EVENT REPORT: MAHISHASURAMARDINI 2017
DATE: September 16, 2017 (Saturday) | TIME: 6:15 p.m.
VENUE: Children’s Little Theatre Auditorium (Dhakuria, Kolkata)
The presentation of Mahishasuramardini is a preordained feature in the Events Calendar of Pankaj Mullick Music and Art Foundation.So, as with every year since its inception, the Foundation this year too presented yet another adaptation of the legendary oratorio – which incidentally is broadcast annually on the day of Mahalaya preceding the Sharodiya Durga Pujas.
Most Bengalis know that the oratorio started off as a radio-play and then gradually became an integral part of the Durga Puja celebrations among Bengalis all across the globe. Written by Banikumar, narrated by Birendra Krishna Bhadra and set to tune by Pankaj Kumar Mullick, this oratorio is now seen and heard on TV and is available in the form of CDs as well as on the internet. Several eminent singers have rendered the immortal songs which form the backbone of the oratorio.
In fact, the broadcast of this programme on Mahalaya this year marked its 86th anniversary.
However, the musical-play developed by the Foundation is in essence a presentation in the form of an audio-play, combining elements of Live Performances including Singing, Chandipaath and Narration that takes a look at the mythology of Devi Durga and links it to modern-life in the form of an ode to “shakti”. Moreover, the songs and narrations include those which were broadcast live during the period between 1931 and 1961.
The special feature of this year’s presentation was the inclusion of an audio-visual presentation consisting of rare photographs and interviews that were woven in to the narrative of the overall presentation.
Here is an inclusive list of the core-performers who were involved in the programme:
Singers: Jhinuk Gupta (granddaughter-in-law of Pankaj Mullick) and chorus
Narration: Bhaswar Chattterjee
Adaptation, Chandipaath, Narration & Direction: Rajib Gupta (grandson of Pankaj Mullick)
The music for the entire presentation obviously consisted of compositions by Pankaj Kumar Mullick.
OBJECTIVES OF THE EVENT:
 Use art as a means of communication to –
- Create awareness about the emancipation of women
- Focus on Gender Equality
 Preserve, promote and propagate the rich cultural heritage of India