NAPA students performing dance and drama.–Photo courtesy http://www.napa.org.pk/

KARACHI: The National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) will present five projects in February (from Jan 31 to Feb 24) at its in-house theatre.

This was announced by Napa artistic director Zain Ahmed at a press conference on the academy premises on Wednesday evening.

Mr Ahmed said the February series would begin with an Urdu translation of Shakespear's The Merchant of Venice' (Venice Ka Sodagar) directed by Akbarul Islam from Jan 31 to Feb 3. The play would be followed by ‘Manto Aur Ghalib: Aik Guftugu’ from Feb 8 to Feb 10. He said the dialogue between Manto and Ghalib, collaborated by the Napa theatre and music departments, was also presented in Kolkata on Jan 11 and was well received.

He informed journalists that the project drew upon the similarities of the two greats of Urdu literature as Manto was inspired by partition of the subcontinent and Ghalib by the 1857 mutiny.

Mr Ahmed said from Feb 15 ‘Zard Patton Ka Bunn — An Evening of Faiz’ would be presented for three days. The music for the project is composed by Arshad Mahmood. From Feb 19 two short plays ‘Salgirah’ and ‘Shaam Bhi Thi Dhuan Dhuan’ would be staged for a couple of days (and would also be presented in Lahore and Islamabad in the same month). The final event was based on Hazrat Amir Khusrau’s creative endeavours to be produced for three days from Feb 22.

The head of the academy music department, Nafees Ahmed, then shed light on two events — an evening of Faiz and Amir Khusrau — which primarily had to do with music. He said for the Faiz event Arshad Mahmood had set poetry to music interspersed with readings. He told the media that with regard to the show on Hazrat Amir Khusrau the academy had tried to capture the great man’s various moods (his Hindvi and Persian poetry; the Sufi aspect of his life and the ragas that he invented).

It is worth noting that all of the above-mentioned projects have already been staged by Napa.

Replying to a question about the Napa team’s early return from India where they were slated to participate in different events, Mr Ahmed said on Jan 11 they performed ‘Mantorama’ in Kolkata and it went well. On Jan 17 when they were supposed to perform in Delhi at the National School of Drama festival, a few hours prior to going to stage one of their hosts came up and said that the Delhi administration would not allow Pakistani theatre groups to perform because of security reasons. As a result, they had to come back.


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