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Inauguration of Utpal Sampa Kala Kendra
ICCR Auditorium
August 14, 2022 Kolkata

July 18, 2022

Utpal Sampa Kala Kendra, a maverick cultural start-up headed by Dr. Utpal K Banerjee, is all set to be inaugurated on the eve of India's 75th Independence Day.

Utpal Sampa Kala Kendra (USKK), a registered NGO, will begin its formal journey in life on August 14, 2022, at the ICCR auditorium, as sponsored by ICCR. Set up as a nascent body for sponsoring research, documentation, archiving and publication, USKK will like to ignite the minds of only individual talented artists to cut their teeth on creative and innovative areas that could lead to audio-visual research monographs - and not simple books - that would be relevant at a national level, be of modest goals and capable of speedy execution. Totally result oriented, these research outcomes should add value to their own areas of art and culture and, over a period of time, should become transformational.

Judging by the number of research projects already lined up even before the society has started to function formally, the enthusiasm is palpable. 'Re-imagining One Nation, One music' looks back beyond 800 years when, historically, Indian classical music system was unified and attempts to create a 'research model' is made of combining Hindustani and Carnatic music into a unified raga Swarna Deshi. The second project is 'Dance style of Uday Shankar (as per lessons under Amala Shankar)' where also a prototype has been completed.

On August 14, Swarna Deshi will be performed, together, by Iman Das, a noted singer from Patiala Gharana from Bengaluru and Lalitha-Nandini Muthuswamy, known globally as "Violin Sisters", from Chennai. The dance troupe of Aditi Singha (who, together with her sister Moushri Singha, had learnt the Uday Shankar grammar from Amala Shankar for 35 years) will present a vignette of their fledgling effort. What is more, the A-V research monograph on 'Re-imagining One Nation, One Music' will be released by Shubhi Publications, Gurgaon, on the same evening. Meenakshi Mishra, ICCR's new Regional Director, will be in the chair to inaugurate USKK, while Lubna Marium, Director 'Shadhona' from Bangladesh will be the Guest of Honour.

Evidently, there is a felt need of such hand-holding of individual artists for micro-research, as is seen from research projects already lined up by USKK, such as, Temple Music instruments of South India; Dhrupad music bonding with classical dance (exploring all eight recognized forms); Feminine Psyche in Folk Songs of Undivided Bengal; Laukik and Alaukik in Classical Dances; Growth and Spread of Chhau Dances in India; Power Symbols of Manipuri Femininity; Aesthetics of Shadow Puppets in India; Sutradhar as Storyteller from Kutiyattam to Ankiya Nat; Indian Veena in South-East Asian Music; and two Public Information Banks on Indian Puppeteers and Indian Theatre Groups. As though the above is not enough to start with, some more themes with artists are lurking behind the wings: The World of Carnatic Music; Dance: 360 Degrees (an evolutionary story); Theatre Titans in Contemporary India (Girish Karnad, Vijay Tendulkar, Mohan Rakesh; Badal Sircar); Contemporary Dance in Indian Metro cities; and Musical Resonance to Ragamala Paintings.

With such overflowing enthusiasm and no assured financial support yet, USKK could certainly do with some "angel funding"!

For more info, contact:
Dr.Utpal K Banerjee: / + 91 98100 15657

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