LAHORE ‘Raqs Kahani’ (Story of Dance) was all about marigolds, rose petals, clay lamps, lights, a responsive audience and dance performances on Saturday night.

Held at Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, the event was organised by the Institute of Performing Arts in collaboration with Lahore Arts Council under the umbrella of the Nighat Chaodhry Foundation.

Ms Chaodhry, a leading classical dancer of the country, conducted the evening. In her opening remarks, she told the audience that it was the graduation ceremony of the students who had learnt dance and other forms of art during a year at the Institute of Performing Arts. She said the event was aimed at showcasing dance, music and theatre performances of the students.

The first performance was on a Sufi item, Ye Sab Tera Karam Hai Maula, which was skillfully performed by four students. The next was classical singing by Aizaz, a student of classical singer Fahim Mazhar, who sang extremely well.

A piece based on a theatrical tribute to dance was performed by Anum Arshad, Jawad Waseem, Sana and others. Teen Taal Kathak dance was also a fine presentation.

The evening was not limited to tradition classical South Asian dance and music. There was a hip hop performance too. Hip hop is the dance style crafted to raise voice against oppression. It was performed by a bunch of boys who also added spice to their dance by introducing some aerobics. Another inspiring performance was by young and senior artistes from the Institute of Performing Arts who put together a remarkable act.

After the event, Dawn talked to some of the folks of the institute to have their views on the institute’s future plans and how it became such an inspiration for the young generation.

Imran Nafees Siddiqui, a founding member of the institute, said the Raqs Kahani would be a regular yearly feature of the institute, thus becoming an important cultural event in the cultural calendar of the city.

“The institute will soon introduce puppetry and circus classes, as well. Dance, music and theatre are interconnected and the institute wanted to promote all genres of the performing arts,” he added.

Kanza Bano, a Kathak student at institute and a fresh graduate of National College of Arts, said she was inspired by Nighat Chaodhry’s dance and when she read about the institute on the social media she joined it.

Tayyaba Mehboob, an electrical engineer by profession who joined IPA in 2016 and became a student of theatre, said she had got an opportunity to explore herself through theatre.

Ali Qureshi, a professional fashion model, said he had joined the Institute of Performing Arts to groom himself further in the arts.

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2017

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