The third day of the Bengal Classical Music Fest will open with a dance performance today titled “Nritya Chirantan”, directed by renowned dancer Sharmila Banerjee. The production is an ode to Nataraj, or the Lord of Dance, and consists of three classical dance segments: Manipuri (performed by Sudeshna Swayamaprabha and Sweety Das), Bharatnatyam (by Amit Chowdhury and Zuairiyah Mouli) and Kathak (by Mehraj Haque Tushar and Snata Shahrin). Each dancer is to deliver a solo performance within each set, before joining together in a finale that combines the dance forms. The performance is going to be performed to “Nrityero Taale Taale” by Tagore. For some of these young dancers, this is their first time performing on such a significant platform, but for others, this is another chance to come back stronger than before. Talking to The Daily Star, Sudeshna, Mehraj, and Amit shared their thoughts before their performance.
Sudeshna: The responsibility has grown even bigger since we are given the chance to perform solo. Last year was my first experience performing to such a large crowd, but the nervousness has not diminished. For a young Bangladeshi dancer, to be able to share a platform with such legendary maestros is awe-inspiring and intimidating. We have been practicing a lot, and taking it even more seriously this year. For the Manipuri dance set, we have been training under Bimbavati Devi, and are doing some items by her father Guru Bipin Singh as well.
Amit: My first solo performance at BCMF was in 2014. It is a great opportunity and achievement to share the stage with such great artistes from around the world, and I feel compelled to present myself in a different way this time. The most challenging aspect during my first time was to perform with live music, but it was a great learning experience, and I have had the chance to perform extensively in Bangladesh and abroad since then. I hope to deliver even better this year. Our set for tomorrow was choreographed by Kirti Ram Gopal.
Mehraj: This would be my first Kathak solo here, but I have performed at a BCMF opening ceremony before in a group. It is very challenging to present male dancers in Bangladesh, so this is not only a huge platform for us, but also a great chance to broaden our social vision towards dancers across gender barriers. After Snata and I deliver solo performances, we will come together for a duet. Our set is directed by Shibli Muhammad, and has some items by Pandit Birju Maharaj.