Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) arranged its traditional Nabanna Uthsab for the Bengali calendar year 1427 on Sunday at its National Theatre Hall auditorium.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the academy only held a cultural show this year instead of its usual festivities arranged in the previous years.

KM Khalid, state minister for cultural affairs, joined the event as its chief guest while Badrul Arefin, secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, joined as special guest.

"The pandemic has taken so many personalities and usual festivities from us, throughout the year. Due to COVID-19, the academy could not celebrate this long-awaited festival and all of its usual festivities. The government is hopeful that soon we'll be able to see the return of all festivities after the pandemic situation improves and we're all in this together," Khalid said.

The programme was arranged by the department of dramatics under the academy, which now has renowned thespian Afsana Mimi as its director.

"Although the pandemic situation is ongoing, this cultural event was made possible because of all our participating artists - and we promise that more festivities and rendezvous will make glorious return once the pandemic's over," Mimi told UNB.

The cultural festival began at 5pm at the National Theatre Hall auditorium lobby with group dance and songs along with special 'Gambhira' song performances by the BSA dance and music troops. Artist Mamun Zahid Khan sang 'O Amar Desher Mati' after the performances.

Dancers from Bangladesh Academy of Fine Arts then gave a special performance which took place after the inaugural ceremony, choreographed by Farhana Chowdhury Baby.

Renowned music artist Chandana Majumder and Baul artist Shafi Mandal performed folk songs written based on the seasonal aspects and festivities while 'Vawaiya' songs were performed by the academy's Vawaiya team.

Music artists from Government Music College, Gambhira troop from Chapainawabganj Gambhira Team under Faizur Rahman Manik and the music troop of BSA performed other musical performances throughout the event.

Television and stage artist Abdul Aziz performed a special Punthi performance at the cultural event, which has been a long-lost tradition and medium of entertainment in the rural areas of Bangladesh.

Dhriti Nrittanalay performed a dance performance on a winter song choreographed by Warda Rihab; a group Kathak dance performance choreographed by Snata Shahrin was held, followed by a special Indigenous dance performance by Chakma, Tripura and Tanchanga performers under the choreography of Antor Dewan. Dance troop of BSA showcased the concluding dance performance on Nabanna song.

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