Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com
Ekushey Padak winning dancer and television actress Zeenat Barkatullah died of old-age complications at her own residence in the city’s Dhanmondi area on Wednesday afternoon, reports news agency BSS.
She is survived by two daughters, actress Bijori Barkatullah and Nusrat Barkatullah Kajori.
The news was confirmed by her daughter Bijori Barkatullah, who is also a noted actress and dancer.
In her illustrious career, Zeenat Barkatullah served as the director of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (production department), while overseeing its dance and music departments.
She was recognised for her performances for a wide range of dance styles, including the likes of Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, and folk dance.
In the year 2022, the artiste was honoured with the second highest civilian award, Ekushey Padak, for contributions to the field of dance.
She also achieved other accolades such as Sher-e-Bangla Memorial Award (1985), Natya Shabha Award (1987), Cadet Core Award (1989), UNESCO Award (1996), Tarokalok Award (1997), Millennium Award (2000), Amritabazar Award (2001), and the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award (2008).
She was featured in around 80 tele-fictions during her career, which began with the project “Maria Amar Maria” in 1980. She was later seen in “Ghore Baire”, “Osthayee Nibash”, “Boro Bari”, and “Kotha Bola Moyna”, among others.
Born on October 3 in 1951, Zeenat Barkatullah was a student of Gazi Alimuddin Mannan, while she was only four years old. She earned her Master’s in Sociology from the Dhaka University and joined the Performing Arts Academy.
She also completed a six-year certificate course from Bulbul Lalitakala Academy and later in ballet and dance choreography from North Korea.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs, K M Khalid expressed deep condolences on the passing of the stalwart and extended heartfelt sympathy to the grieving family in a condolence message.
In the message, the minister emphasised the significant role played by Zeenat Barkatullah in the cultural movement of independent Bangladesh. He also stated that she will remain a vital figure in the development of dance discourse through her work.