The biography of Chhau Dance exponent Kumari Bani, titled, Chhondobondhone Kumari Bani” was launched today in the presence of Raja Pratap Aditya Singh Deo, Descendent of Seraikella Rajbari, noted linguist Pabitra Sarkar,Educationist Dipankar Dasgupta, Musician Scientist Dr VM Kulkarni The book, which celebrates the life and accomplishments of the danseuse, is authored by daughter, Tilottama Das and published by Karigar. The evening was followed by a musical performance by Ajanta Chakrabarti & Payel Kar through songs of Tagore and other luminaries. The event was compèred by Rwitocheta Goswami.
Kumari Bani, known for nurturing the exquisite dance form Seraikella Chhou Naach, has a legacy that spans generations. The Mazumdar family, one of Kolkata’s most illustrious artistic lineages, played a pivotal role in inspiring Ms.Tilottama Das to compile this memoir. This book is a heartfelt tribute to a woman who redefined traditional dance forms and left an unforgettable Mazumdar mark on the cultural landscape.Kumari Bani’s siblings include noted litterateur Kamal Kumar Majumdar and distinguished artists Nirode Mazumder, Shanu Lahiri and along with nephew,Chittrovanu Mazumdar.
Seraikella Chhau Naach was a dance form that remained confined within the royal family for decades, where both female and lead roles were portrayed by only male dancers. Kumari Bani shattered these gender constraints and championed the cause of bringing this dynamic dance form to the masses. Her efforts resulted in the popularization of “Seraikella Chhau Naach” on both national and international stages. Later, upholding her mother’s wishes, Kumari Bani later secured admission to Kala Bhavan,Santiniketan to pursue further training in dance.Her interaction with Rabindranath Tagore polished her abilities even more, and she became a key element of many of Tagore’s dance productions. These choreographed shows, directed by Shantidev Ghosh, introduced additional aspects to her artistic journey.
“This book is inspired by my mother, Kumari Bani, a fearless young woman, whose passion for dance knew no bounds and her immense strength of character made her sacrifice her dreams to establish a family. I have encapsulated her remarkable journey,” said Ms Tilottoma Das.
This book stands as a testament to Kumari Bani’s unparalleled contributions to the world of art and culture. Her legacy continues to shine brightly, serving as a guiding light for generations to come. Chhondobondhone Kumari Bani is published by Karigar Publications is priced at Rs 400/- and will be available at Karigar / Kriti Books, Barna Parichay Building, Gate-3, First Floor, College Street. To order books Call/SMS/Whatsapp @ 9062123456 OR visit our shop at College Street, Kolkata.