Manipuri dance exponent Warda Rihab, known for her graceful moves and visually stunning choreography, is currently preparing for multiple upcoming projects and shows, both at home and abroad. The Daily Star recently caught up with the dancer-choreographer for a quick chat to discuss her work, expectations from the coming generation of dancers in Bangladesh and more.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently in the rehearsal phase for two dance dramas, which I am directing and choreographing. First, we are staging Rabindranath Tagore's Chitrangada, to be performed by students from the Music Department of Jagannath University on March 20 at their university premises. Following that, students from my dance company Dhriti Nartanalaya will be staging yet another Tagore special, Mayar Khela, at the National Theatre Auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on April 12.
Do you have any other live performances coming up?
I will be performing at a special Independence Day programme in Myanmar on March 26, but apart from that, I am mostly occupied with rehearsals and preparation for the two dance dramas in the next few weeks.
Do you believe that the practice of pure classical dance is being carried on correctly by the upcoming generation of dancers?
In my opinion, the proportion of dancers who are taking up classical dance does not vary much between this generation and its predecessors. There still exists a limited number of dancers pursuing classical forms seriously, as was the case for our generation and the ones before. I believe that this particular trend will continue to persist. In a nutshell, the practice of classical dance in Bangladesh has not changed significantly.
Any advice you would like to share with the newer lot of dancers in the industry today?
It would be more of a request to them to invest their time and effort into learning at least one form of dance correctly first. Far too much attention is paid these days to promote oneself on social media, rather than working hard to enhance and refine one's skills. In my opinion, that is something that needs to change in order for them to succeed sustainably.