“Dance is a form of prayer to me” - Fifa Chakma | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 09, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, August 09, 2019

“Dance is a form of prayer to me” - Fifa Chakma

Hailing from Rangamati, talented dancer Fifa Chakma is a specialised researcher in Bangladeshi tribal folk dances and a distinguished academic in the field of Kathak. With an ICCR scholarship, the dancer completed her BA and MA in Kathak from Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata. 

Fifa started learning dance at the age of four. She took lessons on folk and creative dance under the tutelage of Guru Sanchana Chakma and Guru Humayun Kabir in Rangamati. Later, she was trained at Nrityanchal and took personal lessons on Kathak from Shibli Mohammad. She was also trained under the tutelage of Guru Smt Nandini Chakraborty in Kolkata.

“Dance is form of prayer to me. I find immense peace and pleasure in my practice and perseverance of dance,” said Fifa Chakma, the only classically trained dancer among the indigenous communities of Bangladesh. “I dream of depicting the different shades and the essence of dance through my performances.”

Aside from being a fantastic performer, choreographer and dance director, Fifa is currently working as a dance instructor at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. She is also a guest lecturer at the Department of Dance, University of Dhaka. She has also worked as a dance instructor at Khudra Nri-gosthi Cultural Institute, Khagrachhari and Jum Aesthetics Council, Rangamati. The dedicated artiste is also the founder and director of Tapassya Dance Academy, which is based in both Dhaka and Rangamati.

Fifa participated as a dance director in London this year on behalf of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to celebrate the occasion of the Independence Day of Bangladesh.  She also took part as a dance director in Philippines on behalf of the same ministry at Philippine International Indigenous Peoples Festival 2018. As a part of the cultural exchange programme between Bangladesh and Bhutan, Fifa participated as a dance artiste in Bhutan twice in 2017 and 2018. She represented the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Bangladesh, as a dance ambassador in India during the cultural exchange programme between the two countries.

 Furthermore, Fifa has participated in a number of dance workshops and seminars, held in Bangladesh and abroad. In 2008, she took part in a contemporary dance workshop, conducted by renowned Indian dancer Sukalyan Bhattacharya, at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. In 2013, she participated in a Kathak workshop at Padatik Dance Centre, Kolkata. Legendary dance maestro Pt Birju Maharaj and his disciple Saswati Sen conducted the workshop.

She was also granted a scholarship from All India Children Music Conference as a young dance artiste in 2014, and she was simultaneously placed first in Folk, Rabindra Dance and Kathak at the conference. She also secured the first position at the pre-summit dance competition held at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, as a part of the National Education Summit 2014.          

Among many other festivals, Fifa has performed in the Dhaka International Folk Festival 2018, Classical Music and Dance Festival 2017 at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Indigenous Cultural Festivals at Rangamati and Khagrachhari, Sufi Festival 2014 at Nalanda and Maha Utshav 2014 at Guwahati.   

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