‘Raqs Revival’ takes off at PNCA with classical, contemporary performances
ISLAMABAD: The National Dance Festival titled ‘Raqs Revival’ kicked off at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Friday late evening with soul inspiring classical and contemporary performances.
As many as 19 selected performing groups from across the country participated on the first day. The outstanding performances included the ever thrilling Sheema Kirmani, Zarri Panna, Adnan Jehangir, Saima Khushnood and the artistes of the National Performing Arts Group (NPAG).
The other performances included Azeem Haideri, Umair Arif, Saba Faisal, Imran Nafees Siddiqi, Hassan Iftikhar, Roqiya Ainee, Daniyal, Farrukh Darbar, Faizan Ahab, and Wicky Samrat.
Karachi-based Sheema Kermani’s efforts to revive dance in a conservative society have created a cultural revolution in Pakistan. Her dauntless efforts to integrate, mainstream, and mobilise classical dance, theatre, television, and drama as forms of alternative communication have been liberating, particularly for women. In an environment of animosity and suspicion, dance drama is a medium widely accepted by all segments of society and helps to foster peace and friendship in the region.
One of the best performances was by Adnan Jahangir, renowned Kathak dancer who hails from Lahore but has performed in countries like the US, UK, India, China and Turkey. The strength of the interpretation was the incorporation of fluidity in Jahangir`s performance, which could have been an ode to a beloved or to the Creator, or even to his own self.
Saima Khushnood is the daughter of well-known dance master Khushnood. She learnt kathak from her father and has been performing since her early teens. She has excelled in movement and expression to reflect the right amount of feelings and emotions.
Zarri Panna is very well known Pakistani kathak dancer and veteran film artiste has recently started teaching dance at Alhamra Art Center, Lahore. She has some 50 movies to her credit, including hits like Baji, Nila Parbat, Gulfam, Bazigar, Haveli and many more. Her amazing performance spellbound the audience. She is a student of renowned classical dancers from the subcontinent such as Ustad Ghulam Hussain Patailawalay, Ustad Shadoo Mehraj (Dehli Gharana), Ustad Jati Baksh (Jaipur Gharana), Ustad Siddiuqe Samrat and Ustad Rafi Anwar.
She believes that in our country regretfully commercially oriented dances have made more space as compared to classical dance, which is a pity. She urged the government to have a consistent policy and promotion for the classical dance forms.
Speaking on the occasion, Syed Jamal Shah said dance is the natural act to celebrate life, and without it the life is colourless and orthodox. “Our land has been blessed with dance since the old civilisations of Mohenjo Daro and Mahr Ghar and it is the heritage that we need to recognise and appreciate.”
He said the society as a collective agent of change should develop, promote and mainstream the authentic forms of dance including the classical, folk and contemporary.