From one generation to another, noted contemporary singer Riddhi Bandopadhyay’s musical play Songstress, Aloy Fera will be an ode to that lost generation of actresses from Bengal who have traversed with equal ease from the stage to recorded music to celluloid.
Ten youngsters from Kolkata’s biggest red light area, Sonagachi and a handful of children from the transgender community of these areas will present a combination of song, dance and recitation in Riddhi’s latest creation at Rabindra Sadan on January 18.
Well known for her production ‘Pancho-Kobir Gaan’, Bandopadhyay’s new avatar will see youth from Sonagachhi Komol Gandhar (the Cultural wing of Durbar Mahila Samanyay Committee) recreate the magic of songstresses of yesteryears like Binodini, Angurbala, Indubala, Kanan Devi who were entertainers in every sense of the term but rose from “dubious” background.
Around 15 youngsters from Sonagachhi Komol Gandhar will showcase their talent in the cultural arena through this event. “Like the songstresses of yesterday, these children face the
same stigma just because their parents are sex workers.We are trying to create a platform for them here,” Bandopadhyay told Millennium Post.
She added that the phrase “Aloy Fera” means illumination or coming into light. “Just as the talented children of the red light area are being able to showcase their ability, the songstresses of yesteryears, their lives and struggles, whom the public has forgotten are coming to the fore through this musical”, she said. The play is of 90 minutes duration.
Those who will take part apart from Riddhi and children of Komal Gandhar are noted actor Soumitra Chattopadhay, Devajit Bandopadhyay, Diptendu Basu, Suchhanda Ghosh and Satinath Mukherjee.
Interestingly, the event will also see the felicitation of legendary songstress(cabaret queen) of the 70s , Shefali, by famous dance exponent Alokananda Roy and Satyajit Ray’s personal photographer, Nemai Ghosh.
Interestingly, Shefali had acted in two of Ray’s famous films, Seemabadhdha and Pratidwandi. Bandopadhyay will hand over some funds to the noted artist who is now 73 years old and has hit upon hard times.