2016: A FESTIVE YEAR FOR THE ARTS | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 30, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 30, 2016

REARVIEW MIRROR

2016: A FESTIVE YEAR FOR THE ARTS

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2016 is just one more day to go, and it's safe to say this has been a fantastic year for arts of all forms – be it music, dance, theatre, visual arts or films. Cultural organisations remained active throughout the year. Festivals -- big and small -- were spread across the calendar, from grandiose International ones like Dhaka Art Summit, Asian Art Biennale and Bengal Classical Music Festival, to ones surely making a mark – like Dhaka International Folk Fest and Ganga-Jamuna Theatre Fest and even more niche ones like Nazrul Mela and Chhayanaut's Kathak festival, every culture-loving Bangalee had enough to indulge in. “Aynabaji” brought audience back to cinemas in hoards while other films held Bangladesh's reputation at international festivals, and the terror that struck the nation in July was defied by thousands who came out to join celebrations of our culture, music and heritage, wherever it happened. As we prepare to embrace a brand new year just around the corner, here is a fond look back at the year that passed us by, in the fields of arts and entertainment. 

Bangladesh Cultural Festival at BSA

The first Bangladesh Cultural Festival was held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). The 18-day (January 1-18) cultural festival, aiming to build an artistically and culturally rich, creative and humanistic Bangladesh, took place at Nandanmancha of BSA. Organised by BSA, the artistes of all the District Shilpakala Academies offered performances of music, dance, recitation, acting and traditional folk items. 

Yearlong celebrations of Shah Abdul Karim's birth centenary

In celebration of Baul Samrat Shah Abdul Karim's birth centenary, a yearlong programme began in February in Dhaka. A three-day programme was held in Sylhet first, and then in other parts of the country. The celebrations will wrap up in February 2017.  

Photo: Star

CELEBRATING LIFE 2015 GALA HELD

The awards ceremony of Standard Chartered-The Daily Star Celebrating Life 2015 took place at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on January 10. Actress Babita, photographer Afzal H Chowdhury and lyricist Alauddin Ali received Lifetime Achievement Awards for their monumental contributions to Film, Photography and Music respectively. Popular band Chirkutt performed at the programme while Sabina Yasmin and Syed Abdul Hadi performed songs penned by Alauddin Ali.

SADARANG'S CLASSICAL MUSIC CONFERENCE IN CHITTAGONG 

The 19th National Classical Music Conference was held at Chittagong District Shilpakala Academy auditorium. Organised by Sadarang Uchchanga Sangeet Parishad Bangladesh, the two-day conference featured vocal and instrumental music performances by the artistes from all over Bangladesh and Kolkata, India. 

MEMORIAL FESTIVAL ON SELIM AL DEEN 

Marking death anniversary of Selim Al Deen, a towering figure of Bangla theatre in post-Rabindranath era, Dhaka Theatre held a four-day programme at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The event was supported by the Shilapakala Academy and Bangladesh Graam Theatre.

Photo: Star

DHAKA INTERNATIONAL FILM FEST HELD

The 14th edition of the Dhaka International Film Festival opened in Dhaka with the theme “Better Film, Better Audience, Better Society”. Organised by Rainbow Film Society, the weeklong festival featured screening of 184 films from 60 countries across four venues.

BANGLADESHI ARTISTS AT PRUDENTIAL EYE AWARDS 

The third edition of the Prudential Eye Awards 2016 was held at Singapore as part of Singapore Art Week. Internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi artists Shumon Ahmed and Promotesh Das vied for awards in two categories -- Photography and Sculpture respectively, where Shumon Ahmed received the award in photography category.

9TH INT'L CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL HELD

The ninth edition of International Children's Film Festival Bangladesh was held at 15 venues in Dhaka, Sylhet and Rajshahi. In addition to the screening of over 150 films, the event also featured competitions in a number of categories, a seminar, workshop and more. 

MADHU MELA WRAPS UP AT SAGARDARI

Madhu Mela, an annual festival celebrating the 191st birth anniversary of the pioneer of Bengali sonnets, poet Michael Madhusudan Dutta, ended on January 28 at Sagardari, Jessore. Thousands of people from different parts of the country and abroad visited the weeklong festival and fair, the largest in south-western Bangladesh. 

