"Ocean Dance Festival-2019"– the largest international dance festival in Bangladesh began on Friday, for the first time, organized by Nrityajog; the Bangladesh wing of World Dance Alliance (WDA) – Asia Pacific which is an international organisations of dancers. Nationally selected noted dancers and potential young dancers, along with their artists will perform classical dance, contemporary dance, folk dance and dance-drama. Besides, internationally selected artists will present subject specific performance. There will also be joint performance of two countries.
State minister of cultural affairs KM Khalid inaugurated the 4-day festival as the chief guest at Cox's Bazar's Cox's Carnival Auditorium at 5 pm on Friday. Dr Md Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, secretary at the cultural affairs ministry, and Dr Kamal Hossain, deputy commissioner of Cox's Bazar, was present as special guests.
At the second day of the festival, Liakat Ali Lucky, director general of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, will be present with Bhuban Chandra Biswas, director of Bangladesh Tourism Board attending the festival on day three. Saimum Sarowar Kamol, member of parliament Cox Bazar-3, Sri Anindo Banarjee, assistant high commissioner of India to Bangladesh, and Md Kamal Hossain, deputy commissioner will be present at the programme's fourth day.
The theme of this year's festival has been titled "Durotter Shetubandhan" (Bridging the distance). The concept to bridging the cultural and economic distances will be presented through the art of drama. Lila Samson, an Indian artist; Dr Urmimala Sarkar, chairman at WDA-Asia Pacific; Lubna Moriom, an artist-organizer and general secretary of WDA-Asia Pacific and other scholars will present articles at the programme.
Bangladeshi origin British dancer Akram Khan will be connected to the programme through video conference.
Every day, from dawn there will be subject specific discussion, workshop and seminars. There will be dance performance at Cox's Carnival adjacent to Laboni Beach in Cox's Bazar's Mermaid Eco Resort.
To expand cultural tourism, Nrityajog is organising the festival to present the natural beauty and tourism in Bangladesh sea beaches. More than 200 dancers, teaches, researchers and choreographers from 15 countries will attend the festival.
Lubna Moriom, general secretary of Nrityajog and the principal curator of Ocean Dance Festival, sated, "The scope and possibility of cultural tourism in Bangladesh will be improved after the festival. Tourists coming to Bangladesh to see the beach, will come to enjoy the festival as a part of their tour. We are trying to present the festival with that purpose. We hope, the image of Bangladesh will be brightened in the cultural world in near future."
Anisul Islam Hiru, secretary of Nrityajog, said, "We have received an overwhelming response at the very first festival. We were not able to allow many interested artists to perform. However, we have not received much financial assistant, though many institutes have assured us that they would help in future."
Matra and Channel I are assisting in organising the festival. Cultural affairs ministry, civil aviation and tourism ministry, and tourism board are supporting us too. Drama and Dramatics department of Chattogram University is the academic partner of the festival.