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Janus Helms Art And Theater Under One Roof

Rita Bhimani

Kolkata, the city of the arts, got one more boost for its cultural connect with the start of Janus, a Centre for the Visual and Performing Arts. Helmed by theater personality and Cordon Bleu Chef Sunshine aka Sanchayita Bhattacharya Alam, and husband Mahmud Alam, a theater director and successful businessman who has pioneered upholstery leather manufacturing in India, this venture has been established as a not-for-profit organization.

Janus is Sanskrit for birth, origin and creation and the center has a unique combo of a White Cube and Black Box—the former an exhibition space and the latter a fifty seater theater complete with all the accoutrements required for professional productions. Janus aims at bridging the gap between the arts “in order to facilitate and encourage inter-disciplinary work and showcasing new, contemporary and innovative work.”

The inaugural day, 28th of June, saw a large gathering of theater personalities as well as leading artists of the city whose works were on display at White Cube. On the 30th and 1st July, East Side Stories was staged at Black Box, which had been adapted from short stories by Dibyendu Palit, Selina Hossain and Manik Bandopadhyay. The design and direction was by Mahmud Alam and was enacted by Sanchayita Bhattacharjee − both performances ran to houseful audiences. The three vignettes were designed to showcase the desperation, bewilderment and pain of the people uprooted from their homes in connection with the partition of Bengal.

The Center will see on the 7th and 8th July a performance by well-known theater artiste Usha Ganguly showcasing Antaryatra, a show which has been performed across the world from Dhaka to Pakistan, USA and a host of places in India. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets available from 9836955998.