`Raqs Revival’ in full swing at PNCA with classical performances

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 16 (APP): The National Dance Festival titled
`Raqs Revival’ in full swing at the Pakistan National Council of the
Arts (PNCA) 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 mobilize
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 Turl(ey. 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.