To create and consolidate an artistic fraternity among all theatre activists and artistes of the world and to rediscover the power of theatre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) together with International Theatre Institute (Bangladesh Centre), Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) and Bangladesh Street Theatre Council (BSTC) jointly celebrated World Theatre Day on Thursday. Marking the occasion, a number of theatre activists, organisers and personalities brought out a colourful procession. Starting from Shikha Chironton (In Suhrawardy Udyan), the vibrant and rhythmic procession marched towards BSA where a discussion and cultural programme was held at its National Theatre Hall.
President of International Theatre Institute (ITI) Worldide, Ramendu Majumdar graced the occasion as chief guest. Professor Afsar Ahmed delivered World Theatre Day speech, while among others, BGTF Secretary General Jhuna Chowdhury, BSTC President Mannan Hira and ITI Banagladesh Centrte General Secretary Deb Prasad Debnath spoke. Chairman of BGTF and Director General of BSA Liaquat Ali Lucky presided over the programme. This year, noted educationist Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman was conferred “Bishwa Natya Dibosh Sammanona 2014”.
A cultural event followed which violinist Mahmudul Hasan set off with playing tune of a Tagore song “O Amar Desh-er Mati”. Artistes of Pallavi Dance Centre danced to three spirited songs -- “Ami Manusher Bhai Spartacus”, “Himalaya Theke Sundarban, Hothath Bangladesh” and “Joy Satyer Joy” – written by novelist Shahidullah Kaiser, poet Sukanta Bhattacharya and writer Dr. Enamul Haque respectively. Eminent musicians Altaf Mahmud and Sheikh Lutfar Rahman composed the songs.
Five female Tanchanga artistes of Khudra Nrigoshthi Cell of BSA performed pot dance while several BSA artistes presented acrobatic show at the programme.
World Theatre Day is the creation of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). It is celebrated annually on the 27th March by ITI centres, and the international theatre community. One of the most important of these is the circulation of the World Theatre Day International Message through which at the invitation of ITI, a figure of world stature shares his or her reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace.
The 2014 World Theatre Day message author is Brett Bailey, a South African playwright, designer, director, installation maker and the artistic director of Third World Bunfight. His works have played across Europe, Australia and Africa, and have won several awards, including a gold medal for design at the Prague Quadrennial (2007). Excerpts from this year's message:
“Wherever there is human society, the irrepressible Spirit of Performance manifests. Born of community, it wears the masks and the costumes of our varied traditions. It harnesses our languages and rhythms and gestures, and clears a space in our midst.
“And we, the artists that work with this ancient spirit, feel compelled to channel it through our hearts, our ideas and our bodies to reveal our realities in all their mundanity and glittering mystery.
“But, in this era in which so many millions are struggling to survive, are suffering under oppressive regimes and predatory capitalism, are fleeing conflict and hardship; in which our privacy is invaded by secret services and our words are censored by intrusive governments; in which forests are being annihilated, species exterminated, and oceans poisoned: what do we feel compelled to reveal?”