Famous dancer Samina Husain Prema has been entertaining the audience at both home and abroad for years. Having completed her education from well-known institutions like University of Dhaka and Rabindrabharati University, Kolkata, the Manipuri dancer’s first formal dance training began at Chhayanaut Sangeet Vidyayatan. Prema currently works with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) as a dance instructor and is the founder of Bhabna, a school of classical Manipuri dance, that started its journey in 2007. She is set to perform for the second time at the Dhaka International Folk Fest, which begins today at the Bangladesh Army Stadium.
What are you performing at the event today?
I will be performing a Dhamail, a folk dance form from Sylhet, Lathi Naach, another traditional folk dance from Manikganj and an instrumental. I would like to thank BSA for helping me learn the dance form Dhamail. Without them, this performance would be almost impossible! The choreography will be very different and also challenging. Because I am performing on a big stage today, I will have 16 to 18 performers, instead of just 8 or 10.
As an artiste, how would you define folk dance forms of Bangladesh?
Bangladeshi folk dance should represent a particular regional essence, depicting the heritage and tradition of each district of the country. Their mudras, chalan, and other stylistics should be authentic and natural. Folk comes from nature, and thus, should be natural, without any artificial elements. Costumes play an important role as well. Wearing traditional regional attires while performing on its folk forms always adds more to the performance.
How did you manage the rehearsals? Being a dancer, I know how to organise and plan things in an orderly manner when it comes to preparing for a performance. I use the same formula to balance my professional and personal life.
What else are you working on besides your performance in the Folk Fest?
I will perform Raibenshe, a dance form, at the Ocean Dance Festival on November 22. I am also working on a production under the guidance of Shrimati Kalavati Devi. It will be based on Manipuri nritya and we plan to finish it by next year.