like no one's Watching!
Jack Nicholson's famous dialogue 'Ever danced with the devil
in the pale moonlight?' in Batman? Well, in this case, you
don't really have to dance in the pale moonlight. In fact,
you wouldn't have to go to all the trouble to dance with
the devil either. If you want a taste of the Mamba, Cha
Cha Cha and other latino dances like the Salsa, then all
you have to do is Tango all the way to the South Avenue
Club and register for the dance classes that take place
there twice every week.
Shekhaliev, choreographer and the dance instructor at the
club, comes all the way from Russia and has been giving
dance classes in Dhaka for the past three years at the Russian
Centre of Science and Culture. He had also choreographed
the dance sequence in Brand, a theatre production by the
Centre for Asian Theatre (CAT), in Dhaka. With a certified
degree in Russian folk dances and Choreography, Majid has
been working with the Lezagenna, a very popular Russian
folk dance group all over Europe for over 20 years.
in Dhaka with a business proposal for a Windmill Power Station
in Bangladesh, Majid uses his free time to give dance classes
at the South Avenue Club, while working on the project the
rest of the week. Less competent in spoken English, Majid
has an impressive grasp of Bangla and speaks fluently about
his experiences. "I had first come to Bangladesh in
the year 1998," he said. "It was solely for business,
so I left afterwards. In a few months, the Russian Cultural
Centre had invited me to Dhaka to give dance classes here.
That was three years ago, and since then I had been teaching
dance here in Dhaka," he adds.
a very popular choreographer in his own country, Majid has
worked with the Russian Cinema for over six years. "Every
time I go back to my country, producers still ask me to
choreograph for their productions," he continued. "Cinema
is a completely different world, where choreography and
the dance forms are concerned. It's a beautiful creation
in it self." Has he been giving any thought to the
choreography in cinema in Bangladesh by any chance? "Yes,
of course!" he exclaimed. "As I said, cinema is
a wonderful creation and gets better when dance becomes
an integral part of it. I did speak to some regarding choreographing
for the cinema here in this country. I know I can do a good
job of it, if only they would give me a chance. I would
do it free initially!" said Majid, smiling and sipping
tea at the South Avenue Club Cafe.
in dark slacks and dance shoes, Majid had his students at
the club feel at ease with the basic steps of Mamba. With
a "1, 2, 3, tap, 5, 6, 7, tap" the dancers tried
out these foreign steps, which looked quite simple but actually
had them catching their breath every time they missed a
is my second class and I am so not good at dancing!"
smiled an American student. "I joined Majid's classes
only because my friend takes these classes up and promised
me that they would be fun. And they are" he adds.
student claimed that it was her third class and she seems
to pick up steps perfectly in Mamba, Samba and the Salsa
as well. "None of us are very good dancers here,"
she informs. "But it's very refreshing to get together
here every Wednesdays and Saturdays after work to learn
something new and foreign," she adds.
an expatriate living in Dhaka and having a special attraction
towards Salsa, went out of his way to help the other students
with their steps and taps.
is very refreshing, in a way, to learn about an art form
completely foreign to us," the students exclaimed.
"After a day's full of work, it feels great to divert
your mind and skills towards Mamba and the Cha Cha Cha for
a change" she added.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005