Ocean Dance Festival | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 22, 2019

Ocean Dance Festival

An extravaganza of visual poetry sets sail today in Cox’s Bazar

‘Nrityajog’, the Bangladesh Chapter of World Dance Alliance – Asia Pacific (WDA-AP), in association with Channel i, and supported by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Bangladesh Tourism Board, has, for the first time, organised the Ocean Dance Festival (ODF) 2019. The theme for the festival is ‘Bridging the Gap’, referring to the prowess of dance to bridge the gap between socio-cultural and economic situations within society.

Cultural Affairs Minister K M Khalid, MP, will inaugurate the four-day (November 22 – 25) festival as the chief guest today at 5pm. Dr Md Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Md Kamal Hossain, DC, Cox’s Bazar, will attend the inaugural programme as special guests.  

The four-day dance extravaganza will feature more than 200 artistes from 15 different countries. National level Bangladeshi dancers and troupes will have a strong presence at the festival. The artistes will perform solo, duet and group dance performances at the indoor venue, ‘Cox’s Carnival Auditorium’, in Cox’s Bazar. Besides, a number of dance professors, practitioners and researchers will conduct seminars, workshops as well as  live and visual demonstrations of contemporary dance practices at the Mermaid Beach in Pechar Dwip. It is Nrityajog’s plan to make the ODF a biennial event with dedicated time to contemporary dance practice in Bangladesh and around the world.

“I believe that the festival will play a vital role to accelerate the process of cultural diplomacy and cultural tourism in Bangladesh,” said Lubna Marium, eminent dancer and principal curator of the event. “The festival aspires to work as a platform to introduce various Bangladeshi dance genres to the world. We hope that we will present a world class event to the nation.”

World-renowned British-Bangladeshi dancer Akram Khan has sent a special video message that will inaugurate the World Dance Alliance conference. The festival is being organised by a National Committee of around 40 dance organisations from all over the country, headed by Nrityajog.

“I am happy to announce that some special performances have been added to the line-up”, said renowned dancer Anisul Islam Hero, who is also the president of Nrityajog. “Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has a ten minute visual presentation on the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whereas a 25 member Santal dance troupe from Naogaon will present their traditional dance.”

Mattra and Channel i are the media partners of the festival, in cooperation with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry and the Tourism Board. The Drama and Theatrical Department of the University of Chittagong is an academic associate of the event.    

World Dance Alliance (WDA) serves as a primary voice for dance and dancers throughout the world, and encourages the exchange of ideas and the awareness of dance in all forms. WDA operates via three regional centres with an overarching global executive bringing the three together in matters of policy and global projects.

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