BOOK FAIR RETURNS WITH THE SPIRIT OF AMAR EKUSHEY

In line with previous years, Amar Ekuhsey Book Fair returned in February with its ever-buoyant spirit. The month-long fair, the largest and most popular book fair in Bangladesh, was commenced on February 1at Bangla Academy premises and the adjacent Suhrawardi Udyan.

INT'L POETS SUMMIT AT BSA

The inauguration ceremony of Kathak International Poets Summit 2016 was held at National Art Gallery auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. A group of renowned poets from Sweden, Slovakia, Morocco and Taiwan joined the summit, along with ace Bangladeshi poets. The event featured different programmes including recitation, award giving ceremony, views-exchange and discussion where rising Bangladeshi poets interacted with noted local and international poets.

DHAKA ART SUMMIT ENTHRALLS ART LOVERS

With a call to celebrate the world's largest non-commercial research and exhibition platform for South Asian Art, the third edition of Dhaka Art Summit returned to the capital's Shilpakala Academy on February 5. The four day summit, jointly organised by Samdani Art Foundation in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Bangladesh Tourism Board, as well as over 50 international partners offered a cornucopia of diverse art: be it fine, video, installation, photography, performance, architecture, film, critical writing, artists' talks and more.

CHANDRASHEKHAR PERFORMS IN THE CAPITAL

Padmabhushan Professor Chandrashekhar, a Bharatnatyamn dancer, musician, composer, choreographer, vocalist, natuvanar, dance teacher and researcher, conducted two dance workshops at Savar and at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on invitation from dance school Nritya Nandan. The living legend also performed in a magical in his showcase at the concluding event. 

PAHELA FALGUN CELEBRATIONS ACROSS THE CAPITAL 

The arrival of Pahela Falgun, was greeted with a profusion of flowers, poetry, songs and dances in the capital and all across the country. Dhaka wore a festive look on the first day of Bangla month of Falgun. Jatiya Boshonto Utshab Udjapon Parishad organised cultural programmes across the capital, centred at Bakultala of Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University. The second phase saw cultural performances at Dhanmondi's Rabindra Sarobar, Bahadur Shah Park in Old Dhaka and Uttara Secot 7 Park field, and featured a wide range of music, dance and recitation performances.

JIBANANANDA UTSHAB IN BARISAL

A four-day Jibanananda Utshab to observe the 117th birth anniversary of influential modern Poet Jibanananda Das was on at Ashwini Kumar Hall with a call for more study and research on him. The festival was organised by Barisal district administration and included discussion, a book fair and cultural functions on the premises.

Photo: Star

JOY BANGLA CONCERT MAKES A COMEBACK

On the occasion of the historic March 7, an audience of around 30,000 youths gathered at the capital's Army Stadium to sing along with their favourite bands at the Joy Bangla Concert. Young Bangla and the Centre for Research and Information (CRI) arranged the musical extravaganza. The concert saw power-packed performances of seven leading bands-- Warfaze, Shironamhin, Shunno, Arbovirus, Lalon, Cryptic Fate and Nemesis.

THREE-DAY LALON FESTIVAL IN KUSHTIA

A three-day Lalon Smaran Utshab (Lalon Memorial Festival) was held at the shrine of Lalon Shah at Chheuria in Kushtia. Introduced by Lalon himself, the festival is held every year to celebrate Dol Purnima, where followers of Lalon's music and philosophy from all across the country come together. 

NATIONAL FILM DAY OBSERVED

Elaborate programmes were held in the capital on April 3 to mark National Film Day. Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) chalked out celebrations to mark the occasion. Programmes included a red carpet reception, live talk show, photo exhibition, film screening, and a fair – featuring puppets, nagordola, and bioscope. 

Photo: Star

THE NATION USHERS IN PAHELA BAISHAKH

Marking Chaitra Sangkranti and Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year 1423, leading cultural organisations and schools Chhayanaut, Faculty of Fine Art (FFA) of University of Dhaka (DU), Shurer Dhara and Bengal Foundation ushered in Noboborsho through various programmes. The festivities included the traditional programme at the Ramna Botomul, the Mongol Shobha Jatra (that was recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity later this year), Hajaro Konthe Borshoboron were some of the biggest attractions of the day. 

