Dramatic Moments: Photographs and Memories of Calcutta Theatre from the Sixties to the Nineties
Nemai Ghosh is best known for his photographs of Satyajit Ray at work and in his more private moments and moods, and his stills from Ray s films. Ghosh has exhibited at Cannes in 1991, at London in 1992, and several times at Calcutta and Delhi, and published a selection of his Ray collection, Satyajit Ray at 70: Photographs by Nemai Ghosh, with a preface by Henri Cartier-Bresson (Brussels 1991). His second collection of photographs forms a pictorial history of theatre in Calcutta over the last four decades. He concentrates on the experimental theatre groups of the city and its neighbourhood more than a hundred of them active at any given point of time with a repertoire that features the whole range of classical and modern dramaturgy from all over the world as well as original, indigenous works. The photographs capture the distinctive individualities of renowned directors, actors and actresses like Sombhu Mitra, Utpal Dutt, Tripti Mitra, Badal Sircar, Ajitesh Bandyopadhyay, Manoj Mitra, Bibhas Chakraborty, Keya Chakraborty, Kumar Roy, and others, in performance as well as in directorial presence. Commentaries by theatre critic Samik Bandyopadhyay contextualize the performances that are further illuminated by a selection of readings and memorabilia poems, directors notes, interviews, reminiscences.Ghosh had begun his artistic career as an actor, and brings to his theatre photography a strong subjective slant, the dramatic moments representing his own reading of situations, drawing on his memories and associations as an actor the outsider/recorder turning insider to catch a fleeting, delicate shade. As he puts it himself, As a viewer and as a man who had loved and been in theatre, I compose my shots to underscore the dramatic elements and thrusts.
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