Virtual shows help dancers reach global audience

Warda Rihab tells New Age

Tanzil Rahaman | Published: 22:59, May 29,2020


Warda Rihab

Acclaimed Manipuri dancer and choreographer Warda Rihab said that virtual dance shows play an important role in helping local dancers reach international audience and artistes.

Warda Rihab participated in different virtual dance productions, which were released on social media and YouTube, marking Pahela Baishakh and birth anniversaries of Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

‘Different dance troupes uploaded dance productions on social media and YouTube celebrating Pahela Baishakh and birth anniversaries of Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Such programmes help dancers reach global audience and artistes. However, producing dance productions amid the coronavirus outbreak wasn’t easy. The dancers had to record the programmes at their homes and they couldn’t rehearse properly as venues have been closed to contain the spread of the virus but they didn’t let anything stop them from completing the productions,’ Warda Rihab told New Age.

Warda Rihab directed and choreographed a dance production under the banner of Nazrul Institute which was aired on the state run BTV and other private TV channels on the occasion of Kazi Nazrul Islam’s birth anniversary on Monday. Besides, her troupe Dhriti Nartanalaya released a dance production titled ‘Joy Hok’ marking the 121th birth anniversary of Kazi Nazrul Islam. She also worked with international artistes in dance productions on Nazrul.

‘Besides creating programmes to entertain the local audience, I participated in a virtual dance production on Nazrul named ‘Srijana Chhande Ananda’. It was organised by acclaimed Indian dance artiste Drabin Chatterjee. The production also featured artistes from Austria and Scotland. I also took part in a dance production of West Bengal-based organisation named Nandita,’ she added.

When asked about her upcoming projects, she replied, ‘I have been approached by a USA- based organisation named Dhrupad to participate in a virtual event which will help raise funds for COVID-19 victims. It will be held on May 31. Artistes from Bangladesh and India will participate at the programme.’

When asked about the impact of coronavirus on country’s dance scene, Warda Rihab, founder and director of Dhriti Nartanalaya, replied, ‘Many dancers have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak as they were earning a living teaching dance classes and performing on stage and TV shows. Dhriti Nartanalaya is a well established dance troupe but we don’t know how we will be able to pay salaries to our staff if the crisis continues for more than six months. I am looking forward to start teaching online dance classes from June 1. I think the country’s dance troupes will need more than two years to bounce back after things go back to normal.’

When asked how she is spending her days amid the outbreak, she replied, ‘Besides making virtual dance productions, I am spending as much time as possible with my family members. I am also staying connected with my friends and near and dear ones through facebook.’

‘I urge everyone to be patient during this critical time. We should not panic about the virus and follow WHO and government directives. I hope that the crisis will be over soon and things will go back to normal,’ she ended.

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