Boishakhi Mela has been an integral part of our culture, and like every year, Sydneysiders has witnessed another grand celebration of this festival on April 26 at the Athletic Centre, Sydney Olympic Park.
As the biggest Boishakhi Mela in this region, organized by Bangabandhu Council Australia, the event has nearly 20,000 people participate from all around Australia, and prides itself on its success for over a decade . As the cultural partner of the main event of mela this year, Poth Productions, with their team of performers, choreographers, directors and production, have showcased yet another musical-theatrical stage performance with ‘Boishakhi – Celebrating Bangaliyana’, which was the theme for this year. Despite sound, stage space and other technical barriers, Poth Productions, PP as its members calls it, managed to win accolades of Mela viewers with their unique, heavily visual and prop based performance.
PP show kicked off with children reciting Boishakhi poetry and a ‘Rotho-jatra’, all apparently indicative of the new hopes and festivity of the upcoming Bangla year of 1421. It was followed by a live singing segment in pre-composed tracks that incorporated songs of Robindro, Nazrul, tribal, folks and modern Bangla songs, all sequenced in the order these genres have influenced our culture over time.
The Jatra segment, with 3 characters (Nawab Shirajudduola, Baaker bhai & Mona) in the middle of each of the segments acted as the MC of the whole show; the dialogues, with its comical and satirical settings, threw strong social messages on generation gaps and fusion culture.
The fashion show segment, sponsored by Shreyoshe, stood out as a glamorous one; with exhibition of BD fabrics and textiles through themes from Bangla house-hold attires, bridals to modern south Asians clothing trends. The colorful folk, tribal and classical dances just after the fashion show seemed like touching base to the celebration of all sub-cultures within Bangladesh and the influences these dances have within our broader sense of Bangaliyana. The creatively choreographed hip-hop and fusion dance segment after BD local dances came as an attempt to build a bridge between cultures and generations. The onstage Flash-mob on the Anonto Jolil song ‘Dhakar ‘Pola’ after the dance segments added extra hype to the foot-tapping crowd, just before PP’s thought provoking segment of theatrical performance (or theatre).
The theatrical performance, ‘Cornered Nation, Roaring Tiger’, drew enormous crowd’s attention for its patriotic theme, props, visuals and its own soundtrack. The story of the devil (jomdoot) taking the lives of victims of Rana plaza, language movement, acid, flood victim, intellectual killings, and the last wish of each of the victims represented by the formation of new and progressive Bangladesh, created intensity and connection among the Bangladeshi viewers present.
The show ended with PP composed track ‘Shonali Daanar Ganngchil’ and famous ‘Potaka Tolo’ song; a ‘human-bird’ on-stage with fireworks from the wings symbolized Bangali Spirit, and with all performers onstage, the final message conveyed was about freedom, hope and of a resilient nation.
Poth Productions depicted our cultural celebration through rich patriotic theatrical themes, contemporary music and dance styles They tasteful blended eastern and western in a fusion which was felt in alignment with their commitment to bring in change, and community contribution, both on social and cultural grounds. The formation of this team goes back to the year 2009 when each of the founders came together with their passion for stage performing arts and to bring in a change in the way stories of our culture and heritage are told.With few upcoming projects declared by PP for this year, the community will be looking forward to the PP ventures and will be keen to see similar performances in the future.
- Jatra/Drama: Shawon Arijit, Johnny Tanvir, Samantha
- Live Singing: Shamarukh, Munia, Mona, Shreya, Ajanta, Piya, Titu & Sakib; Track: Titu
- Dance-Classical/Folk/Tribal: Elison, Diti, Cherry, Ratna, Jasmine, Patricia, Emma, Rituporna
- Dance- Fusion/Contemporary: Nixon, Savvy Singh, JoJo Walia, Arsalan Khan, Rohit Singh, Rakesh, Flavia Narayan, Oshin, Elison, Diti, Cherry, Ratna, Jasmine, Patricia, Emma & Rituporna; Choreography: Elison & Diti
- Fashion Show: Piya, Noimul, Jonny, Rakesh, Flavia, Shazana, Oshin, Emma, Ratna, Mridul Sumon, Ajanta, Sumaiya, Rudro, Sabbir, Sadi, Munia, Arsalan, Savvy, Priyanka, Mili, Sunny; Choreography: Piya; Sponsor: Shreyoshe
- Theatrical: Hafiz Sadullah, Munia, Viswa, Sadi, Rakesh, Rudro, Ajanta, Savvy, Rohit, Sumaiya; Direction: Hafiz; Choreography: Nixon
- Stage Coordination: Tasnuva Amin
- Audio-Visual: Zafar Munna
- Make-Up: Samrina Abedin
- Props & Body Paint: Munia
- Sound Coordination: Soura Panday
- PP Production/Creative Direction: Nahid Kamal, Hafiz Sadullah
- PP Head of Marketing & Strategy: Sakib Iftekhar
- PP Art Direction: Adnan Kabir
- Program Manager : Faisal Hossain
- Produced by: Bangabandhu Council Australia
Credit: Sakib Iftekhar from Poth Productions for supplying all the photographs