An instrumental music performance by the Nepali classical band, Sukarma, at the Alhamra Art Center, The Mall was a remarkable event this past week.

It was organised by the Embassy of Nepal (Islamabad) in collaboration with the Lahore Arts Council.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed the magic of music from sitar, sarangi, flute and tabla.

Formed in 1997, Sukarma is one of Nepal’s most admired folk-classical music bands. Sukarma literally means good deeds. As an ideal, the band takes devotion to music as a source of harmony and soft contribution to society. The group has performed in more than 40 countries and remains the most sought-after band in Nepal.

Two speeches were made on the occasion; one by Lahore Arts Council Executive Director Atta Muhammad Khan and the other by the ambassador of Nepal to Pakistan.

Mr Khan said music was something which was beyond limitations of borders, it’s the food for soul and plays a key role in uniting people around the globe. He welcomed the Nepali ambassador and the group and assured that the council would love to extend cooperation in such ventures in future too.

The Nepal’s ambassador said his country was known for diversity of its people, culture and traditions. He said it was the distinct privilege of Nepal to present Sukarma for the first time in Pakistan which is the most admired music group. He held the LAC in high esteem for the wonderful arrangements for the concert.

The Punjab Council of Arts staged an impressive play titled ‘Bukal Dey Vich Chor’ at the Alhamra Cultural Complex, Qadhafi Stadium from March 10 to 14.

The basic idea of the play was to expose those dubious characters in society who just don’t waste any opportunity to create rifts among people. Terrorism was also the subject and the fact that how many such elements silently creep into society.

What should people do to handle and counter such terrorist elements was something shown in a subtle manner through some fine acting and direction. The set was realistic as artificial electricity and Sui gas meters added to its grace.

The play was written and directed by Muhammad Maqsood.

The Pakistan National Council of Arts organised a tribute to the late Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shagan at Shakir Ali Museum on Friday.

It was a melodious evening studded with many jewels and gems from the world of classical music. There was a fine and rich representations of different classical music gharaanas.

The performers were Rafaqat Ali Khan and Shafqat Salamat Ali Khan (Sham Churasi Gharana), Nayab Ali Khan and Inam Ali Khan from Patiala Gharana (both are the sons of Hamid Ali Khan), Qadir Shagan and Muslim Shagan from Gawaliar Gharana. Mazhar Shagan came up with solo performance on Rubab.

Three generations of Gawaliar Gharana performed in the show as Qadir, Shagan and Mazhar are the sons of Ghulam Hussain Shagan and Muslim Shagan is his grandson.

Prominent figures who spoke on Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shagan were Shaukat Ali (folk singer), Pervaiz Kaleem, film writer, Sarwat Ali, head Musicology Department of the National College of Arts, and Zaman brothers -- Badar-u-Zaman and Qamar-u-Zaman.

The Public Affairs Officer of US Consulate Lahore, Rachel Chen and Jamal Ghazanfar from US Consulate Lahore visited the National College of Arts and met principal Prof Dr Murtaza Jafri.

Mr Majid Saeed Khan, head of Department of Film & TV, greeted the distinguished guests.

Prof Jafri appreciated the unwavering support of the US Embassy, Islamabad and US Consulate, Lahore.

The Department of Film & TV has been selected by the US Embassy Islamabad for University Partnership Program.

Ms Chen also inaugurated the ‘Final Project Display’ Of Traditional Arts Diploma Programs Sessions 2007-2014 held in the Zahoorul Akhlaq Gallery.

Published in Dawn March 15th , 2015

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