TAGORE’S VISION - THE POETRY OF INDIA

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23 March 2013 6:30 pm

A unique coming together of Australian and Indian poetry with a visual feast of dance and music. Tagore's Vision highlighted the Poet Laureate of India Sri Rabindranath Tagore’s vision and the poetry of Australian poet, Kelvin Brown.

The evening unfolded with readings by Kelvin Brown of his poems, each interpreted through dance and music. This was followed by a dance ballet in the Indian genre of Tagore’s “Chandalika”, the story of the untouchable girl which highlights Tagore as a social reformer. The dance choreography reflected folk elements and village life in India. It ended with Kelvin Brown’s beautiful poem, aptly titled “Poetry of India” which was performed in a joyous dance, a contemporary choreographic take of the Thillana, the concluding dance in a traditional classical Indian dance repertoire.

This production was the result of an exciting and rewarding collaboration with the Australia India Institute, the Victorian College of the Arts, the poet and musician, Kelvin Brown, Indian music composers and artistic director Tara Rajkumar OAM's Natya Sudha Dance Company.

About Kelvin Brown:

Kelvin Brown is an Australian poet, musician, teacher, music producer and composer. He has worked extensively in music education. Kelvin has been a regular visitor to India for the past twenty four years and continues to be inspired by India’s ancient philosophy and spirituality.

His three poetry books in the series called Collector of Words: Matters of the Heart, the Soul and the Spirit have been launched in India to great acclaim. The first volume was launched in Pune in 1997 by the eminent Sanskrit scholar Professor Ramaranjan Mukherji, former Chancellor of the Tirupati Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha University. The second volume, with the Foreword written Professor Mukherji, was launched in Kolkata in 2004. In 2011 Kelvin was honoured to be invited to launch Collector of Words volume three at Santinikiten, the abode of the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. The launch was conducted by Professor Udaya Narayana Singh, Pro-Vice-Chanchellor Visva-Bharati University, in a program hosted by the Poetry Society of India.

Over the years, Kelvin has presented poetry readings to a wide range of audiences. These have included readings at The India International Centre, Sahitya Akademi, The National Library of India and The University of Mumbai as well as via Radio Gyanvani in Kolkata. Many Indian scholars have said that Kelvin is born in Australia but his heart is Indian. His poetry is greatly admired for its universal truth that transcends all cultures.

His three poetry books are having their Australian launch in Melbourne on Saturday evening March 23rd 2013 in collaboration with the Australia India Institute and the Victorian College of the Arts.

Kelvin’s reading of a selection of his poems on India will be complemented by music which he has composed in collaboration with Indian composer Jitendra Kulkani of Pune. The poetry will transform into a new dimension through the medium of traditional Indian dance by internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Tara Rajkumar. A highlight of the performance will be the introduction of the great Rabindranath Tagore with a condensed dance setting of his play Chandalika.

For more information on Kelvin please visit his website www.kelvinbrown.com.au   Order Collector of Words

About Tara Rajkumar:

Tara Rajkumar has contributed to dance, dance research and education, and cross cultural development over the past four decades. A graduate of Delhi University, she has performed the Indian classical dance forms of Mohiniattam and Kathakali and contemporary productions in many parts of the world from village halls and temples in India to prestigious venues such as the Sadlers Wells Theatre and the South Bank in London, the Sydney Opera House and the Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne. After her dance career in India, she moved to England in 1971. Her work there led to her founding the first National Academy of Indian Dance in 1979 with British government support. The Akadémi, as it is now called, has completed over thirty years of seminal contributions to dance from a South Asian base.

Tara established the acclaimed Natya Sudha Dance Company and School in Melbourne in 1985. A prolific choreographer, she was awarded a Choreographic Fellowship by the Australia Council. Her works and cross-cultural productions have been presented in Australia, India, the UK, South East Asia and New Zealand. Her Australian production, Temple Dreaming, was toured successfully in India at the invitation of the Government of India, supported by the Australia Council. Mohini the Divine Enchantress, was toured in the United Kingdom with support from the Arts Council of Great Britain and Australia Council.

She has developed courses and workshops for universities, art galleries and museums in the UK, India and Australia including the Victorian College of the Arts and the National Institute of Dramatic Art. She has contributed to multicultural arts initiatives through service in Committees such as the Australia Council’s Cultural Access team, the Dance Panel of Arts Victoria, the Greater London Arts Council and as a Board member of the international Green Mill Dance Festival.

Tara Rajkumar was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2009 for her service to performing arts. She was included in the Inaugural Victorian Honour Roll of Women Shaping the Nation on the occasion of Australia’s Centenary of Federation (2001) for her contributions to Victoria and the Nation in Arts and Education.