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Bangla students learning Manipuri art forms

 IMPHAL, March 14 – Manipuri dance that embodies delicate and graceful movements is the forte of Tamanna Rahman, an internationally-acclaimed dancer from Bangladesh, who trains youngsters in her country in the dance form.

Director of Nrityam Nrityasheelon Kendro in Dhaka, 44-year-old Rahman said 50 young Bangladeshi students were learning classical Manipuri dance and other art forms of the north-eastern State.

“Though I am a Muslim woman from Bangladesh, the rich culture and tradition of Manipur is in my heart and I feel that Manipur is close to my own country,” Rahman, who served as guest lecturer at the Theatre department of Dhaka University, said.

She was mesmerised by the performance of Manipuri dancer Shantibala Sinha in Dhaka in the early eighties. “Driven by the deep passion of this dance form, I began learning Manipuri dance from Guru Shantibala in 1982,” she said.

After Sinha left Bangladesh for Canada in 1988, Rahman’s chances to enhance her skills nearly came to an abrupt end.

“With determination and sheer grit I managed to keep the art form alive in my country,” she recounted.

Tamanna began learning advanced Manipuri dance in Kolkata under Guru Kalavati in 1993 after completing her graduation in architecture from Dhaka the previous year.

Under a scholarship programme, she completed her master’s degree in the dance form at the Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata and bagged the Guru Maisnam Amubi Singh award in 1997.

Tamanna, who was in Imphal to perform at the recently-concluded four-day international dance festival at the ISKCON temple complex said “my performance at ISKCON temple was one of my success as I had dreamed of performing Manipuri dance in Manipur. My happiness knew no bounds when I was invited for this dance festival.” – PTI

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