Raibeshi dance captivates audience at BSACultural Correspondent
A spectacular performance of traditional raibeshi dance entertained a huge crowd on Tuesday evening at the National Art Plaza of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Dance troupe Bhabna presented one of the most popular traditional dance forms of the Bengal known as raibeshi nritya as part of the ongoing six-day South Asian handicrafts exhibition titled SAARC Handicraft Village.
Traditionally, the raibeshi dance form is supposed to be performed only by the soldiers of the zamindars [landlords] demonstrating their vigour and courage. The name came from the use of a special type of bamboo called raibash in the dance form. Originally, the men had to use their weapons – such as stick swords, spears, raibash and others – in their dance steps. It consisted of rigorous acrobatic movements making it more commonly known as the soldierly dance.
Bhabna, however, experimented with the traditional dance form and made use of the artillery as props for the dance making it very enjoyable for the audience of all ages. A number of male and female dancers of Bhabna performed and gripped the entire hall with their energetic performance.
In the experimental production artistes of Bhabna also emphasised vigourous dance movements. They captivated the audience with their tricky and difficult physical movements which were synchronized with high-pitched sounds of traditional drums and cymbals. The dancers enacted the soldierly actions of drawing bows, throwing spears, waving swords, riding on elephants and horses. In circular and linear acrobatic movements, the dancers also displayed eye-catching tricks with sticks.
Directed by Samina Husain Prema, Bhabna artistes Shachi, Lopa, Anondita, Hanif, Asif, Imon, Pankaj, Farhad, Iqbal and Arman perfomed in the show.
‘In earlier days, the dance form was a popular form of entertainment mainly in the undivided Bengal. Later this form of dance disappeared until the eminent folklorist Gurusaday Dutt brought it back into people’s notice. Now the form is widely practised and performed by dance troupes in both Bangladesh and Paschimbanga,’ said Prema, the director of the composition.
‘The performance was absolutely hypnotising. I was completely spell-bound for the last ten minutes,’ said a delighted Sadia Sharmin, who enjoyed the recital.
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