World-renowned French-Spanish musician Manu Chao performed at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA)’s National Theatre Hall on Wednesday, rocking the Dhaka crowd in his first visit to the country.
Organised by Alliance Française de Dhaka, the concert, titled "Sibérie m'était contée" Asian Tour, was arranged in association with the support of the Embassy of France to Bangladesh and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
In front of the jam-packed crowd at the venue, Manu and his guitarist performed several of his popular French and Spanish scores including his popular track "La Vida Tómbola" which was featured in the documentary film Maradona by Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica.
The duo then performed along with Bangladeshi Percussionist Mithun Chakraborty, also known as Mithun Chakra, and the crowd was tentalized with the collaboration.
“Manu is an amazing talent. We could not practice together even for more than half an hour just before the concert, yet we managed to speak the universal language of music at this concert”, Mithun told UNB.
The crowd loved every bit of this show, and it was reflected by the dancing audiences. “We did not understand a single word of his songs, but his performance did not let us sit for a minute and we never saw this much energy in any performance at this venue ever before”, Imtiaz, a student of East West University, told UNB.
Thanking his mesmerized Bangladeshi audience in the venue, Manu expressed his gratefulness while talking to UNB, saying “Never really imagined this sort of overwhelming appreciation even at this time of Corona epidemic. I am very happy to perform here in Dhaka and really grateful to this amazing crowd.”
Alliance Française de Dhaka’s Director Olivier Dintinger said they are very proud to present this eccentric concert in Bangladesh and expect to thrive the cultural bonding further between the two countries.
Manu Chao, a world renowned artist who performs in French, Spanish, English, Italian, Arabic, Catalan, Galician, Portuguese, Greek and occasionally in other languages .
One of the genius followers of Bob Marley, Manu Chao began his musical career in Paris, busking and playing with groups such as Hot Pants and Los Carayos which combined a variety of languages and musical styles. With friends and his brother Antoine Chao, he founded the band Mano Negra in 1987, achieving considerable success, particularly in Europe. After its breakup in 1995, Manu Chao became a solo artist and since then tours regularly with his live band, Radio Bemba.
As part of his Asian tour, Manu Chao rocked several cities in India including Ahmedabad, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai and Kolkata, before stepping inside Dhaka for the first time ever. On Tuesday, he roamed and performed in the Dhaka University campus, exploring the color fest of Holi.
As part of the Asian tour, Manu’s next destination is Colombo, Sri Lanka.
A nine-day group art exhibition titled ‘Guru-Shishya: Shishya-Guru’ 2) will end on Tuesday at Zainul Gallery of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University.
The opening ceremony of the exhibition, organised by Oriental Painting Studio Bangladesh, was held on March 2.
Presided over by Professor Nisar Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University, the exhibition was inaugurated by renowned sculptor-painter Hamiduzzaman Khan.
Luva Nahid Choudhury, Director General of Bengal Foundation, was present as chief guest at the programme. Nilu Rowshan Murshed, Chairperson of Abinta Gallery of Fine Arts, art connoisseurs Ratan Chandra Pal, Mikhail I Islam and Nusrat Mahmud were present as special guests.
This is the second group exhibition by Oriental Painting Studio Bangladesh.
The artists of the exhibition include Zahangir Alom, Amit Nandi and Malay Bala.
One of the artists Zahangir Alom said 'When I am at work, I do play Indian classical music. Thus, I try to translate my feelings into canvas. My artworks evoke include various images of classical raga, their moods and melodic bliss."
"Besides, I have a great fascination for depicting nature, its diverse facets and mythical aspects especially the connotations of the eternal love between Radha and Krishna," he added.
The exhibition, featuring oriental artworks, will showcase paintings from classical to the contemporary styles.
On the closing day the exhibition will remain open to all from 1pm to 8pm.
Earlier, the first edition of the exhibition took place at Alliance Française de Dhaka in 2019.
A three-day festival is scheduled to begin on Sunday afternoon at Lalon Akhra in Chheuria village in Kumarkhali upazila remembering the legendry Baul Lalon Shah.
The Lalon Academy, in association with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, is organising the event. Hundreds of admires from home and abroad have already gathered at the Akhra to take part in the festival.
The festival will feature open discussions, singing of Baul songs by artistes of Lalon Academy and prominent singers, fair and some selected cultural performances.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid will inaugurate the festival at 6:30pm while Kushita-1 MP AKM Sarwar Jahan Badsa, Kushtia-4 MP Selim Altaf George, Superintendent of Police SM Tanvir Arafat among others will be present with Deputy Commissioner Md Aslam Hossain in the chair.
