Marking the foundation day of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the High Commission of India in Dhaka organised a vibrant evening of cultural performances at the Main Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on April 9. The programme commenced with a choir presentation of the Bangladeshi and Indian national anthems respectively, followed by words of reminiscence by four former ICCR scholars from Bangladesh. The chief guest for the evening, Honourable Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Anisul Huq, and the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, Riva Ganguly Das, shared their thoughts on ICCR's phenomenal work over the years. In particular, they both spoke about the ICCR scholarships which have facilitated many students from Bangladesh, among other nations, in pursuing higher studies in India for several decades.
The cultural performances began with poetry recitation by Sahadat Hossain Nipu, while Nazrul Sangeet exponent Sujit Mustafa intricately rendered the melodious classics, Sure O Banir Mala Diye and Arun Ranga Golap Koli. Next on stage arrived a trio of young ICCR scholars, Bharatanatyam dancer Maria Farih Upama and Kathak dancers, Hasan Ishtiaque Imran and Moumita Jaya. Upama's effervescent expressions embellished the piece beautifully. Subsequently, Manipuri dancer-choreographer Warda Rihab and Kathak dancer Monira Parvin Happy graced the stage with a refreshing duet of Manipuri and Kathak. Warda's movements and expressions, brimming with elegance and poise, were a sight for sore eyes. The third dance performance for the evening presented a combination sequence of Kathak, Odissi and Gaudiya Nritya, by Dipa Sarker, Benazir Salam and Rachel Perris respectively.
The piece offered contrasting flavours as Benazir's delicate gestures were starkly juxtaposed with Rachel's powerful and dynamic act. The grand finale of the programme was a performance by three of Bangladesh's most prominent classical dance gurus, Tamanna Rahman, Anisul Islam Hero and Munmun Ahmed, who performed a vivacious assortment of Manipuri, Bharatanatyam and Kathak respectively, concluding with a collaborative Guru Vandana, leaving the audience yearning for more.