Two recent events in Kolkata showcased several folk forms from North Bengal. Well known folk artists from Uttar Dinajpur, Madhumangal Malakar and Ganesh Rabidas organised a 2-day folk festival at the Jorasanko Thakur Dalan, Kolkata in association with West Bengal State Akademi of Dance, Drama, Music and Arts on October 20 & 21st. Featured were the ritual dance Gomira and the folk drama, Khon. A few days later, in celebration of the famous folk singer Abbasuddin's 113th birth anniversary, another 2-day program was organized by the Abbasuddin Smaran Samiti in association with the Bangladesh High Commission at Kolkata, on October 26th & 27th.
|Gomira dancer in a Shyama Kali mask|
|Wearing a mask of Phuleswari Chamundi, the fearsome|
aspect of Kali, the dancer has gone into a trance
|Final scene from Khon pala, Hariya Mahajon.|
The inimitable Abbasuddin Ahmed was a Bengali folk singer par excellence who was particularly known for his Bhawaiya renditions. In the 24th year of its existence, the Abbasuddin Smaran Samiti organized an Abbasuddin Smaran Sandhya showcasing singers of Bhawaiya and other genres from West Bengal and Bangladesh. The 2-day event was a fabulous musical treat for the audience with the artists from Bangladesh being Bhupati Bhushan Barma and Dr Nashid Kamal, the granddaughter of Abbasuddin, while the artists from West Bengal included the famous Bhawaiya singer and MLA, Dr Sukhbilas Barma (who is also president of the Abbasuddin Smaran Samiti); Siddheswar and Sumitra Roy, Bhawaiya singers from Jalpaiguri; Kalikaprasad Bhattacharya from the folk band Dohar; Bauls Shyam Sundar Das and Goutam Das; the nonagenarian, Amar Pal, who rendered a Bhatiali; and many others.
|Bhupati Bhushan Barma|
|Dr Nashid Kamal|
|Kalikaprasad Bhattacharya & Dohar|
|Sumitra Roy, Jalpaiguri|
|Dr Sukhbilas Barma|
|Dr Barma introduces Amar Pal who sang a Bhatiali|