May 12, 2011

BANGLADESH: Mime Artist Gets Top French Honour

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DHAKA / New Age / Time Out / May 12, 2011

Partha Pratim gets top French award

Cultural Correspondent

Internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi mime artiste Partha Pratim Majumder, 57,  has received the Knight in the Order of Fine Arts and Humanities award, the highest cultural award of the French government, his family confirmed New Age.

‘He was very emotional while conveying the message on Tuesday evening that the French cultural minister Frédéric Mitterrand conferred the award on him,’ said Bappa Majumder, the master mime’s younger brother.

‘Definitely it’s a good news for the nation, but for our family even something more since the news came just after a few days of the death of our mother,’ Bappa told New Age.

In fact, this is for the first time that a Bangladeshi artiste has received such honour from any foreign government.

Partha Pratim Majumder Courtesy: parthapratim.com

The French ministry for cultural affairs honours personalities either for their remarkable creation in literary or artistic field or for their contribution to the culture in France as well as globally.

A forerunner in the field of mime in Bangladesh, Partha Pratim Majumder was born into an artistic family in Pabna in 1954. Initially, he started his career as a musician and his keen sense of rhythm enabled him to let his limbs move and express his surroundings through gestures.

He, however, found interest in mime while learning the art form under Jogesh Dutta of Kolkata from 1966 to 1972. But Partha’s thirst was for world class artistes under whom he could develop.

His dream came true within a short span of time. In 1981 Partha moved to Paris under a scholarship programme to study mime with Etienne Decroux. From 1982 to 1985, he studied at legendary French mime Marcel Marceau’s in Paris and was a member of his touring company.

Partha is still based in Paris and still works regularly with Marceau. Since the mid-1980s Partha has given solo and company performances throughout Europe and in the United States, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

Partha spans the western and oriental mine traditions and seeks ways in which these can build on each other to create new forms of artistic expression which transcend cultural barriers. Partha takes delight in conducting mime classes and workshops with fellow artistes and students to promote the art of mime and share his expertise. He works frequently with deaf and dumb children, using mime to help them develop skills in self-expression and communication.

The mime artiste frequently visits Dhaka. For the last 35 years, Partha is working for the improvement of mime performance in the country.

Partha also acted in a short French film called Bhai Bhai, which has earned 26 international awards.

He acted in various American, British and Canadian movies and telefilms, and also acted as a model in the world famous companies, including Western Union, NIKE, IBM, Mc Donald and Thompson.

Partha has performed in Paris, Frankfurt, New York and in a film for BBC Channel 4, among others.

For his contributions in cultural field, Partha Pratim Majumder was awarded Ekushe Award 2010.

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