Music and Dance in Bangladesh – How it all started …

Dancing in 2013

During the last year, I have been feeling the strong wish to go back to our friends in Bangladesh and open the floor over there. Oh, we had already been dancing together some years ago when Abbes and I had been living up in the North close to the nomadic islands. And I will never forget these moments. The connection that we felt then, was authentic and we had big fun. Conscious movement practice would give this connection another depth and another goal!

Open Floor is a resource-oriented movement practice.
I am convinced that in this country where people are struggling so much, where climate change has a very big impact on daily life, and where health care, education and women’s rights are not for granted, the universal resources Open Floor is working with are going to be more than helpful. Resourcing ourselves is an ongoing process we can use to build resilience and capacity.

Often, we don’t even have to go towards opportunities, the opportunities come towards us, if we are open hearted enough to seize them:
This year a collaboration of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Foundation EME (Ecouter pour Mieux Entendre) and Friendship NGO resulted in a concrete project, which initially should have taken place in the Rohingya refugee camps in the south-east part of Bangladesh.

After the big success of Shezar Doja’s poetry with these refugees, Friendship Luxembourg intended to continue to invest in this cultural direction, aware of the fact that art, music and dance contribute significantly to the humanisation and comfort of modern health care and provide well-being which should be  available to everybody.

So EME decided to send Robert Bodja, who has been working and making music with refugees in Luxembourg, to Bangladesh !
Through a field visit and interaction with selected groups, Robert will initiate and lead the curriculum development for musical expression as well as the set-up of trainers who will organize the music sessions in the future.

And we, Abbes and I, decided, encouraged by Friendship Bangladesh and Friendship Luxembourg to join him and to bring Open Floor movement practice to Bangladesh!

The current circumstances didn’t allow to launch the project in the camps as originally planned.
But this was not a reason to cancel this beautiful project and Friendship decided to invite us to the North in the Gaibhanda and Kurigram districts where we are going to spend one week together with Robert and his music. Robert is going to leave us afterwards and we are staying one more week.

Robert defines his goals as following:

  • To bring joy, dignity and hope and enrich the quality of their lives (Bangladeshi people in the North in our case) through cultural activities
  • To assist the people in managing their trauma and/or other mental health issues through improved awareness and referral services
  • To assist the people in managing their trauma and/or other mental health issues through improved awareness and referral services

At Open Floor we believe that all creativity requires influence. Invention springs from a meeting of inspiration (teachers, artists, cultural trends, discoveries) and our own unique imagination.
The dance floor is our common ground, where self-expression, connection to others and connection to the spirit that animates us all are welcome.

Open Floor teachers are devoted to making embodied, conscious movement accessible.
« We are committed to working with populations who would otherwise never have access to this dance. We actively recruit from a wide range of professional fields for our training programs to integrate embodiment across disciplines including health care, education and the arts. »

You see, there is so much that we share, that we have in common! We are excited about what is going to wait for us during the next weeks!

If you want to share this adventure with us and follow our steps on the Chars and in the Friendship training center, this is the place to get online regularly.  Join us sharing the benefits of music, dance and creativity!

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