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History of Anjan Dutta

by buzzer on Nov.22, 2009, under

Anjan Dutta has been a popular artist since 90's. Anjan Dutta's musical style is different from the other artists in the sense that it has simple tunes but it also contains a bit of western folk music. The lyrics of his songs are simple and natural. His music is somewhat influenced by blues, bluegrass,country music and folk. He is the first Bengali artist who used to depend more on the saxophone. He is a fan of Bob Dylan and his bengali contemporary Kabir Suman.

He is also an accomplished actor. In Bengali cinema, he started his career as an actor and his first film was "Chalachitro" which was directed by Mrinal Sen. At the Venice Film Festival he won the prize for the best newcomer actor. He has acted in Aparna Sen's film recently, "Mr. and Mrs. Iyer".

He has spend most of his early life in the mountains of North Bengal. He had his schooling from St. Paul's School in Darjeeling and did not get much opportunity to listen to traditional Bengali songs like Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti but western folk and country music around that time was well known to him. He had no plans to make career for himself as a singer initially. His father was a solicitor and wanted his son to take up a career in law but Anjan was more inclined to working in theaters and cinema.

Other than being an artist and a singer Anjan Dutta holds an MA degree in English literature from the Calcutta University, in India. He was inspired by his friends to take acting seriously as a profession. He started working in theaters with thespian Badal Sarkar while studying in the university. He joined a group called 'Open Theatre' in late 70's, and in early 80's performed translated plays of renowned foreign playwrights like Peter Weiss, Sartre, Jean Genet and Bertold Brecht. Though due to politically sensitive content, they faced many obstructions in producing and performing their plays, and eventually the group had to discontinue.

'Chalachitro' was the first feature film in which he was selected directed by Mrinal Sen. It was an unexpected break for him. For Anjan's performance the film got critical acclaim in the Venice Film Festival but for unknown reasons, it was never released commercially.

Though he did work as an actor in the film-making industry but he was more interested in doing art cinema or films with aesthetically sensible filmmakers rather than commercial mainstream cinema. After doing a few art films that were not so commercially successful scarcity of job opportunities forced him to take up jobs in advertising and later as a journalist for the Kolkata based newspaper, The Statesman.

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