Rashna Sharmin (top) and Bibek Sumon recite at the festival.
A two-daylong recitation festival, starting from July 23, was held at Shilpakala Academy auditorium in the port city. Aside from solo performances by six reciters, the festival also featured five productions by noted troupes from Dhaka and Chittagong.
Local troupe 'Onarjo Onyoswar' presented its new production “Obonagobon” on the opening day. The production was based on the earliest known example of Bengali poetry, “Charjapad.” Developed by Saymon Zakaria, the production was directed by Shirshendu Nandi.
The opening day's programme also included solo recitations by Laila Afroz and Rashed Hasan. Another production titled, “Nokkhotrer Mrityu,” by Muktodhara, marked the first day's programme. The production addressed gender discrimination. Mahmuda Siddika Sumi compiled and directed the production.
Child artistes of Proma, another troupe of Chittagong, kicked off the concluding day's event with their production “Phuler Gondhey Ghum Ashey Na.” Another production, titled “Nodir Rong Mochka Phooler Moto Lal” by Onarjo Onyoswar followed. Crises of modern-day life were the focal point of the production. Written by Mahbub Morshed, the production was directed by Shirshendu Nandi. Noted reciters Mahidul Islam, Kazi Mahtab Sumon and Shirshendu Nandi also performed solos on the occasion.
The highlight of the festival was a lively performance by TSC (Dhaka University)-based troupe Harbola. The group presented its production “Kalbelar Kalsrot” that won 'Swarokalpon Abritti Shommanona Podok' in 2002 as the best production of the year.
The production focuses on the bleakness and hostility of present time. Despite having a rich cultural heritage, we are going through a sterile creative period. Orna Opurnika depicted the hostile philology of time over the symbolic season of late autumn.
Rashna Sharmin, Bibek Sumon, Abdullah Mamun, Shirin Shabnom Tania and Majumdar Biplob developed the production featuring five characters -- farmer, artist, woman, man and goddess. Majumdar Biplob directed the production.