Tight security has been put in place to ensure safety of the devotees.
Lalon Shah was a Baul, a mystic, a songwriter, singer, social reformer and secular thinker. He has become an icon of religious tolerance and secularism in Bengali culture.
The sixth edition of Joy Bangla Concert was held on Saturday at Bangladesh Army Stadium in the capital marking the historic occasion of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s March 7 speech that inspired the whole nation to fight for freedom.
Organised by Young Bangla and Centre for Research and Information (CRI), the open for all concert saw a handful of talented and prominent bands performing from 1:30pm till midnight at the jam-packed stadium.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana attended the event in the evening, greeting the audience with Bangabandhu’s grandchildren Saima Wazed and Radwan Mujib Siddiq, a trustee of CRI.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Dhaka North Mayor Atiqul Islam, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for Information Murad Hassan, Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das, chief coordinator of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary programmes Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and State Minister for the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and another trustee of CRI Nasrul Hamid Bipu, among others, were also present at the concert.
Inside the performances by the bands, the hosts and organisers frequently presented some of the historic facts about Bangabandhu, which led to a special holographic show on Bangabandhu in which his daughters reminisced how Bangabandhu spent the historic March 7. The show later broadcast the speech as well.
Graphic novel ‘Mujib’, a CRI publication, was also screened at the concert, shortly after the holographic show.
This year, bands performed in two time slots. Opening with the National Anthem at 1:30 pm, the concert continued with the performances of Introit, Arekta Rock Band, Adverb, Sin and Conclusion till 4pm.
Shortly after that, the main line-up of this year’s Joy Bangla Concert started performing which began with country’s first all-female folk band F Minor, and followed by Minar and band, AvoidRafa, Vikings, Shunno, Lalon, Arbovirus, Cryptic Fate, Nemesis, Fuad and Friends, and Chirkut.
One monumental incident saw the return of country’s one of the most prominent rock legends ‘Bassbaba’ Sumon on stage as part of Fuad and Friends. Sumon has been critically ill for several years.
Young Bangla and CRI started this annual concert in 2015.
Eminent photographer Nasir Ali Mamun, known for capturing significant moments of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has said being the photographer of Bangabandhu has always been the best honour of his life.
“Bangabandhu is the lone patriotic leader of Bangladesh who is irreplaceable. His unconditional love for Bangladesh and Bangladeshi people was unimaginable. I was so lucky and fortunate to capture significant moments of Bangabandhu through my lens during his prime time,” the legendary photographer said.
He was talking to UNB after the inauguration of his 59th solo photographic exhibition ‘Joy Bangabandhu’ at the La Galerie of Alliance Française de Dhaka in the capital.
French Ambassador to Bangladesh Jean-Marin Schuh inaugurated the exhibition marking the birth centenary of Bangabandhu. Eminent artist Shahabuddin Ahmed also joined the inauguration as the guest of honour.
“I neither had any institutional education on photography, nor even a press identity during the prime time of Bangabandhu in 1971. Yet I managed to capture some iconic portraits of the great leader. He even complimented me once that his psychology had been examined through my camera – and that was an incredible honour for me,” Mamun added.
“We have photographs and documentaries of Bangabandhu and our Liberation War, but those came through foreign photojournalists who had comparably better technological equipment. Nasir, a young photographer during that era, captured all these images from his heart. He is a glorious representation of our youths during the prime time of Bangabandhu,” Shahabuddin Ahmed said.
It is astonishing to see how good his photographic knowledge and vision was even during that black and white era, Alliance Française de Dhaka’s Director Olivier Dintinger said, adding that they are extremely proud to be the organiser of this exhibition.
Mamun, known as a legendary photographer in Bangladesh, took many portraits of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the early seventies and recorded his rare moments from close up. After the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, Nasir Ali Mamun’s camera defined portraiture in Bangladesh that eventually ushered in and changed the landscape of portrait photography in the country.
Being ‘the poet with the camera’, Mamun has taken some of the most iconic portraits Bangladesh has ever seen. His black and white images display a beautiful yet enigmatic and equivocal coalescence of light and shadow.
The special exhibition will remain open till March 24 except March 13 and 14 when the gallery will be closed.
Enthusiasts and visitors can visit the exhibition from Monday to Thursday from 3pm to 9pm and Friday to Saturday from 9am to 12pm and 5pm to 8pm.