The Ajoka Theatre had recently come back from India after staging its masterpiece ‘Bullah’ in four cities.

Madeeha Gauhar, the moving spirit behind Ajoka, described it as a successful tour which took place after a gap of two years. “Earlier, we used to visit India every year but the two-year gap has been a result of unease on both borders,” said Gauhar who staunchly advocates people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

She said tension on both sides had affected the cultural activities. Lahore’s Sachal Orchestra, she said, could not get an NOC in Bombay where they had a performance and another ‘qawwali’ performance at Patiala could not take place.

“We believe that both countries should come up with more and more cultural performances,” she said and added that Ajoka had performed ‘Bullah’ in India at least 12 times to put across the message of tolerance and peace.

The Shakir Ali Museum is organising a five-day calligraphy workshop beginning on Dec 22.

The exhibition of Bin Qalandar, according to Museum Director Amna Pataudi, is aimed at the promotion of calligraphy art.

Pataudi said it was a free workshop which would also have an exhibition featuring the artworks on the concluding day. A dialogue on calligraphy art in Pakistan was part of the event, she added.

The Punjab Council of Arts is holding a classical music evening in Lahore during the current month. The event will be held at the Open Air Theatre of Bagh-i-Jinnah, where Akhtar Ali and three others are expected to perform.

Punjab Council of Arts Director Chaudhry Asif told this reporter that a lecture on classical singing was also being organised by the council and its date would be announced later.

On Dec 16, the Interactive Resource Center will stage a play at the Multan Arts Council. The play is based on the theme of violence against women.

The launching ceremony of a volume on qawwali by Dr Hasan Aziz will be held at Faiz Ghar, Model Town, on Sunday (today).

It took 10 years to complete the book. The price of the book is jaw-dropping Rs15,000. It’s a 500-page hardbound book in English/Urdu.

The programme, apart from author’s conversation, would also include a film about Munshi Raziuddin, one of the finest qawwals in the country. – shoaibahmed1964@gmail.com

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2014

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