Tagore Festival celebrates arts, education and ecology

A festival of of Anglo-Indian art, music and philosophy will celebrate the life of India’s Nobel Prize-winning poet and philosopher Rabindrinath Tagore, over the Easter weekend

Following the success of last year’s event, the Tagore Festival will take place at Dartington Hall, near Totnes in Devon. Tagore was an early visitor to Dartington Hall, inspiring Leonard Elmhirst, who worked with him in India, to set up an experiment in rural regeneration that would include education, the arts, agriculture and science, and an appreciation of nature.

This lives on today in the work that Dartington Hall does, through the arts and in transformational courses on sustainable living run though Dartington’s Schumacher College. Welcoming students, teachers and activists from all over the world, the College remains at the forefront of global thinking in ecology and social and economic change, offering short-course and postgraduate opportunities in areas such as sustainable horticulture and food production, new economics and holistic science.

“Rabindrinath Tagore was an inspiration for the foundation of Dartington” says the founder of Schumacher College, Satish Kumar, who will be speaking at this year’s festival. “At the College, and at Dartington more widely, we are continuing Tagores legacy that humanity needs to live in harmony with other human beings and with nature.”

“My greatest hope is that by holding this Tagore Festival we can become a catalyst in transforming the world towards greater sustainability and creative green living. As Dartington looks ahead into a new era, Tagore returns to guide us and lead the way once more”.

As well as speakers from Schumacher College, highlights will include performance from Andy Sheppard and Kuljit Bhamra, Zoe and Idris Rahman and Sheema Mukherjee, workshops on mbira and gamelan and theatre from Puppet State Theatre.

There will be plenty for children, including an Alternative Easter Egg hunt, workshops and storytelling plus opportunities for the whole family to just relax in the glorious grounds of the estate; meditating in the Japanese Zen garden, trying out al fresco Tai Chi, sampling the cuisine of Kerala or checking out the therapy tent.

The Tagore Festival runs from Friday 6 – Monday 9 April. Ticket prices per event from £6 (£3.50 concs). See end of article for website and contact details.

Video: Satish Kumar talking about Tagore’s influence on Dartington Hall