To promote the songs and legacy of rural bard Radharaman Dutta, a two-day festival was held at the open premises of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on November 9-10. Radharaman Sangskriti Charcha Kendra(RSCK) in association with Shilpakala Academy arranged the festival. Young and reputed singers from different parts of the country performed songs of the rural bard each day.
Veteran singer of the genre Chandrabati Roy Burman inaugurated the festival on November 9. Suranjit Sengupta (MP) was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony. Mahmud Seilm, president of RSCK and director of the Music and Dance department of Shilpakala Academy, presided over the inaugural ceremony.
Among others, Biswajit Roy, general secretary of the organisation and researcher Dr. Mahbub Pial spoke at the programme.
"Radharaman's legacy has of late been disseminated in the way it should have been. But the genre has an appeal like other folk genres," said Biswajit Roy, who is also a well known singer of the genre.
At the event, singers performed both solo and choral songs, while a couple of dance troupes performed dances to songs of Radharaman. The first day's programme was divided into three phases. Artistes performed in the morning, at noon and in the evening.
The performers included Chandrabati Roy Burman, Tulika Ghosh Chowdhury, Krishna Chandra, Mohon Das, Khagendranath Sarkar, Shahin Aktar Papia, and Narayan Chandra Shil. Members of Antarjatik Radharaman Parishad, Surma Parer Dhamail Dal and Nibedan presented group songs. Members of the dance troupe Natraj performed group dance.
Chandrabati's performance was a treat for the audience. The octogenarian singer from Sunamganj rendered songs that were appreciated greatly by the audience. Her renditions included "Aaj Keno Pran Kende Kende" and "Pran Kande Go Pran Shokhi". Being from Radharaman Dutta's native area, Chandrabati's pronunciation and intonation are a reminder of the legacy of the bard.
The other singers' renditions included "Shyam Kalia Shona Bondhure", "Rai Rupey Shyam Anga Dhaka", "Amare Ashibar Kotha Koiya" and "Naiyare Sujan Naiya".