Dancing Towards Greatness
Classical Dancer Amit Chowdhury
Courtesy: Amit Chowdhury
I did my O levels from Saint Placid High School, Chittagong. I was a teacher's pet at school. Nevertheless, I had my fair share of fun by taking part in a lot of sports and I was also very active with other extra-curricular activities. I was very good at cricket and used to play for the school cricket team as well. Apart from that I was always interested in dancing. I still cherish the memory of performing classical dance in several cultural functions at school and being appreciated by my teachers. My mother has always been a big inspiration to me. She was the one who guided me into the world of dancing and motivated me to take dance lessons from the noted classical dancer, Runi Bishwas. After graduating from school, I joined Government City College, Chittagong. For me college life was rather hectic as the pressure from studies was immense and I could hardly manage any time to practice dancing.
As I always had a knack for dancing and had decided to pursue my higher studies in classical dance forms, I got into Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata and got my Bachelors and Masters Degrees on Bharatanatayam. Campus life at Rabindra Bharati was completely different from the one that I had experienced in Bangladesh. We used to have classes in Jorasanko, the very place where Rabindranath Tagore was born. So I could sense an influence of Rabindranath in everything that was happening on campus. However, the curriculum was quite stressful, which demanded students to carry out long practice sessions on a regular basis. I always felt privileged for getting the opportunity to learn from some of the connoisseurs of classical dancing at Rabindra Bharati.
Currently I am working as a lecturer in the Department of Dance at Shanto-Mariam University. As my job description involves interacting with a lot of students, I cannot help but feel hopeful when I see that more and more young people are now taking an interest in classical dance. The young generation has also rejected many stereotypical notions attached with dancing which were previously apparent in our society.
I have always intended to do something creative with classical dance forms in Bangladesh. Recently I directed and also performed in two dance dramas -- 'Mayar khela' and 'Fire flights', which were staged in Bangladesh and abroad. The drama 'Fire flights' was very innovative in nature as it was completely inspired by the Haiku poems written by Rabindranath Tagore during his stay in Japan.
My suggestion to all the young people would be to think out of the box and pursue their dreams. I strongly believe that if someone stays committed enough to one's passion, nothing would stop the person from attaining success.