Celebrating the universal language

From left: Chandni, Sukla Sarkar and Riya

From left: Chandni, Sukla Sarkar and Riya

“In thy dance, Divine Dancer,
Freedom finds its image and dreams their forms.
Its cadence weaves the threads of things and unwinds them for ages;
Charms the atom’s rebellion into beauty,
Gives rhythm to the symphony of the stars; thrills life with pain,
And churns up existence into surging joys and sorrows”
— Rabindranath Tagore

 

There is something very mystical about dance; it adds a lot of allure and beauty to the artiste, captivating the hearts of the audience.

International Dance Day is being celebrated today throughout the world. Bangladesh is joining the celebration too with all the dancers and dance enthusiasts actively taking part. On the occasion, some of the renowned Bangladeshi dancers have shared their views with The Daily Star:

 

Sukla Sarkar: “Dance to me is a way of worshipping and I treat it like an offering to God. To me it is one of the best means to get connected to God.” Talking about an age when western attitudes are becoming the norm and cultural fusion the rage amongst the young, the dancer comments, “With changing sensibilities, the parental attitude has also shifted significantly. Nowadays, parents are encouraging their children to take up dance. However, youngsters of today lack the passion and dedication that can drive them to be good artistes. They are restless and are on the look out for instant fame and fortune.

“Many youngsters want to learn dance in a short period, go on stage and perform and then move on to something else. The world moves so fast now, none has any patience to learn thoroughly or delve deep into art. Unfortunately, dance is a process which has to be honed forever, and requires a lot of practice and perseverance.”

Sukla adds, “We have to recognise and value our traditions. Awareness towards traditional dance is required if we want to showcase our rich and vibrant culture across the globe.”

 

Chandni: “Dance is something I was born to do. I have been dancing since I was a child. Dance to me is an addiction, a fascination; it makes me happy when I dance. That’s why I am so passionate about it.”

She continues, “I participated in the Dance Festival to celebrate the International Dance Day at Shilpakala Academy. It was a two-day festival held on the 25th and 26th of this month that brought about a colourful panorama and festivity to the occasion. Various dancers from different divisions and areas of the country partook in the festival. Famous dancers and dance troupes also participated in this special event.

“The importance of this day is no less than Eid to me, as I have always celebrated this day with full zest and vigour. However I would also like to see this performing art form get more popular and accepted. The government can play a positive role here. This art form should become a part of school and college curriculum, and should be properly presented.

“Youngsters will show appreciation and interest only if they understand its history and origin. We also require high quality academies with excellent teachers to train the students. Private and public universities should provide higher education and open Dance Departments. Every artiste requires proper support from the family, so that is another important element as well. After all it is only through dance that we can depict the cultural aspect of any civilisation.”

 

Riya: “Dance to me is everything, it is my existence, and with it beats my heart as it involves spiritual existence.” Elucidating her ideas on International Dance Day, she says “Every day is a day of dance for me. But I guess one particular day has been kept apart to create more awareness in dance and to let people know that we have a very rich tradition of dance. After all it is dance that can transform an ordinary mortal to a self-attained entity. The rhythmic footwork, body movements, use of eyes and eloquent gestures of the actors in a performance visually aid the comprehension of a play. Dance is a form through which one can put one’s thought and feelings into action with the help of facial expressions and body language.

“Youngsters of today are not fully aware of this unique and beautiful art. Everybody wants to become a star nowadays and sadly they use dance as a base and tool in that regard. We need more dedication and commitment from the students. ”

Conversing about celebrating this occasion she says, “I was a part of the Dance Festival held at the Shilpakala Academy inaugurated on the 25th of this month. We started by putting dancing bells on the dancing feet replicas. The event saw a magnificent array of dance with a foretaste of subtle and sublime entertainment embodying philosophy, beauty and human values. The applause, the feedback and the consensus of the audience said everything about the festival.”

 

The writer is a freelance contributor Courtesy : The daily Star
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