Captivated as one is by the razzmatazz of glaring footlights and glamour of the sinuous bodies of live dancers on the proscenium stages, how does one visualize the long lost legacy of a past master performer? Can one reconfigure -- from the mere paraphernalia left behind -- the magic of the dazzling shows that have vanished into oblivion? One wonders.
Uday Shankar, whose 116th birth anniversary was celebrated recently by Udayan Kala Kendra from Kolkata, was such a luminary - both as a performer and as a showman – best remembered by all those who had witnessed even his late flowerings: either in the magnificent shadow play on the Buddha, or in the scintillating dance-drama on Tagore’s Samanya Kshati (The Negligible Loss), or in the superbly-imagined Shankarscope that amalgamated dance, drama and cinema, all rolled into one seamless whole.
In the exhibition mounted by Udayan, the effort was not only to present the photographs, musical instruments and props used by the maestro, but also to enlighten people about the immense contribution of Uday Shankar in the field of performing arts in general and dance in particular.
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