE tickets.  I have found it fascinating researching the background to Tagore's "Chitrangada", and am greatly looking forward to Dr. Gupta's performance of it this Sunday, as I have found the performances of other Tagore operatic dance dramas that he has curated, absolutely thrilling.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Sunday evening, as well as your families/friends/colleagues/associates.
For those of you who will be able to attend on Sunday, it is ESSENTIAL that youbook your FREE tickets directly via the online electronic ticket booking website, Eventbrite:
There is NO booking fee.

For those of you who plan to attend, if have the time, I would be grateful if you would also let me know of your planned attendance via email (as well as you booking your FREE tickets directly via the Eventbrite website. 
For those of you who are living overseas, I am including you in this mailing, incase, by any chance, you happen to be in the UK this week and/or you feel that contacts of yours in the UK might be interested in attending.
Wishing everyone all possible blessings,Naomi  
FREE TICKETS - RabindranathTagore Operatic Dance Drama, London, Sunday 7pm, 23rdApril 2017 A warminvitation is issued to attend Rabindranath Tagore’s glorious operatic dance drama “Chitrangada – The WarriorPrincess”, on Sunday 23rd April 2017, 7:00pm – approx. 9:00pm, at the Bhavan Centre, 4a Castletown Rd, London W14 9HE.  [Sung in the original Bengali language,with narration and visuals in English.]This will be the first time that this immortal operatic dance drama, (which is based on an episodein the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, and adapted by Tagore to emphasise femaleempowerment and the Spring season), will be performed in the UK in this newstyle.   It will be performed by Dakshinaya Dakshini, curated bythe renowned Tagore expert, Dr. Ananda Gupta, in association with the High Commission of India.   With his plays and operatic dance dramas,Tagore’s intentions went far beyond mere entertainment; he wished to upliftaudiences, emphasise the unification of humankind and Nature, and challengeaudiences thinking about where right-action lies in challenging situations inlife, and also, very importantly for him, empower women.  Like Tagore’s other operatic dance dramas,“Chitrangada” is a delight to both the eyes and the ears, with exquisitesinging and dancing, and dazzling silk Bengali costumes.  
FREE Tickets can be booked throughEventbrite: For anyone unfamiliar with Tagore’s operatic dance dramas, a55 minute film version of his “Chitrangada” can be viewed on Youtube, whichwill give an indication of what to expect at the live performance of “Chitrangada”in London on the evening of Sunday 23rd April 2017:| Tagore Dance Drama | Suchitra Mitra | Hemanta Mukhopadhyay | Kanika Bandopadhyay Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941) was a visionaryBengali polymath who was involved in, and excellent in, most fields of humanendeavour, and was the first ever non-white, non-European to win a Nobel Prizein any category (Literature, 1913). W.B. Yeats and William Rothenstein played key roles in catapultingTagore to (fully deserved) international fame and the Nobel Prize. In the field of music, as well as composingvarious Operas / Dance Dramas, Rabindranath Tagore composed 2,500 songs, andcreated a musical genre which was named after him, “Rabindra Sangeet”(correctly pronounced Rabindra Shongeet, but usually pronounced by non-Bengalisas it is spelt).  “Rabindra Sangeet”translates approximately as “Rabindranath Songs”, and is an inspired and subtlefusion of words and music.  Tagore isthe only composer ever to have composed more than one National Anthem: theNational Anthem of India and the National Anthem of Bangladesh.
The dances in “Chritrangada” are in the danceform known as Rabindra Nritya Natya, which was created by Rabindranath Tagore.
 Tagore composed “Chitrangada” in early 1936, whenhe was 74 years old.  He reworked hisearlier play, “Chitra”, into this operatic dance drama, for the purpose ofundertaking a fundraising tour in India, as his educational campus,Shantineketan, West Bengal, India, had at that time a deficit of 60,000 Rupees.  For Tagore, who was a social reformer and afeminist before the term feminist had been coined, this tour was simultaneouslyan opportunity to raise necessary funds for his beloved educational campus,Shantineketan, and an opportunity to promote the empowerment of women.   India was at the time under British Rule, andIndia’s British rulers wanted Indians in India to be educated in institutionswhich would instil rigidity of thinking, blind obedience to authority, and justenough knowledge to serve the interests of Britain’s Imperial machine, withoutchallenging it.  A crucial aspect ofColonisation is colonisation of the minds of those being colonised.   At Tagore’s educationalcampus in West Bengal, Shantineketan, students had their lessons sitting incircles on the earth underneath trees, rote learning (which Tagore regarded assoul-destroying) was banned, the freedom of the mind and creativity wereemphasised, the natural world was revered, knowledge, including science andmathematics, was related to the natural world, emphasis was placed on theimportance of the education, dignity and empowerment of girls, and song anddance played an important role in campus life, with special songs composed byTagore to celebrate festivals, special events, the change of season etc.  Additionally, Tagore’s campus was a meetingplace for eminent scholars from around the world, to share knowledge andcultures, and cross fertilise, in a spirit of mutual respect.   

While certain individual eminent Britains,including William Rothenstein, were deeply impressed with Tagore’s educationalwork, it was regarded with suspicion by the British Imperial machine, whichundermined it and cut off sources of funds, which is why the hugely creativeand ever resourceful Tagore responded by composing his glorious operatic dancedrama “Chitrangada” in 1936, to engage in a fundraising tour in India, to fund hiscampus’ deficit.
 “Chitrangada”, had its Premiere in Calcutta’s NewEmpire Theatre on 11th March 1936, and there were repeatperformances at that theatre on 12th and 13th March1936.  Tagore then toured Northern Indiawith “Chitrangada”, with performances taking place in Patna (16thand 17th March 1936), Allahabad (19th March 1936) andLahore (22nd and 23rd March 1936).  Arriving in Delhi on 25th March1936, Tagore laid the foundations of the prayer hall of the Modern School, andperformed “Chitrangada” in Delhi on 26th and 27th March1936.    Mahatma Gandhi, who happened to be in Delhi atthe time, was appalled to learn that the frail 74 year old Tagore, whose healthwas failing, should need to undertake an arduous fundraising tour to financethe deficit at his inspiring educational campus, Shantineketan.  Although Tagore and the Mahatma had their politicaldifferences, which at times became heated (but never disrespectful), theMahatma was a man of great compassion, and, heart-warmingly, he immediatelyarranged for a supporter of his to present Tagore with a cheque for 60,000Rupees (which was a very substantial sum of money back in 1936), to cover theentire deficit of the Shantineketan campus. This glorious operatic dance drama,“Chitrangada”, is a beautiful example of how it is possible in life to turnsituations of great adversity into something which is beautiful andlife-enhancing.© Naomi Calligaro