Shamim Ara Nipa and Monira Parveen on their devotion to dance
Nipa, with tutelage from renowned dance maestros such as G A Mannan and Nikunja Bihari Pal, also had the opportunity to learn from Pandit Birju Maharaj in different workshops, especially on Kathak.
Monira was a student at the Khulna Udichi and Shahid Altaf Mahmud Sangeet Bhaban, before coming to Nrityanchal in 2003. Under the tutelage of Shamim Ara Nipa in folk and creative dance, Shibli Mohammad and Sri Sandip Mallick in Kathak, Monira later pursued her bachelor's and master's in Kathak, from Rabindra Bharati University, India. She received a scholarship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for her bachelor's.
One of the founding members of the Department of Dance in Dhaka University, Monira expresses her gratitude and respect for her teachers. "Wherever I am today, is because of my teachers and their blessings. They are always a source of spiritual energy and inspiration for me," she says.
Monira does not only consider Nipa as her dance teacher, but also as a constant source of guidance and support in every aspect of her life. "She always supports me and helps me in my personal problems as well," says Monira. "She is a role model for dancers. Her compassion and guidance has ohelped me to stay on the right path in life."
Monira is currently working on a book, the first of its kind about Bangladeshi dancers, to acknowledge dance gurus in Bangladesh and inspire new generations of dancers.
Nipa shares that dancers need to value the eagerness to learn and the blessings of their teachers. "Apart from being a talented dancer, Monira is one of those students who respects her teachers, and in doing so, she stands out," she adds. "Her dedication and admiration for her teachers make her a compassionate artiste."
On the other hand, Monira describes Nipa as a perfectionist. "She is also very liberal when it comes to accepting new methods and styles, working with her is always a peaceful experience," says Monira.
In 2014, Monira was awarded a gold medal for her outstanding result at Rabindra Bharati University. She was also awarded the Nirod Baran Memorial Prize, Sunit Basu Memorial Prize, and Asit Chattopdhyay Memorial Prize.
"Monira's expressionism and dedication are valuable qualities," says Nipa. "I can depend on her to execute any given task in a short time."
She further shares that it is through a student that a teacher gains different perspectives to hone their craft. "I expect my students to surpass me through their dedication," Nipa asserts, "however, we must never forget or deny our teachers' contributions in our lives. We must remember the valuable lessons they instilled in us."