6 December, 2017 Kolkata: Bengali theatre and its music, specifically songs, surround the cinema or Chhaya-Chhabi from its birth on screen in the early twentieth century at the period of silent era. Over the years, the film-song traversed a long way, influenced by the popular genre of theatre, inheriting a rich legacy of theatre-song or Mancha-Gatha.
The legacy pervades almost all aspects of life — romances, weddings, funerals, rituals, get-togethers, even protests — and emerges as a medium to articulate every shade of joy and sorrow, love and longing, hope and despair. The festival will be presented through the oral and visual illustration of the social and political background, as well as of the formal and technical developments. In addition, the festival will contain the documentation of the theatre-songs tracing the unturned and untold chapter of cinema. The festival will trip down the memory lane with the Mancha-Gatha that evoked and initiated nostalgia in Chhaya-Chhabi, with the change of time.
MANCHA GATHAY CHHAYA-CHHABI expressed the varied genre of the hundred years of Chhaya-Chhabi (cinema) — wherein the recurring motifs and images of the time and age of Mancha-Gatha (theatre-song) were depicted at the Academy of Fine Arts by singers like Riddhi Bandyopadhyay and Devajit Bandyopadhyay, Narrator : Samiul Islam Poluck (Bangladesh) ,Script and Direction : Dr. Devajit Bandyopadhyay [An Academy Theatre Production] today.
The presentation aimed to introduce the symbiotic experience revisioning the past where they acted as great catalyst, enabling the performers to evoke mass education and popular communication. The production held aloft the countless composers, lyricists and musicians of theatre who have their share of contributions towards the emergence and development of cinema to scenerie a musical profile, distinctly Bengali, in a term, Indian. The production dealt with the Mancha-Gatha, which played a vital role of undying entertainment in Chhaya-Chhabi as a creative approach, a social celebration and a cultural exercise.
An ordered compilation of the Mancha-Gatha recreated into a cohesive and comprehensive audio-visual presentation on stage, used for Chhaya-Chhabi, frame by frame, down the years. Songs like Keno Dekha Dile (Jor Borat ), Aar Rekhona Amay ( Notir Puja ) by Riddhi Bandyopadhyay, Aji Esechhi (Shahjahan / Film-Balika Badhu), Karar Ei Lauha Kapat (Jibon Theke Neya) by Devajit Bandyopadhyay are worth a mention.