The language of human exultation, love, pain, rage, gesture and eye contact is universal. The appeal of that language surpasses conventional or structured language. Internationally famed Bangladeshi mime maestro Monsieur Partha Pratim Majumder has made a unique bridge between Eastern and Western forms of mime that is very new and entirely his own creation.
Today marks the 60th birth anniversary of the maestro. In 2011, the living legend was conferred the highest cultural award 'Chevalier De L'ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres' (Knight in the order of Fine Arts and Humanities) by the Ministry for Cultural Affairs and Communication of France for his contributions to mime.
Very few artistes in this world have attained mastery over mime, the base of all performing art forms. Etienne Decroux is the father of modern mime, while the greatest mime maestro Marcel Marceau is thought to be the father of French mime. The name of Marcel Marceau has become synonymous with pantomime. He was a painter too.
Eminent Bangladeshi poet Shamsur Rahman once said, “The artworks by Partha Pratim is entirely based on silence; but he made this eloquence in silence that resembles lively poem. That's why he is a renowned and proud Bangalee.”
His performance on a BTV programme “Jodi Kichhu Mone Na Koren” earned him huge popularity. The turning point of his career was his solo performance of 1979 at Shilpakala Academy that greatly impressed the erstwhile French Ambassador to Dhaka, Loic Moreau and the director of Alliance Française, Gerard Grousse, who offered him a scholarship in 1981 to obtain professional training on mime under the legendary French mime maestros Etienne Decroux and Marcel Marceau.
“Mime is at the same time the antique and the modern form of performing art. The know-how of corporal mime is mandatory for a performing artiste to smoothly stand on their career. If mime is compared with a short story, mimodrama is to be compared with a novel while pantomime predominantly deals with the comical presentations,” Partha Pratim distinguished, in a conversation with The Daily Star.
Partha, along with his family is now based in Paris and works regularly in French, American, Canadian films, theatre and TVCs. Since the mid-1980s, his miming excellence has unfolded on the illuminated stages both at home and abroad. His devotion and sensitivity uplift an ordinary theme to a sublime height, transcending cultural barriers.
Setting up of a mime institute of international standard is the ultimate dream of Partha Pratim Majumder, who feels an artistic urge and commitment to enlighten Bangladeshi students with his arts.
Partha Pratim Majumder was conferred many awards including, the highest European honour for theatre named “Moliere Award” in 2009 and the highest honour of Bangladesh “Ekushey Padak” in 2010.“I am the son of this soil, though I am a citizen of France. Bangladesh circles in my dreams. My lifestyle in Paris is like a Bangladeshi-Bangalee. My existence lies in the reddened sun inscribed in the flag of Bangladesh while my every heartbeat renders the national anthem of Bangladesh,” the artiste concluded.