German-Bangladeshi dance production “Made in Bangladesh” by German director Helena Waldmann is finally scheduled to be presented in Dhaka at the invitation of The Goethe-Institut Bangladesh in cooperation with Shadhona – A Center for the Advancement of Southasian Culture.
On 26 January, 2015, two shows will be held at the National Theatre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The first show will start at 2 PM, the second at 7 PM. Both are free of entry on first come, first served basis.
Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of JatiyoSangshad, graces the evening show as Chief Guest. Asaduzzaman Noor, Minister of Cultural Affairs, and Dr. Ferdinand von Weyhe, Chargé d’Affaires, German Embassy Dhaka, are present as Guests of Honor, while Ranjit Kumar Biswas, Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, attends the performance as Special Guest.
After successfully touring Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and India, the organizers promised an unforgettable cultural experience, unheard of in Bangladesh till now.
“Made in Bangladesh” explores the notorious sweat shops of the garment industry and the supposedly legitimate artistic “sweat shop” of a dance studio – and comes to the conclusion that they have more in common than the cultural establishment would like to admit. Both, dancers and seamstresses, work at the expense of their health, fobbed off with low wages and at constant risk of losing their jobs to someone even younger, even more flexible. And still both urgently ask not to boycott their products…
Waldmann and her Kolkata based co-choreographer Vikram Iyengar use the complicated staccato dynamics of Kathak as a relentless choreographic reflection of piecework sewing. The choreography with twelve dancers from Bangladesh is thereby interspersed with multimedia extension in the form of video clips and sound collages.
After the premiere of “Made in Bangladesh” in the German city of Ludwigshafen in November 2014 and the following Europe tour, the ensemble most recently toured India with the support of Goethe-Institut, participating also in two renowned dance festivals.
The two shows in Dhaka now are like a homecoming for cast and crew. Not only are the twelve dancers based in Dhaka, the majority of the production was also produced in the Bangladeshi capital. Extensive rehearsal periods took place there for almost one year. In addition, the topic of the production is nowhere more prevailing than in Bangladesh.
However, due to copy rights issue and also ensuring quality of the event, no photography and no video recording would be allowed inside the auditorium during the shows.