A three-day (December 24-26) Kathak Dance Festival wraps up today at the main auditorium of Chhayanaut, Dhanmondi. Arranged by Kathak Nritya Sampradaye (KNS), the festival -- second of its kind -- was inaugurated by noted literary personality Selina Hossain, and featured an array of solo and group dances by noted and promising dancers of Bangladesh along with several dance schools.
Kathak, one of the nine forms of Indian classical dances, originated from the Sanskrit word katha meaning story, and katthaka in Sanskrit means s/he who tells a story through dance. Reaching the Mughal court after the 16th century, Kathak began to acquire its distinctive shape and features. Today its popularity has cut across borders.
On the opening day (December 24), the organisers honoured Nrityaguru Golam Mostafa by conferring him the Zinat Jahan Memorial Award after a short discussion. This was followed by several dance presentations. Directed by Saju Ahmed, also the director of KNS, several artistes displayed a number of Kathak styles including bandana, chhandamalika, composition, nritya nirmity, gautmalika and tarana.
Golam Mostafa received a crest, uttario and gift from chief guest Selina Hossain and special guests Sharmila Bandopadhyay and Munmun Ahmed. The honoured Nrityaguru, chief guest, special guests and Saju Ahmed spoke at the event. Dancers of KNS presented bouquets to the honoured Nrityaguru Golam Mostafa.
Saju Ahmed with Munia, Emon, Pappu, Tanzina, Suparna, Tattwika and Jyoti set off the opening day's performance with a bandana. Weaving a chhandamalika with kathak mudra came next on stage by Saju Ahmed, Emon Kumar Dey and Pappu Saha of KNS. Saju Ahmed choreographed both the pieces.
Aparajita Mustafa was next to take the stage and captivated the spectators with her riveting solo piece set on a dhamar -- a musical genre and a 14 beat taal as well -- that is evocative of Radha-Krishna's holi. Aparajita, a national award-winning dancer of the year, showcased a gamut of graceful movements, excellent footwork, fantastic rounded-up mudra and returning to shom with two tali and a khali and a fascinating tehai. The promising artiste portrayed her visual poetry with each and every bol and the beat of dhamar based on Raga Hindol. Aparajita's mother, noted dancer-choreographer Munmun Ahmed choreographed the piece. Several dancers of KNS presented nritya nirmity at the festival.
A budding dancer Abantika Al Reza, who came first at National level dance competition in 2003, performed a technical on teentaal. Noted dancer Tabassum Ahmed choreographed the solo piece. Abantika seemed like a blissful butterfly wandering around spring-time flowers while completing 21 chakkor (cycles) in a row. The audience received the presentation with applause.
Led by Snata Shahrin, seven artistes of Nrityanchal stood out in performing a tarana set on Raga Malkauns at the festival. The performance seemed enthralling as it entailed diverse connotations of devotion and romance incorporated. Snata Shahrin as always formed the golden section of a garland of seven flowers – Seema, Mili, Boishakhi, Mondira, Rekha and Arunima – in diffusing the sweet smell of Malkauns through their dazzling performance. The artistes' offering of drut amod, tukra, paran, lari and fabulous tehai with pronami evoked true essence of kathak in a “darbar”. The dancers' returning to “shom” was fascinating while their splitting and unifying styles with mudra and movements were mesmerising. Renowned dance artiste and guru Shibli Mohammad choreographed the dance piece.
Among others, Masum Rahman presented a technical genre, Mrittika performed a composition and artistes of KNS presented a gautmalika. Choreographed by Saju Ahmed, artistes of KNS wrapped up the opening day's presentation with performing a tarana, set on Raga Malkauns.
On the second day (December 25), a seminar on the legendary Waheedul Huq was held at Chhayanaut's seminar room in the morning. Sheikh Mehedi Hasan read out the keynote while Dr. Sarwar Ali, Sharmila Bandopadhyay, Munmun Ahmed, Rezwan Ali and Saju Ahmed were the discussants at the seminar.