Dancing beyond the clouds | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 12, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 12, 2019

Dancing beyond the clouds

Promising young dancer, Md Hanif, was recently chosen to partake in the prestigious Summer Intensive programme organised by the globally renowned Akram Khan Company, scheduled to take place from August 5-10, 2019 at the Orsolina 28 premises in Turin, Italy. The 6-day long programme, bringing together 45 professional dancers and dance students from across the globe, is designed to provide a fully immersive training and sharing experience to the participants. Led by Akram Khan Company’s senior team members – Mavin Khoo, Nicola Monaco, Andrej Petrovic and Joy Alpuerto Ritter – the participants will have a combination of opportunities to hone their respective practices, while broadening their artistic horizons and experiencing studio work with Akram Khan himself.

Reaching this stage in his dancing career was beyond anything Hanif had ever dreamt of growing up. Hailing from a financially insolvent background, Hanif’s ambitions in life were to simply earn enough to sustain his family’s expenses, including his younger sister’s school fees. He figured that despite his unrelenting love for dance from a tender age, it would be next to impossible to make a rewarding full-time career out of it. But, as they say, where there is a will, more often than not, there is a way.

Hanif was ushered into the world of dance by choreographer Mottakinur Rahman Wasek, in his early teens. In 2011, he got the opportunity to participate in Warda Rihab’s directorial dance-drama Tasher Desh, which kickstarted his journey with the dance company, Shadhona. Upon recognising Hanif’s passion and potential for dance, Shadhona’s artistic director, Lubna Marium decided to pave his way by creating opportunities for him to learn various forms of dance under the tutelage of eminent gurus, as well as perform on stage and on television, both in Bangladesh and abroad, as a member of Shadhona’s troupe. With her undying support, Hanif was able to secure an ICCR scholarship for a Bachelor of Arts in Kathak at the prestigious Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, India. Upon completion of the degree earlier this year, he received yet another ICCR scholarship for a Master’s degree from the same institution, which is slated to commence this Fall.

“I will forever be grateful to Lubna Marium for everything she has done for me.” expressed Hanif. “She has been my pillar of strength and source of inspiration for the past decade and has played an instrumental role in shaping me into the person and artiste I am today.”

Hanif was one of the twelve handpicked dancers from Bangladesh in the Germany-Bangladesh joint production Made in Bangladesh, directed by Helena Waldmann, which toured extensively across Europe and India with a closing performance in Bangladesh. During his years as an undergraduate student in India, Hanif received Kathak lessons from renowned Kathak exponent, Ashimbandhu Bhattacharya, while taking up jazz dance classes with danseuse Mitul Sengupta.

“I feel blessed to have received guidance from such prominent artistes in my life. I will not let any of my learnings go in vain.” promised Hanif. “I want to establish myself as an innovative, internationally acknowledged Bangladeshi dancer-choreographer in the future.”

Despite the journey that he has overcome so far, Hanif’s determination to continue working hard while retaining his humility in the face of unprecedented success is truly refreshing. He is a beacon of inspiration for the upcoming generation of artistes not just in Bangladesh, but everywhere in the world.

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