Laser Art on "Glimpses of Rural Bengal" and "SWAMIJI" Wins the Heart of BAGC, Chicago
A packed St. Charles East High School Theater audience watches the show
(Left) Swami Ishatmananda, President of Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago speaks about
Swami Vivekananda and his contribution and impact in the society.
(Right) Manick Sorcar
explains how an art is created with laser beam
Invited guest Consul General Somnath Ghosh with his family
enjoys the show
(All photos above by Sinjan's Snapshots)
May 6, 2023. Saturday, 6 PM, Chicago, IL
The event was like never before.
BAGC, the 'Bengali Association of Greater Chicago', introduced Manick Sorcar to a packed audience at the St. Charles East High School Theater to display his hand-drawn laser art on two seperate productions: (1) Glimpses of Rural Bengal, and (2) SWAMIJI: A Documentary on the Life of Swami Vivekananda. Both were important in their own rights. 'Glimpses of Rural Bengal', had a compilation of Manick's laser art on the subject that was shown for the very FIRST TIME to the public; and 'SWAMIJI , a well-known laser documentary on Swami Vivekananda that had already conquired the world and came to win the heart of Chicago the third time.
"Tonight's event actually has three parts", Manick explained as he started his speech prior to the show, "We have a dance item in between the two, which actually is the Overture to 'SWAMIJI' laser show. It consists of a Prayer song to the Holy Trio, and 'Vandana' to Swami Vivekananda. Along with the laser art on screen there will be live dances by a group of five talented artistes of the Chicago community and we are excited about it".
Scenes from the 'Glimpses of Rural Bengal': (Upper left) Farmer ploughing after monsoon,
(Upper right) Boatman tackling his boat, (Lower left) 'Bhai Fonta' (celebrating the bonding between
a brother and his sister), (Lower right) After prayers, blowing a conch in the evening
(For more pictures, click here)
(Top) Sushmit Basu and Amrita Dutta, two emcees from BAGC helped in running the show smoothly,
while (Above) Heeah Banerjee, Priyanka Choudhuri, Naisha Ghosh, Mahasweta Ganguly and Esha Ghosh
- danced beautifully during
to the Holy Trio
and Vandana to
(All photos above by Sinjan's Snapshots)
Regarding the 'Glimpses of Rural Bengal' Manick said, "The culture of Bengal, well-known for its excellence in so many areas blended with social and religious activities, have lasted over fifteen hundred years. It is my intent to present that antiquity of a peaceful and beautiful rural life through a series of still pictures that I hand-painted with laser light as the medium. These are some of the scenes that stuck to my heart - some that I saw myself when I was a child, some that I heard from my parents and other elders, and some that still exists in rural Bengal. A good many of them I stylized with 'Alpana', an ornamental, floral design that also originated from rural Bengal. To me, the simple and peaceful elegance of the life style of rural Bengal is a form of art. I am thrilled to present that artistic perspective through the 21st Century technology of laser. Ladies and gentlemen, here is the 'Glimpses of Rural Bengal in the Laser Art of Manick Sorcar' - First Time ever shown in public!'
Manick briefly explained how two little mirrors are used to reflect the laser beam into joining dots, which eventually becomes the art; "I explain this to you so that you can appreciate how much effort has gone to develop each scene". Then the show started with the compilation of his art.
Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda in SWAMIJI
(Photo by Yuong Phu)
"You have seen the still graphics painted with laser; now you will see animations done with them", Manick said prior to the dance number. He then used a green laser pointer to draw graphics on screen, which magically took over the show leading to the portraits of the Holy Trio (Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda), and a 'Vandana' to Swami Vivekananda - finally, leading to the hour-long laser documentary on Swamiji, filled with laser art and animation.
The innovative one-hour documentary, which is recorded as the longest laser documentary on a human being, started with black and white original images from the pages of an old picture book. It showed famous scenes from the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago before arriving at the Columbus Hall of the Art Institute. There, Swami Vivekananda gives his famous speech at the Parliament of Religions, whose opening line produced a standing ovation that lasted over two minutes. As his message of religious tolerance is carried out and white doves are seen flying from the roof of the Art Institute, the pages flip back to the front page as the black and white images come to life in colorful laser graphics and visual effects to narrate the story from the beginning – all through the medium of the state-of-the-art laser lighting technology.
Manick and Shikha Sorcar
with BAGC President Debasis Chatterjee and the First Lady Supriti Chatterjee
At the end of the show, when Manick Sorcar and his wife Shikha came to take a bow, they were greeted with cheering applause from the jubilant audience, and were felicitated by BAGC President Debasis Chatterjee and the First Lady Supriti Chatterjee, who presented Manick Sorcar a plaque and his wife a bouquet of flowers.