JOYPURHAT FINE ART FESTIVAL BRINGS SUCCESS

To inspire creativity and to diffuse practice of science and culture among students of rural schools, the first Joypurhat Fine Art Festival was held in March at Teghar High School premises, Joypurhat. A five-day (April 18-23) art exhibition, featuring outcomes of the fine art festival, began on April 18 at Zainul Gallery in Dhaka. 

Brss holds five day festival

Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Shangstha (BRSS) held a five day festival to celebrate Rabindranath Tagore's 155th birthday from May 4-8 at Shawkat Osman Auditorium of Central Public library. An award was conferred upon Tagore artiste Hamida Haque on the opening day, and the event featured solo performances of 120 Tagore singers, as well as a dance drama titled “Chandalika” by Nrityanandan.

SEVEN LUMINARIES WIN SHILPAKALA AWARD '15

BSA awarded seven luminaries from different fields with Shilpakala Award 2015. The ceremony took places at the National Theatre Hall where President Abdul Hamid conferred awards upon the winners. The winners of this year are Saleha Chowdhury (dance), Nadira Begum (folk culture), Kazi Borhanuddin (theatre), Sujeyo Shyam (instrumental music), Nikhil Sen (recitation), Syed Abdul Barq Alvi (fine art) and Minir Humar Nandi (vocal music). 



CHHAYANAUT'S RABINDRA FESTIVAL HELD

Chhayanaut's two-day Rabindra Utshab was held at their main auditorium. Eminent writer-cultural personality Mafidul Haque welcomed all at the festival. The event witnessed performances by artistes of Nritya Nandan, Tagore artistes who rendered solo and choral songs, and recitations.



STAR MELODIES CELEBRATE TAGORE'S LYRICAL/DANCE-DRAMAS

Star Melodies held a soiree highlighting songs of Tagore's lyrical dramas and dance dramas. The programme featured songs by promising young Tagore artistes Shuma Roy, Shimu De, Chhaya Karmakar, Nayeema Islam Raj, Dipanjan Mukherjee, Mustafizur Rahman, Anupam Kumar Paul and Jibon Chowdhury. Eminent dance exponent Sharmila Banerjee performed with her troupe at the event. 

NATIONAL FILM AWARDS 2014 HANDED

Winners of the 2014 National Film Awards received their statuettes from the Prime Minister at a ceremony in the capital. First time awardees included actors Tariq Anam Khan and Bidya Sinha Mim, Belal Khan, while Ferdous picked up his fourth career award at the ceremony. 

KATHA LALITAKALA ACADEMY HONOURS GUNIJAN

Marking its 23rd anniversary, Katha Lalitakala held a programme which featured a reception of noted personalities, where the organisers honoured three noted singers this year – Sadya Afreen Mallick, Amena Ahmed, and Rehana Siddiqui.

TAGORE'S PAINTINGS EXHIBITED AT BNM

Marking 155th birth anniversary of the Rabindranath Tagore, an exhibition showcasing his paintings was showcased at Bangladesh National Museum (BNM). Besides the Bard's works, the exhibit also displayed a number of photographs of Tagore, his friends and family, as well as several artists of both the east and west of his time.

BNAP CELEBRATES NAZRUL'S BIRTHDAY

Bangladesh Nazrul Abritti Parishad (BNAP) organised a gala evening of talks, songs and poetry recitation at the Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of Central Public Library to celebrate the 117th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. The programme was presided over by BNAP president professor Shaila Ahmed.

Photo: Star

NAZRUL'S RAAGA-BASED SONGS AT STAR MELODIES

The Daily Star's regular initiative Star Melodies held a musical evening at the AS Mahmud Seminar Hall of The Daily Star Centre marking the National Poet's 117th birth anniversary. Subir Nandi, Yasmin Mushtari, Priyanka Gope, Sheikh Jashim and Chhanda Chakrabarty presented Nazrul Islam's kabya-geeti and Raaga-based songs.

 

CHHAYANAUT'S MUSICAL HOMAGE TO NAZRUL

Chhayanaut organised a two day programme marking Kazi Nazrul's birth anniversary at its main auditorium. The event featured dance, musical performances and recitation from artistes of the leading music school, as well other promising and noted artistes. 

AWARDS HANDED TO THE BEST IN BANGLADESHI MUSIC

The Symphony-Channel i Music Awards honoured artistes, lyricists and composers in 17 categories. Eminent singer Shahnaz Rahmatullah was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. A number of artistes and bands performed in the evening, with noted personalities of the music industry in attendance.

