She started to dance at about the same time she started to walk. From childhood till today, Munmun Ahmed has been an avid dancer, with a special interest on 'kathak'. She is one of the dancers of Helena Waldmann's Made in Bangladesh, a kathak dance performance about the workers in Bangladeshi garments factories, which has caused ripples across the world. From Dhaka to India to Europe, Munmun and the team has given an enthralling performance.
Star Showbiz had recently caught up with her to know more about her and her participation in such a captivating project.
Let's start with your dance school.
My school is a very professional one. If students devote proper time and energy, I groom them up very diligently. The school especially focuses on 'kathak' dance. But additionally some other dance forms are taught too.
Given the political turmoil our country is currently going through, children are attending classes and private tuitions on weekends. When this period passes, things will improve for the dance school.
Tell us about your role in Made in Bangladesh.
Helena Waldmann is a globally renowned dance director. The performers in this dance drama have been very rigorously handpicked.
At one point, I went to see the interview of my students. This would be a kathak-based dance performance and my students are kathak-based. The students introduced me to Helena as their teacher. It was then she asked that why I don't join in. I said that I have a lot of other works to do and will not be able to give time. But she insisted, and offered to be flexible in the timings. Eventually, we came to an agreement.
Then, she faced the challenge of doing her research on garment workers. Factories were adamant in opening up their gates. Ultimately, I managed to secure an entry for all of us through one of my connections. And hence the motivation got renewed and our work begun.
I was tensed about the entire project and what Helena would finally bring out of it. After all, the working condition in many of the factories of the RMG sector is quite a controversial issue, something that is vulnerable to being misinterpreted.
The dance drama has been a huge experience. I have learned a lot from it.
You have experience in working with local directors as well as many foreign and internationally acclaimed ones too. What do you find different?
There is a world of difference! They are far more organised and disciplined. Abroad, a director does not need to worry that much about budget, finance or the source of it. And he does not have a head full of concerns, thinking about the costumes, lighting and a million other minute details a production comprises of. But in our country, the whole production is quite immature and unstructured. We have a long way to go.
What are your future plans?
My plan is just to stay healthy and survive! Dancers in Bangladesh need more support and patronage. Here, it is actually difficult if someone wants to live off entirely on dancing. I do have a few projects in mind; hopefully I will be able to execute them.
All my plans and dreams are about dancing.