Youth arts festival round the corner | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Youth arts festival round the corner

Pakistan Press Foundation

LAHORE: The Youth Performing Arts Festival is set to bring together diverse groups of artistes from in and around Lahore for a four-day long event (Oct 16-19).

The 13th Youth Performing Arts festival — the hallmark of Lahore’s cultural calendar, this year has been moved to the Alhamra Cultural Complex, Qadhafi Stadium from its traditional venue of the Rafi Peer Cultural Complex, Raiwind Road. The festival is being organised by the Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop in collaboration with the Lahore Arts Council. The facade of the complex building will be given a new look with decorative motifs and some classy illuminations.

In 2002, true to RPTW’s manifesto of promoting the arts and artistes of Pakistan, it added a new dimension to their network of festivals by staging an amateur performing arts activity drawing on talent from in and around Lahore. This year saw what began in 1999 as a small theatre camp dedicated to youth performances, emerge as a full-blown festival in its own right — the first Youth Performing Arts Festival.

Similar in style and format to the World Performing Arts Festival, the Youth Performing Arts Festival has emerged as an important platform of learning and artistic growth. It has become the major festival for the youth of Pakistan, inspiring many smaller festivals throughout the country as well s a multitude of inter-college activities.

The YPAF remains one of the first and only platforms for young artistes to perform and compete at such a large and international level. The Youth Awards afforded by this festival have become a mark of quality, excellence and integrity, giving amateur performers the respect and recognition they deserve, while fostering the spirit of quality and competition.

Alina Pirzada, Director Programmes and Operations of the RPTW, said: “The youth of today are highly energised and confident striving to create a niche with their distinctive talents. The Youth Performing Arts Festival has, since its inception, aimed at supporting this very energy and confidence of artistic expression, enabling our youth to foster their traditional arts and preserving a rich cultural heritage.”

Over the years the YPAF has played host to hundreds of young performers from the fields of dance, theatre, music, film and puppetry. Performers from all around Pakistan and across the globe have delighted audiences of thousands, all coming together to create a fantastic, positive and progressive energy, through the experience of this event.

Ms Pirzada said: “We firmly believe that cultivating and continuing to foster a love, recognition and respect for our artistic heritage amongst the youth is the only hope for the future cultural identity of Pakistan. Arts unify and through this grand celebration of diverse artistic mediums and traditions we hope to inspire a spirit of oneness and compassion in our young people.”

The festival will also be a competition among students of different schools, colleges and universities. Some 60 theatre groups are participating in the festival, all amateur ones. There will be fiery dance competitions as well again among the youth from various educational institutions. The festival will conclude on a grand music night. The special attraction of the festival’s music chapter is the participation of ‘Poor Rich Boy’, well known in Lahore’s underground circuit and has received recognition for their energetic live performances.

Saddan Pirzada told Dawn that from October to December, the RPTW would organise six more festivals — Sanjh, Sufi Soul Music Festival, Film Festival, Dance Festival and a craft fair.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2014