ISLAMABAD, June 25: Classical dance and music buffs applauded the performance rendered by students of renowned Kathak dancer Indu Mitha at the Islamabad Club late Thursday night. Some of the music and dance enthusiasts said that the dances were splendid approaches to this delicate, robust, precise and serene segment of arts. Indu Mitha invited music icon Ustad Fateh Aly Khan to be the chief guest of the function.
Indu’s introductory remarks on the occasion appeared to be a commentary on the sign of times.
Pointing to the polished teakwood stage of the club, she said at present it was the only stage in Islamabad suitable for dance performances. All other stages in the federal capital were covered with carpets to meet the requirement of speech events.
She might have meant — though she did not quite put it that way — that every national activity is today attuned to the demands of politics.
The point was proved the very next morning when a local newspaper took umbrage at what it called a surfeit of music in the federal capital that must be curtailed.
Students of Indu Mithas’ classical dance academy, Mazmoon Shauq, presented eight dance items, entitled Today and Tomorrow, to show that classical dance is still alive and fares well in the country.
The audience enjoyed the spectacular dances which conveyed to them progress made in this segment of the art since shamans showed off magical powers through enchanting dances which would mesmerize common folk in the olden times.
Soon the times yielded to the age of myths and fables, as depicted in the dance of the elephant, crocodiles and other humbler animals who would often quarrel with each other but soon peace would restore by divine intervention.
This was demonstrated in the dance rendered by guest artist Divya Lakshmi Swami from India to the accompaniment of Karnatic music.
The music influences with accent on footwork and rhythms of Kathak dance was rendered by the entire ensemble of the academy students which won for them accolades.
The summation came in a dance sequence that accentuated the philosophy that the movement of the universe was itself undergoing through a dance effect.
Sophiya Khwaja capably rendered the item.
Tahreema Mitha, Indu’s daughter, now living in the USA, has written the item. A number of dance sequences were related to Bharat Natyam.
Indu Mitha said that she travelled all the way to Madras to learn this dance from her teacher, the late Lalita Kami Shastri.
Compere Nargis Rashid explained every dance sequences and their music beats, the rhythm and footwork, raga notes, as well as the grammar taal of enchanting music played in the background by a number of music masters like Ghulam Fareed Nizami, and Akhlaque Hussain (simply, enchanting, sitar etudes) Khan Sahib Dilawar Hussain Pakhawaj Mohammad Ajmal Tabla, Raees Ahmad (violin).
The evening was a joint initiative of Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Kamran Lashari, the Director-General, Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), Mr Naeem Tahir, their associates, Sabtain Naqvi, Ansari, Waqar Hanif, and many others.
The gamble of these adventurers played off well as reflected in the overflowing auditorium and happy faces of dance enthusiasts.