Notir Puja (1932) - a film directed by Rabindranath Tagore shown at Nandan-II (Kolkata cinema hall)

Photo of Rabindranath Tagore, taken in 1905 or...

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May 30, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Rabindranath Tagore's famous poem Pujarini was adapted into a stage play titled "Natir Puja" by Tagore himself in 1926, who directed the first production in Shantiniketan in 1927. The drama production was a landmark in Bengali theater in the sense it brought respectability and appreciation for women actresses in Bengali stage theater. Before Notir Puja,  theater was considered inappropriate for women of respectable middle-class Bengali families. Rabindranath Tagore even took Notir Puja on a cross-country tour, and eventually directed the only film ever in his career, released in 1932 under the banner of the venerable New Theaters Limited. Notir Puja (1932) featured music by Dinendranath Tagore and cinematography by Nitin Bose.

Dr. Mandakranta Bose writes in his acclaimed book Speaking of Dance: The Indian Critique - New vistas in Indian performing arts, “By his efforts, Tagore dispelled the social taboo once attached to dancing”. Indian classical dance is considered a 'high art'. In ancient India, it was even venerated as a 'sacred' act. In his book, Dr. Mandakranta Bose examines the vast Sanskritic textual corpus on dance in an attempt not only to reconstruct India's two-millenia long dance tradition, but also to dispel historical and aesthetic misconceptions about it.

According to Radio Bangla Net,  Nandan, West Bengal Film Development Centre and Tapan Sinha Foundation recently organized a week long Film Festival on Rabindranath Tagore during May 20-26, 2010 at Nandan II, Calcutta, titled "Cholochchitre Rabindranath", as part of commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary (Rabindra Jayanti) of Rabindranath Tagore. Films shown in the festival included Notir Puja (1932) directed by Rabindranath Tagore, Debaki Bose's "Arghya" based on four poetries by Tagore, Hemen Gupta's Kabuliwala (Hindi) produced by Bimal Roy and many other Tagore-related Indian cinematographic gems.

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