ART WEEKEND AT SEVEN EMBASSIES

Ambassadors of Brazil, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and High Commissioner of Canada hosted a joint art weekend on May 27-28 at their respective residences. The weekend highlighted the works of Bangladeshi artistes, to build bridges between the Bangladeshi and international art scene.

AFD CELEBRATES WORLD MUSIC DAY

Alliance Française de Dhaka celebrated Fete de la Musique 2016 in June, where individual and group songs presented in Bangla, English and French by the students and teachers of French at AFD were featured. 

ASIAN FILM RETROSPECTIVE COMMENCES

Asian Film Retrospective 2016, an event organised by Moviyana Film Society and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy was held in July. The event screened 65 films from 19 countries over a 17-week period. The Retrospective featured discussions on Asian films and noted Asian film makers.

SABINA YASMIN CONFERRED FEROZA BEGUM MEDAL

To pay tribute to legendary singer Feroza Begum, Dhaka University launched a musical award named after her. The ceremony was held on the birthday of the singer (July 28) at Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of Dhaka University. The first award of this honour was conferred on noted singer Sabina Yasmin by Vice Chancellor Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique. 

BAUL ROB FAKIR PASSES AWAY

Baul Rob Fakir, one of the foremost exponents of Lalon's songs, breathed his last on August 7 at the age of 49 at a local hospital in Kushtia. Family members said he had a stroke and left behind his wife, a son, a daughter, and a number of disciples and fans.

BANGABANDHU REVISITED THROUGH ARTS

Marking National Mourning Day on August 15, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy held a monthlong programme showcasing the Father of the Nation on diverse art media. BSA director general Liaquat Ali Lucky and other officials inaugurated the exhibition titled “Shilper Aloye Bangabandhu.” The event featured features 150 artworks by 148 noted artists including, Biren Shome, Ahmed Shamsuddoha, Sheikh Afzal, Shahjahan Ahmed Bikash, Mohammad Alaptagin Tushar, Md. Kamaluddin and Abul Kalam Azad. 

Shilpakala's homage to Tagore

Marking the 75th death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy arranged a programme on August 6 at its National Theatre Hall. Cultural Affairs Secretary Akhtari Momtaz attended the event as chief guest while Dr. Akhtar Kamal and Dr. Binayak Sen discussed the life and works of Tagore. The event featured recitation, song renditions, dance recitals and a dance-drama “Bhanushingher Padabali.”

NAZRUL AWARD 2015 ACCORDED

The Nazrul Award 2015 was conferred on eminent Nazrul Sangeet exponent Sadya Afreen Mallick and Prof Abu Hena Abdul Awal. Nazrul Institute organised the ceremony at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum marking the 40th death anniversary of our National Poet. 

MUSTAFA MONWAR'S BIRTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATED  

As September 1 marked the 81st birth anniversary of eminent artist Mustafa Monwar, Director's Guild, an organisation of Television Drama Directors, befittingly paid homage to the living legend in celebration of his birth anniversary through a programme at the National Theatre Hall auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Dance school Nrityanchal performed at the event while a number of noted cultural personalities shared memories of the artist's life and work.

FAROOKI APPOINTED BUSAN JURY

Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, one of the forerunning filmmakers taking Bangladeshi films to an international audience, has had a long-standing connection with the Busan Film Festival. Farooki was invited to join this year's festival (held October 6-15) as a jury in the Sonje Award – for short films. Bangladeshi director Golam Rabbani Biplob also joined the festival as a NETPAC Award jury.

TAUQUIR BAGS BEST DIRECTOR AT DCSAFF

Tauquir Ahmed added another accolade in the international film festival scene with “Oggyatonama”, bagging the Best Director Award at the South Asian Film Festival held at Washington DC. Previously, the director had also won awards for best director at Kosovo's film festival “The Goddess on the Throne” and the Gulf of Naples Film Festival. The film was also named Bangladesh's entry to the Academy Awards. 

NATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL HELD 

With an anti-militancy theme “E Mati Noy Jongibaad-er, E Mati Manobotar”, Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) together with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organised an 18-day National Theatre Festival at four venues: National Theatre Hall, Experimental Theatre Hall and Studio Theatre Hall of BSA, along with Mahila Samity Mancha in Dhaka. A total of 60 theatre troupes and organisations including 33 from Dhaka Metropolitan and 27 for eight divisions of Bangladesh took part in the festival with their popular productions.



