What We Perform
Nrityanchal offers an exhilarating cultural experience for all tastes, whether by evoking the formal splendours of Moghul India through the intricate rhythms of Kathak, or by reflecting the vibrancy of today’s sub-continent in more contemporary dance forms. Our home-grown culture is equally a source of inspiration for us – we celebrate the traditional way of life in rural Bangladesh in our performances of ever-popular folk dances and dramas.
Classical dance forms the basis of our repertoire, ranging from Kathak, developed at the court of the Moghul emperors in Northern India, to the devotional Bharat Natyam, the age old temple dances of Southern India.
Our classical heritage is celebrated in shows such as the recent one to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the newspaper ‘Daily Star’. On this occasion 200 dancers took to the stage for 2 hours to perform dances blending the four classical dance forms of Kathak, Bharat Natyam, Manipur and Odissi.
We also encourage our students to learn additional classical dance forms, for instance we have recently run a workshop on Gowrio.
Every district of Bangladesh has its own distinctive style of song and dance, many forming part of the Nrityanchal repertoire. For instance Sylhet has its colourful wedding dance called dhamail and Chittagong has its own tribal dances, such as the lively bamboo dance and the bottle dance. The dhol dance is performed to the beat of the Bangladeshi version of the drum and is seen throughout Bangladesh. By way of contrast there are the dances of Rangpur, performed to the plaintive bhawaia songs expressing the longing of maidens awaiting the return of their far-away lovers. And then there is the ever-popular snake charmer dance inspired by the gypsy-like charmer who catches snakes in the forest and wanders from village to village enticing them to ‘dance’ to the strains of his flute.
Popular folk dance dramas in our repertoire include:
Nokshi Kathar Maath by Jasimuddin
Mohua from Mymensingh Gitika
Shombhashon by the late Shahidul Islam
Creative / Modern
Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam are the most celebrated poets in Bengali literature and many dances are set to their songs. Nrityanchal performs both standalone ‘piece’ dances by these artists, as well as full-length dance dramas, using original choreography, for example:
Dramas by Rabindranath Tagore
Chitranganda (choreography and direction by Dr Mohua Mukharjee).
Balmiki Pratibha (choreography and direction by Shukalyan Bhattacharya)
Rai-Krishna Podaboli – a dance drama written by poet Sheikh Hafizur Rahman, based on a poem by Tagore (directed by Shukalyan Bhattacharya, 2012)
Dramas by Kazi Nasrul Islam
Our repertoire also includes dances on the theme of the Liberation War, for instance, Chiroamlan and Deshe Doshu Elo Mela.
The choreographers of Nrityanchal seek inspiration for their work from around the world, adapting rhythms, movements and different styles of choreography to create new ‘fusion’ dance forms combining the most beautiful elements of Eastern and Western dance.