Finding the artist in you
When people dance, they are not merely moving their body to the beat of music. They can be expressing emotion, performing an exercise for healing, trying to communicate their ideas or telling a story. A language that requires no words, it is a form of communication that even animals use, like the waggle of bees who do a dance to signal the presence of food nearby.
Just recently, Olomopolo Media hosted a performance titled A Journey of Self Exploration at their studio, The OLO Junction, in Lahore. Six participants performed different pieces, each piece representing a different form and stage of a relationship. In our daily life, our memory of events becomes intertwined with many, different people, places and objects; we form an attachment with those things. In their performance, the dancers expressed their relationship with myriad entities, be it human, a place, or even an object.
A Journey of Self Exploration was the culmination of a four-day workshop of Dance Therapy and Corporal Expressions with Suhaee Abro, who flew in from Karachi to share tips for
enhancing wellness through dance.
“It is not just mime or a form; it is something that is personal and comes from within”, Suhaee Abro shared her thoughts on corporal expression. Imran Nafeez has also stepped in to join her as trainer and choreographer of the workshop.
So what is Olomopolo Media, that sounds like a curious mix of an Oompa Loompa and the Lollapalooza Music Festival? Since its inception in December 2013, Olomopolo has made a mark in Lahore as an active art management and entertainment company. Their aim is to put up a range of intellectually stimulating activities for entertainment and Olomopolo’s weekly activities are geared towards the promotion of culture and performing arts. Kanwal Khoosat, Fyque Nadeem, Iram Sana and Vicky Zhuang Yi-Yin are the driving force behind the company and continuously work towards bringing back various quality forms of the performing arts.
It is interesting to note that Kanwal Khoosat is renowned TV actor Irfan Khoosat’s daughter; a love for culture and performance is in her genes. Kanwal told Instep that the main focus of Olomopolo is on art, media and culture. “We are not restricted to any single medium but have introduced a new format called Olo Tatolo in December, where we invite children to listen to interesting stories.” The stories are narrated in Urdu, Punjabi or English and so far Olomopolo Media has enjoyed the support of veterans like Irfan Khoosat, Sania Saeed, Janan Malik and Nadia Afgan, who are participated in the story-telling sessions.
Kanwal Khoosat spoke about the growing need for the promotion of the arts, as career paths were diversifying amongst the youth. Young graduates no longer felt restricted to the
conventional job options and were exploring new avenues, especially in the fields of liberal art. Kanwal added, “We have arranged special classes for enthusiastic young people, teaching them about lights, cameras, and set design. In the primary stage, we teach them basic acting skills. At the intermediate level, we push them towards monologue and advanced performance. In the final stage, we share a dialogue to evaluate our work. This gives us ample room to overcome our shortcomings.”