The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A dance show

Checked out the first celebrity dance show of competitive kind on Bengali television. Rituparna Sengupta-promoted Jhum Ta Ra Ra Ra debuted on ETV Bangla last Wednesday with a bunch of well-known young faces of Bengali tele. It is aired on every Wednesday and Thursday at 9.30 pm.

It is obviously inspired by Star One's big hit Nach Baliye which brought in a new genre of entertainment-based reality show on Indian television. The format has similarities. There are three judges- Tanushree Shankar, a danseuse, Prabhat Roy, a topline mainstream Bengali film director and actress-dancer Indrani Dutta, it has camera in the greenroom and a choreographer to work with every participant. But what is remarkable is the sheer attitude with which this show is attempted. Everybody surely knew that in production value and in terms of dancing talent the show will be far away from Nach Baliye. But the makers made good use of a limited budget and picked up the best available talent (Albeit some first choices either not available or refusing to take part in a competition). The Nitish Roy-designed set looks good.

I could not make it before the second episode. The participants are Debdut Ghosh, Soumili Biswas, Sagnik, Monami Ghosh, Deboleena Dutta and Sonali Choudhury. Soumili, Deboleena and Sonali are trained in classical dance (Deboleena teaches dance too). They attempted a mix of Hindi film numbers and Bengali modern song. Eye catchers were Deboleena's turn with Takhon tomar ekush bochhor bodh hoy fantasizing Uttam Kumar (Two boards of his photographs were kept on the stage) and Sagnik's Main hoon Don act. Monami looked glam in her costume modelled after the film (Taal) whose song Dil yeah bechain hai she swayed to.Tanushree couldn't help but let know that Sagnik looked attractive (Read hot) and would do well taking the overcoat off giving a hint of his well-built physique. Sagnik didn't blush but, as is common with a Bengali actor.

Sonali came in a ghaghra and a loose-fitting full choli. She hardly looks like a former model these days, with consistent weight-gain. But the costume didn't help. If she wasn't comfortable carrying off a ghaghr-choli she could've opted for a different number (She attempted a famous Jaya Prada number from Sargam).

Indrani was the toughest judge to please, as she didn't mince words. Prabhat Roy was the easiest with almost no negative comments. Tanushree struck the necessary balance. It was good to see Prabhat taking a note of the talent of local choreographers and promising to work only with them in his next project. He wondered why the directors (including him) always work with choreographers from Mumbai and Chennai where local talent can deliver so well.