POST TIME: 23 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Four-day ‘Ocean Dance Festival’ kicks off in Cox’s Bazar
Nazir Hossain, from Cox’s Bazar

Four-day ‘Ocean Dance Festival’ kicks off in Cox’s Bazar

Artistes perform a dance at the opening ceremony at Mermaid Beach Resort in Cox’s Bazar.

The four-day grand dance event titled ‘Ocean Dance Festival 2019’, the first of its kind in the country, kicked off yesterday at the Mermaid Beach Resort in Cox’s Bazar. With the theme ‘Bridging the Gap, Nrityajog, Bangladesh Chapter of World Dance Alliance–Asia Pacific (WDA-AP) has organised the first edition of festival in Bangladesh. The festival has been taking place at two separate venues in Cox’s Bazar, one of the most attractive tourism hubs of Bangladesh.

Attending the festival yesterday morning, WDA-AP President Urmimala Sarkar said the festival is the result of our long-time hard work and pursuit. Alongside holding the annual general meeting of the WDA-AP, arranging this festival is a matter of both pride and joy for us. We thank everyone for attending the festival from far away.

Among others, WDA-AP vice president Lubna Marium, former president of the organisation, Yunyu Wang from Taiwan and Nrityajog president Anisul Islam Hiro also delivered speeches at the programme. Also, executive committee members of ‘Ocean Dance Festival’, Laila Hasan, Belayet Hossain Khan, Soma Mamtaz, Munmun Ahmed, Tabassum Ahmed and Tamanna Rahman were also present.

At the opening ceremony, Manipuri troupe from Sylhet played Pung (mridangam) and Banglar Dhol played dhol, while Nayeem Khan Dance Company performed a dance.

In the morning session, an audio-visual speech of internationally-acclaimed British Bangladeshi dance exponent Akram Khan was screened on the big screen. In his speech, he said, “Over the decades, the people around the world have been practising physical exercise in different civilisations. If this practice is done collectively, it gets stronger. All the important messages can be sent to the world easily.

In a separate seminar, two teachers of Chittagong University, Sultana Tanji and Latifa Yasmin presented their essays. Eminent German dance artiste Tomas Bunger conducted a workshop on the contemporary dance.

State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid inaugurated the festival as the chief guest at the afternoon. “This festival is a matter of joy for the country and cultural ministry. It should be arranged on a regular basis—we all will try it collectively,” the minister said in his speech.

The evening session of the first day opened with a performance titled ‘Trikone’ (Connectivities) by Ananya Dance Theatre from USA. Then, Shadhona Cultural Centre from Bangladesh enthralled the audience with their performance titled ‘Aye Amader Ongone’. Also, Huang Yu Ting from Taiwan, Anandita Khan from Bangladesh, Meghna Bhardwaj from India, Moumita Jaya from Bangladesh, Kolpotoru from Bangladesh, Zuairiyah Mouli from Bangladesh performed at the festival. Besides, Kristina Dolinina (Lithuania) and Shivani Verma (India), and also the artistes from Bangladesh, India and Hong Kong under the Choreo Lab Showcase by Canadian dance artiste Sashar Zarif brought their group performances on the stage.

Moreover, nationally-selected artistes from Bhabna and Nandan Kala Kendra, artistes Trina Majumder, Pradip Chandra Naha, Fifa Chakma and Dipa Khandakar peformed in the evening session.

However, the annual general meeting of World Dance Alliance–Asia Pacific (WDA-AP) has been taking place in Bangladesh from November 22 to 25.

About 100 foreign and 300 local dancers, teachers, researchers and choreographers from 15 countries, including Bangladesh, are set to perform during the four-day festival. The festival featuring paper presentations, seminars, workshops, live dance performances and more. l