BHABNA PREMIERES DANCE-DRAMA “SHAKUNTALA” 

Bhabna, one of the most promising dance companies of Bangladesh, premiered their latest production “Shakuntala”, directed by renowned Manipuri dancer Samina Husain Prema, at the National Auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The story, which was based on great poet Kalidasa's 5th-century literary masterpiece “Abhigyan Shakuntalam”, was depicted through a careful combination of Kazi Nazrul Islam's songs which played precisely into the narrative. 

Syed Shamsul Haq passes away

Eminent litterateur Syed Shamsul Haq passed away at United Hospitals in Dhaka on September 27, at age 81. He was undergoing treatment at Oncology department. Earlier on April 15, Haq was flown to UK for treatment at Royal Marsden Hospital as he had been suffering from critical lungs disease. Haq was a seminal short-story writer, novelist, playwright and a very popular poet. He was the recipient of the Bangla Academy Award in 1966, Ekushey Padak in 1984 and Swadhinata Padal Award in 2000 for his contributions to Bangla literature.



Bangladesh Short and Documentary Film Fest held

The weeklong “Bangladesh Short and Documentary Film Festival 2016 began on September 2 at all 64 District Shilpakala Academies. Organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, the Federation of Film Societies of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Short Film Forum and Bangladesh Documentary Council assisted the festival. This year, the festival featured 84 films. A five-member selection committee chose 35 short films and 29 documentaries for screening from 200 submissions. Besides, 11 previous documentaries with nine short films were selected for screening at the festival.

Photo: Star

“Aynabaji” creates ripples on release

Amitabh Reza's directorial debut “Aynabaji” became the epicenter of the Bangladeshi showbiz in the first week of its release, with a torrential flow of people rushing to the cinema halls. Backed by strong endorsement from the film and media fraternity, it has generated largely positive reviews among the audience as well. The story of Sharafat Karim Ayna (played by Chanchal Chowdhury) continued a dominant runs in cinemas for months, drawing cinema-goers at an unprecedented level. 

Chhayanaut holds Autumn Festival

Ushering in the season of autumn, the country's leading cultural school Chhayanaut held a 'Sharat Utshab' (Autumn Festival) at Bakultola, Faculty of Fine Art, Dhaka University. Teachers and students of the school welcomed the season with songs, dances and recitations. A number of promising artistes rendered solos and chorus songs, along with group dance performances. 

Ganga-Jamuna Fest held

The Ganga-Jamuna Theatre and Cultural Festival, one of the major cultural festivals of the country, saw its curtains rise at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on October 21. The ten-day festival, in its fifth edition this year, featured a staggering 82 cultural troupes from Bangladesh and India performing stage plays, music, dance, recitation and street theatre at the three theatre halls of BSA, and the open stage. The festival was dedicated to Syed Shamsul Haq. 

Nazrul Mela at Bangla Academy

Nazrul Sangeet Shilpi Parishad (NSSP) organised a three-day Nazrul Mela at the Bangla Academy premises from October 27-29. The three days' programmes were dedicated to Abbasuddin Ahmed Feroza Begum and Sohrab Hossain. A number of eminent Nazrul artistes performed at the festival, which also featured discussions, poetry recitation and songs by representatives of 61 branches of the NSSP from all over Bangladesh, and had book and CD stalls. 

BDAA holds nationwide dance competition

Bangladesh Dance Artists' Association (BDAA) arranged a nationwide dance competition on the basis of age and theme. The programme for the final competition opened on October 23. This was the third consecutive year BDAA in association with BSA organised the competition at National Music, Dance and Recitation Centre auditorium of BSA.  

Black release “Un-Manush”

After a five-year hiatus since their self-titled album in 2011, alternative rock band Black released their fifth studio album, titled “Un-Manush” through a concert at the Russian Cultural Centre. The album was released under the banner of G-Series.

Zainul Abedin Gallery gets new lease of life

The Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Gallery at the Bangladesh National Museum (BNM) got a new lease of life, thanks to the initiative of BNM and financial support of IFIC Bank Limited. Drik provided technical assistance to the makeover. The interior, background, framing of the works, lighting and digital display of more than 100 paintings were praiseworthy, but there were some issues with the design and curation of the gallery. 

