In a first-ever Indo-Bangla joint production, over 70 artistes from the two neighbours staged the “Alibaba And Forty Thieves”, a unique 3D presentation, in the city. “Bandi Bandar Roopkatha”, a new name given to the famous Arabian Nights tale, is a novel fusion dance production inspired by South Asian, African and modern dances forms in 3D projection format, the Indian dance troupe head, Sukalyan Bhattacharya, said.
Shibli Mohammed of the Srishti troupe in Bangladesh said, “It is a huge production which incurred Rs 40 lakh to mount it.”
“We had done rehearsal for three months in Dhaka where Sukalyan, a dear friend of ours, also participated with his own group,” Shibli, who played Alibaba, said.
Popular Bangladeshi stage actor Shamim Ara Nipa, who portrayed the role of Marjina, said, “The joint production has the feel of a Broadway musical and an effort to bring back fantasy element in our lives.”
Nipa said she was a little apprehensive about the response of the Kolkata audience to the show, but after the show was over we found there was no difference between Dhaka, Chittagong, Kolkata and for that matter any city.
“Some works are universal,” she commented.
Nipa had earlier performed in Rabindra Sadan, the premier state-run auditorium, 30 years back in Tagore’s dance-drama ‘Chitrangada.’
“We have done several dance productions based on Tagore’s works as well as works of Kazi Nazrul Islam and folk culture. Art can’t have boundaries, our icons can’t be split by boundaries,” she said.
Sukalyan, who enacted Kashem, is the founder of Sukalyann D Entourage dance troupe, which represented the Indian side. He had also conceptualised the whole thing with Nipa and Shibli.
Prominent Bengali singers Nachiketa Chakraborty, Srikanto Acharya, Lopamudra Mitra, Jayati Chakraborty and Raghab Chatterjee sang for the production.
“Happy to do something different from the beaten track,” Srikanto remarked.