Dance troupes grappling with financial crisis

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 21:58, Dec 27,2017 | Updated: 23:03, Dec 27,2017

 
 

Abbasuddin Academy from Khulna presents Nokshi Kanthar Math at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy recently. — Snigdha Zaman

Dance troupes across the country are finding it very difficult to produce new dance dramas due to financial constraints, say dance artistes.
They said they cannot afford to spend Tk 10 lakh for producing a new dance drama production. Besides, they said, dance troupes do not get enough support from the government or private sponsors.
While talking to New Age, senior dance artistes and Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association leaders blamed lack of support from government and private sponsors for the recent decline in the number of new dance productions.
‘Most of the dance troupes in the country cannot afford the expenses of making a new dance production. That is why, not many new dance drama productions are made these days’, said Minu Haque, president of Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association.
‘Moreover, due to lack of support from the government or private sponsors dance troupes struggle to run their troupes round the year, let alone produce new dance dramas’, added Minu Haque.
There are about 40 Dhaka-based dance troupes, while there are over 500 troupes across the country, according to Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association.
‘Among all these troupes, around 20 troupes receive government support of around Tk 50,000 annually, which is hardly enough to organise even one or two shows’, said Mahfuzur Rahman, general secretary of Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association.
Under these circumstances we cannot expect troupes to produce new dance dramas. Many troupes, especially district-based ones, are suffering due to financial constraints, added Rahman.
‘It is really difficult for troupes in different districts to produce new dance dramas as we do not receive support. Whenever, we bring a new production on stage we have to bear the cost of the production,’ said Rajshahi-based dance artiste and director Ladly Mohan Maitri.
Senior dance artiste and advisor of Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association Amanul Haque said, ‘If we want to see a vibrant dance scene with regular new productions, the government must support the troupes.’
Cultural affairs ministry should call for proposals for new dance drama productions and help two to five troupes at least a year. By that way, we will get new dance drama productions every year, added Amanul Haque.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor said that the cultural affairs ministry is always keen to help dance troupes. ‘We try our level best to help dance troupes. But we cannot always give as much as they need as we have budget constraint’.
‘However, we always give priority to dance artistes when it comes to sending a cultural team abroad. At the same time, we regularly help many dance troupes across the country’, added Noor.

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