STAR MELODIES PAY HOMAGE TO GREATS OF BANGLA MUSIC 

Commemorating 25 years of The Daily Star, Star Melodies held a two-part special musical programme, paying tribute to 25 noted composers of Bangla Nagorik songs. The first segment featured songs of Tagore, DL Ray, Atulprasad Sen, Rajanikanta Sen, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Raichand Boral, Sailesh Dutta Gupta, Sachin Dev Burman, Himangshu Dutta, and Kamal Dasgupta on November 5 at the AS Mahmud Seminar Hall of The Daily Star Centre. The second episode on December 17 at the same venue featured songs of Subal Dasgupta, Robin Chattopadhyay, Abdul Ahad, Manna Dey, Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, Salil Chowdhury, Nachiketa Ghosh, Satinath Mukhopadhyay, Khan Ataur Rahman, Sudhin Dasgupta, Shyamal Mitra, Satya Saha, Robin Ghosh, Khandaker Nurul Alam and Alauddin Ali.

CITI BANK HONOURS RUNA LAILA 

Runa Laila, a living legend of the Bangladeshi music industry, was conferred the “Gaan-e Gaan-e Gunijon Shongbordhona” conferred by Citi Bank, marking the Golden Jubilee of her career. Runa Laila has recorded more than 10,000 songs in different languages, and is a popular figure all across the sub-continent. 

“DOOB” GETS INTO CONTROVERSY 

“Doob”, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki's latest big screen venture starring major international film star Irrfan Khan, was reported in an Indian newspaper to be based on the iconic Bangladeshi novelist Humayun Ahmed's life. With the social media exploding with reaction over the news, Farooki clarified that it was a work of fiction and not a biopic. 



ORIENTAL PAINTING EXHIBITION HELD 

The 6th Oriental Painting Exhibition 2016, organised by Oriental Painting Study Group (OPSG) in association with The Daily Star and the Department of Oriental Art, University of Dhaka, was held at the Zainul Gallery. A total of 83 artworks by 77 artists, including 37 Bangladeshi and 14 Indian artists were on display. 

Photo: Star

DHAKA INT'L FOLK FEST HELD 

The Dhaka International Folk Festival opened on November 10. Pallavi Dance Centre, Abdur Rahman Baul, Tuntun Baul, Scottish guitarist Simon Thacker's Swara Kanti (featuring Raju Das Baul and Farida Yasmin), Pakistani quwwal Javed Bashir, and Bangladesh's own Momtaz, enthralled tens of thousands on the first day. Jalal, Latif Sarkar, Canadian multi-instrumentalist Prosad, Indian band Indian Ocean, Labik Kamal Gaurob and Baul Shafi Mondol, Spanish artistes Karen Lugo and Ricardo Moro, and Indian folk-pop sensation Kailash Kher were the attractions of the second night while on the concluding night, the festival saw performances from Sunil Karmakar, Bari Siddiqui, Nooran Sisters from India, Taposh and Friends, British guitarist Sam Mills and vocalist Susheela Raman, and Paban Das Baul.  

“SHILPI'R PASHE FOUNDATION” LAUNCHED

In a bid to offer support to ailing or terminally ill artistes, the Shilpi'r Pashey Foundation was launched in the capital. The initiative was taken by DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq. The venue witnessed a big turnout of distinguished artistes and other esteemed guests who expressed their solidarity with the cause. Eminent musical personalities Alauddin Ali and Lucky Akhand were the first recipients of the foundation's monetary aid, along with yesteryears playback singer Shammi Akher. 

FIRST WEAVERS FESTIVAL HELD 

The first International Weavers Festival took place at the capital's Army Museum field, with a display of indigenous Asian fabrics and designs. The three-day festival was aimed at showcasing and boosting our traditional fabrics and weaves with participation of 25 fashion brands from home and abroad. It also included mock village and concerts.

