Over 700 district-based dance troupes working outside Dhaka are finding it difficult to continue their artistic pursuit.
The troupes are struggling for a number of reasons like lack of support and patronisation from government and private sponsors, financial constraints, shortage of space for rehearsals and shows and others.
While talking to New Age district-based dance artistes said though a few Dhaka-based troupes get a yearly grant of Tk 60,000, the district-based troupes outside Dhaka hardly get any support from the government.
‘We have heard that the government gives grants to cultural troupes including dance troupes annually. But those of us who work outside Dhaka have never received such support from the government. Moreover, we have to support our troupes out of our own pockets’, Ladly Mohan Maitra, chief of Rajshahi-based dance troupe Dhrupadalok, told New Age.
Satkhira-based dance artiste Nahid Parvin Panna, who runs dance organisation Barnamala Academy, said that her organisation has never received any grant from the cultural affairs ministry.
‘We have never heard about such grants let alone receive any,’ said Panna, who thinks that government grants will greatly motivate district-based dance troupes.
Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association leaders said dancers receive very little government support compared to other performing art practitioners.
‘Among all the performing art forms, dance is neglected the most. While most of the theatre and music troupes across the country get yearly grants, the number of grant receiving dance troupes is few’, said Minu Haque, president of Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association.
‘It is true that Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association has not been successful in pursuing the government to provide yearly grants to maximum number of dance troupes and organisations across the country. We are requesting each and every dance troupe to apply for the government grant’, added Minu Haque, who hopes that cultural affairs ministry will provide grants to as many troupes as possible.
To note, around 200 theatre troupes across the country affiliated with Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation get an annual grant of Tk 20,000 to 60,000 from the cultural affairs ministry.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor said, ‘We try to help as many cultural troupes including the dance troupes as possible’.
‘There is a committee-consisting of ministry officials and representatives of different dance organisations and associations including Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association-which selects troupes and organisations for the annual grants, added Noor.
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