Tagore s Mystique of Dance
by Utpal K. Banerjee
Rabindranath Tagore derived inspiration from diverse sources while articulating his ingenuity in the realm of visual, literary and performing arts. However, there always emerged an unmistakable fount of creativity of his own, expressed through Rabindra Nritya (Tagore’s Dance).
Tagore’s Mystique of Dance examines, with archival images, three key hypotheses: What were the evolutionary features of Tagore’s dance-persona? What seminal cross-cultural liaisons did he undertake to arrive at the choreographic genre of Rabindra Nritya? And, what dance-vocabulary and literary content could be its imprimatur?
Beginning with an overview of Tagore’s multi-faceted persona and the role played by the natural surroundings of Santiniketan, as well as the crags and crevices of British, German and Polish culture in nurturing his virtuoso genius, this book explores how Tagore initiated a genre of ‘mood dance’, incorporating the most suitable dance elements from the classical dances of the Indian sub-continent and the regional dances of the Asia-Pacific; and how he brought forth an efflorescence of wonderful seasonal odes, exquisite music dramas and dance-dramas that remain unparalleled in the Indian cultural milieu. Recapitulating the basics of Indian grammar of dance and re-mapping Tagore’s Dance in that light, Tagore’s Mystique of Dance looks back at the treasure-trove of his music and the panoply of his paintings, unearthing only the dancing figures, thereby unravelling their mystique and documenting the legacy of Tagore’s Dance.