Dances from country’s various regions enthrall audience
Karachi: A presentation of dances from the various regions of Pakistan enthralled a heartily clapping and whistling audience at the Pakistan-American Cultural Centre (PACC) on Tuesday evening.
The opening piece was a Leva by a Balochi group of dancers. They danced most merrily to a tune the origins of which could be traced to Africa, performed to the accompaniment of a Napeeri (a subcontinental version of the clarinet) accompanied by four drums.
It called for really energy and agility to perform those movements. The dancers wearing feathered headgears hopped and jumped to the beat. It was an all-male dance. They had their faces painted a weird white which gave a scary effect as did their intermittent screams which were supposed to be part of the dance. The dancers seemed to exhibit real gymnastic agility. The drummers beat on their spherical contraptions with all the rhythmic ferocity. Towards the end, confetti was showered from the ceiling. The dancers then went dancing right into the audience.
This was followed the Jhoomar from Sindh to the accompaniment of the strains of Ho Jamalo. It was an all-female dance performed by three belles.
Another Sindhi folk dance performed by a group was the Dama Dam Mast Qalandar , Dhamal dance. It was a mystical dance highlighting entrancement with rapidly gyrating heads and movements which would be construed by some as epileptic. However, it was supposed to depict divine ecstasy. The three men and women executed the dance depicting Sufi culture in the most astute of fashion.
However, the highlight of the whole show was the Kathak performed by a pretty young woman, Mehvish. The exquisite movements and the masterly steps were a pleasure to watch. Mehvish just captivated the audience.
Asked by this correspondent if Kathak belonged to southern India, Faisal Malik of the Thespianz Theatre, the organisers of the show, said that it was absolutely wrong to associate this dance with southern India. Its origin, he said, could be traced to Mohenjodaro.
Hence, he said, it could be included in the regional dances of Pakistan. Whatever, the fact is that it was by far the most enchanting performance of the evening. Another highly light-hearted and enthralling presentation was a male-female group dance by a group from Punjab to the accompaniment of the legendary Punjabi folk tune, Jugni.
Three male dancers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa presented a Pashtun folk dance. The programme was arranged by the Pak-US Alumni Association. US Consul-General in Karachi Brian Heath was the chief guest. This year’s theme was cultural diversity.