Vancouver Tagore Society celebrates a multicultural spring festival

Photos: Syed Zaki Abdullah

EVERY year Bengali communities welcome spring through music, dance, and poetry. This long-lasting tradition got an added dimension of multiculturalism, for the third year in succession, at the Tagore Spring Festival 2017, where poets, musicians and an audience of different ethnicities and cultures joined the celebration.

The event was held at Surrey City Hall on Saturday, May 20.  Vancouver Tagore Society, which promotes Bengali culture and the works of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, organized the event with cultural grants from the City of Surrey.

Vocalist Lakshmi Menon led a session of Carnatic classical music accompanied by instruments such as mridangham, ghatam, and moorsing.

Sitar player Mohamed Assani, accompanied by Amarjeet Singh on tabla, presented North Indian classical music. Carla Shafer from the US, Korea-born poet Bong Ja Ahn, and Canadian poet Bernice Lever recited their poems.

Several dancers of different ages performed to live music and songs on different seasons in rural Bengal written by iconic Bengali poet and composer Kazi Nazrul Islam. Alex Parappilly performed vibrant dancing. Shankhanaad Mallick, Keka Sengupta and Avik Dey, accompanied by Sabuj Majumder, Tapas Biswas and Tom Hunter on instruments, presented songs. Arno Kamolika performed Bharatanatyam dance.