World Dance Alliance Dance Day celebrations  
- Urmimala Sarkarmunsi, Kolkata  

May 7, 2006 

The World Dance Alliance-West Bengal, West Bengal Dance Group Federation, West Bengal State Music Academy (Government of West Bengal), jointly collaborated in organising the World Dance Day 2006, Kolkata, and the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (Ministry of Culture, Government of India) agreed to fund it partially. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations also joined the effort by putting up a photographic exhibition of dance activities in West Bengal in 2005-2006.   

The events started with two workshops, being held at West Bengal State Music Academy premises, by two choreographers selected by the World Dance Alliance - Asia Pacific, and the selected choreographers were Mr.Leng Po Gee from Malaysia and Ms.Mei-Kuang Li from Taiwan. The workshops were held from the 20th till the 26th of April 2006. The participants were selected from a huge number of applicants from an open call for applications in the whole state of West Bengal. 

The workshop was an enlightening and a sharing process for the participants and the choreographers. The two showcase performances that were born out of the effort were called 'the joy of sharing' (Choreographed and designed by Leng Poh Gee, Malaysia), and 'A thought over the bridge' (Mei-Kuang Lee, Taiwan). 

The World Dance Day had been planned in two sessions at Rabindra Sadan, starting with a symposium on 'Contemporary issues in Indian dance' in the morning, with Sadanand Menon speaking on 'What is contemporary in Indian Dance' and Samik Bandopadhyay speaking on 'An outsider's view.' The talks were followed by two contemporary films on dance - Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's 'Bamboo Dreams' and Bill T.Jones 'Still Here?' 

The evening session saw Rabindra Sadan (with the capacity of 1100 people) filled to the brim, with an estimated audience of 1500 people who patiently stood in line for one and a half hours. The passages, aisles, and all other gaps were filled with people sitting on the carpet. All the local television channels covered the event and showed the two guest choreographers' showcases and their interviews, amongst other performances.  

The participation of the eleven local companies has brought in unprecedented sense of involvement amongst the dance community of West Bengal.  

The occasion became even more special with the message sent by Dr. Kapila Vatsayan, (Chairperson- India Chapter, and noted, internationally acclaimed scholar), especially for this occasion.