A women-centric production
"> From the rehearsal room: Behind-the-scene from “Champabati”. Photo: Ridwan ADid RuponAfter a number of successful productions, Shadhona Cultural Circle, a familiar name in the subcontinent's cultural arena, has a new production in the pipeline: “Champabati”-- a dance drama, incorporating folk art forms.
“Champabati”, an adaptation of poet Jasimuddin's much acclaimed drama “Bede'r Meye”, is all about women; their inner strength and the courage with which they deal with the adversities of life. Adapted by Syed Shamsul Haq, it articulates the stories of Champa , the beautiful and vociferous snake-charmer, Maleka, the feisty wife of the village head, and young Asmani, the wife of Champa's ex-paramour, Goya.
“Champabati” is also a narrative on the interactions between the wandering “Bede” (gypsy) community and the orthodox villagers of Bengal. It's about different ways of life, interspersed with the tales of these three women. The author, Syed Shamsul Haq in this drama rightly said, “As the bird soars high in the sky, it leaves behind its plume. A woman's life inscribed with water merges too into the water.”
Shadhona has been working with diverse folk art forms of the region like Lathi Khela and Raibeshe -- a martial dance form of Bengal that goes back almost 2,000 years to the time of Raja Pratapaditya. The production also extensively uses other traditional dance forms -- Jhumur, Bihu, Pata, Chhau of Purulia and Mayurbhanj and Kalaripayettu of Kerala. Incorporation of these different dance forms lends diversity to “Champabati”.
What gives the age-old narrative a new life is its unusual music. “Champabati” boasts a number of musical tracks by Anusheh Anadil, Nirjher Chowdhury, Rokon Emon, Shofi Mandal, Duniya, and Nadia Dora.
Shabbir Ahmed Khan has directed the production, while Shamim Hasan has done the dramatic direction. Zahidul Kabir Liton is the music director of the production. Nirjher Chowdhury and Rokon Emon have redone the musical arrangement, which was initially designed six years ago by Durbadol Chattopadhyay of Kolkata.
The production is set to be premiered on October 25, (Friday) at the Experimental Theatre Hall of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.