Pioneering dancer Bulbul Chowdhury was recalled on his 98th birth anniversary at a programme at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Sunday.
Organised jointly by Bangladesh Nritya Shilpy Sangstha and the academy, it featured performances by the dancers of various organisations as well as a discussion session prior to that.
The artistes of Nrityalok were the first to perform. Their well-coordinated moves to the tunes of patriotic songs, including Dhano Dhanne Pushpo Bhora, entertained the audience.
The artistes of Bhabna presented a dance recital with Rabindranath Tagore’s song Anandoloke Mongol Aloke.
Meanwhile, the artistes of dance troupes Nandonik and Nrityachhando presented recitals synchronised with Tagore’s songs Mor Bhabonare and Jagoter Anando Jogge, respectively.
Dibbo artistes danced with the folk number Lila Boti Lila Boti while Benuka artistes presented dance with the folk number Nachite Nachite Komol Sundori.
The artistes of the dance organisation Rewaz presented a Kathak recital titled Tarana.
The programme also featured performances by the dancers of Bangladesh Fine Arts Academy, who presented a recital with the people’s song Tir Hara Oi Dhew-er Sagor.
At the discussion session, Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, MP was present as chief guest.
Also on hand were noted dancers Rahiza Khanom Jhunu, Laila Hasan, Deepa Khandokar, and Saju Ahmed, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky and Bangladesh Nritya Shilpy Sangstha president Minu Haque.
Seasoned dancer Abdul Matin was honoured at the programme.
Bulbul Chowdhury (January 1, 1919 - May 17, 1954) is regarded as a pioneer of modern dance in Bangladesh. During 1950-1952, he performed in dance concerts in the unified Pakistan.
In 1953, he along with his troupe embarked on a Europe-wide tour, performing in countries such as the UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium and France.
He was declared the National Dancer of Pakistan in 1949. By situating dance as part of the Mughal tradition, he challenged conservative Muslim attitudes towards dance, and helped in making dance gain social respectability and popularity.
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