January is the month of culture!
By: Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: The month of January will bring a series of cultural events for the art loving people of Lahore.
Giving a grand reception to 2013, two arts councils — provincial and federal — are all set to entertain Lahorites with some quality evenings featuring artistes from Lahore and other areas of Punjab. To many art critics, such events will prove quite comforting to restless minds of people who are weary of a generally tense life. These public orientated performances will be non-ticketed offering some fine music, theatre and dance.
The Lahore Arts Council is gearing up for four events, a dance evening, a ghazal evening, a classical music festival and a theatre festival.
The council hosts scores of art functions every year but this January it has planned a rather distinctive event by inviting classical dancer Naheed Siddiqui for a public performance after a gap of some 15 years or so. Ms Siddiqui though has performed at Alhamra Art Centre, a few months ago on the eve of National Literary and Cultural Conference but the evening was exclusively for the invitees of the conference and some dignitaries, the general public could not avail that opportunity.
To art critics, the arts council deserves a pat for organising a classical dance evening because in the general mayhem of dare bare commercial dances the voice for classical dance evenings has gone feeble.
Naheed Siddique will perform on Jan 11. Her hour and a half performance will be based on Sufi philosophy. A student of Mahraj Ghulam Husain Kathak, Siddique who stepped into classical dance in early 70s is a renowned classical dancer of the country.
Ghulam Abbas, a noted playback singer, who has spent some glorious time with film industry folks during hey days of Pakistan film industry, is another choice of the council for January programmes. Mr Abbas will sing songs and ghazals at Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, on Jan 7. Forsaken moments of golden era of film industry will be revisited. Old film numbers and ghazals will be sung. It will be an exclusive evening with Mr Abbas who joined film industry back in 1975 and sang many popular songs such as ‘Mil Jata Hai Yar Magar Piyar Nahi Milta’.
A three-day Classical Music Festival has also been scheduled by the council from Jan 21-23. The festival will be the 9th in the series as it’s the annual event from the calendar of the council. Some 30 or so artistes from different ‘gharanas’ would grace the occasion. A number of artistes from Lahore and rest from Punjab would perform during the festival.
A theatre festival will also be held in January by the council; however, the dates for the festival are being worked out.
The Pakistan National Council of Arts will organise an evening with yore years TV luminary Roohi Bano in the second week of January. The council will invite a number of artistes from film and television who have performed with the actress in different plays and films. Bano at present is leading a glum life in Lahore.
“An evening with her by PNCA is something praiseworthy because artistes who have contributed their lives to the promotion of art should be given attention, love and respect,” says an artiste.