CELEBRATING LIFE HONOURS CULTURAL ICONS 

The Daily Star-Standard Chartered Celebrating Life competition held its 2016 gala in October, where three eminent personalities of the cultural fraternity -- composer Alam Khan, thespian Ferdausi Majumdar and veteran cinematographer Reza Latif were honoured with lifetime achievement awards. Winners of the competition in film, photography and lyrics categories on the theme “Youth in Change” were also handed their awards. The gala featured performance of songs by noted artistes and as concert by popular singers and bands Arnob, Tahsan, Joler Gaan and Chirkutt.  

Photo: Star

BENGAL CLASSICAL FEST DRAWS THOUSANDS OF MUSIC LOVERS 

The fifth edition of the Bengal Classical Music Festival opened in the capital on November 24, as Dhaka braced itself for unforgettable performances by the world's biggest stars of Indian Classical Music. The five-day festival, like previous years, created numerous musical moments to cherish for tens of thousands of audience enjoying it all night at the Army Stadium. Aside from festival's familiar performers Vidushi Girija Devi, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pt. Ajoy Chakravartry, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pt. Yogesh Samsi, Pt. Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, Purbayan Chatterjee and Rahul Sharma, a number of first-time performers shone, including violin legend Dr. L Subramaniam, Dr. Prabha Atre, Anindo Chatterjee, U Rajesh, Ranjani-Gayatri and Shashank Subramanyam. 

BOTTALA RONGOMELA THEATRE FEST HELD 

BotTala's 10-day theatre festival, BotTala Rongomela, was held in December at the capital's Mohila Samity. Some seven groups of Bangladesh, two from India and one troupe from Iran presented their plays at the festival, along with a host of other activities. The festival also conferred honours on theatre activists from outside the capital, and a Lifetime Achievement Award to Aly Zaker. 

ASIAN ART BIENNALE IN CAPITAL 

The 17th edition of the Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh, one of the oldest of its kind in the continent, was held throughout the month of December at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy's National Art Gallery. This year's event showcased 154 artworks by 148 Bangladeshi artists and 277 artworks by 127 foreign artists from 54 countries. A total of 146 foreign artists, art critic and museum curators took part in the art biennale. It also honoured Bangladeshi and foreign awards in various categories, and had a host of events including art camp, artist talks and seminars. 

INT'L SHORT AND INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL HELD 

The fourteenth International Short and Independent Film Festival Bangladesh took place in six venues in the capital in early December. The festival was organised by Bangladesh Short Film Forum (BSFF), where more than 500 films from 109 participating countries were selected. There were also awards given in four categories. 

LRB PLAYS AT SILVER JUBILEE CONCERT 

LRB, one of the most iconic names in the country's music industry, celebrated their 25th anniversary, with a grand silver jubilee concert in the capital. Music streaming app Robi Yonder Music was the title sponsor for the concert. The concert was held at the Nabaratri Hall of the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB). 

MONO-DRAMA FEST HELD AT BSA 

The weeklong second Mono-drama Festival was held at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). The festival, jointly organised by the Bangladesh Chapter of International Theatre Institute and BSA, saw staging of solo plays by artistes from Bangladesh, India, Vietnam and China.

CHHAYANAUT AND DU HOLD VICTORY DAY PROGRAMME 

The Victory Day of Bangladesh was celebrated jointly by pioneering cultural school Chhayanaut in collaboration with Dhaka University. The programme was held at the central playground of Dhaka University, where students of a number of educational institutes, from universities to English medium schools, joined in chorus songs, along with performance from reputed artistes. 

KATHAK DANCE FESTIVAL AT CHHAYANAUT

For the fifth consecutive year, a three-day Kathak Dance Festival was organised at the main auditorium of Chhayanaut Sangskriti Bhaban. Organised by the Kathak 

 Dance Community, Kathak legend Pt. Birju Maharaj inaugurated the festival. The organisers conferred Zeenat Zahan Memorial Award this year to Vidushi Saswati Sen, a leading Indian exponent of Kathak. 

CHHAYANAUT HOLDS SHUDDHA SANGEET UTSHAB 

Chhayanaut's annual Shuddha Sangeet Utshab is being held at its main auditorium in Dhanmondi. The two-day classical music festival comprises two sessions, with performances from Bangladeshi and Indian artistes, including Yakub Ali Khan, Rajrupa Chowdhury, Sumon Chowdhury, Khairul Anam Shakil, Asit Kumar Dey, Priyanka Gope, Aloke Kumar Sen, Murtaza Kabir Murad and Ebadul Huq Shaikat, among others. 

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