Dance, dastaan and dhamal enthral music lovers at Napa

Dance, dastaan and dhamal enthral music lovers at Napa

The Walled City of Lahore Authority’s Cultural Troupe gave a thoroughly entertaining performance at the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) on Thursday evening, making the inauguration of the four-day long event — which was also the day when the first summer rain eased Karachiites heatwave torment — a memorable one.

The show began with an address of welcome by Napa’s CEO Junaid Zubairi. Former senator and a board member of the academy Javed Jabbar, who has conceptualised the programme, was the second speaker.

He said the credit for making Napa goes to the federal and provincial governments as citizens of Pakistan are able to benefit from the extraordinary standards of teaching, guidance, of individual development and other fields such as cinema, television etc., without often being acknowledged. He also introduced and praised Kamran Lashari, the man behind the troupe.

Two show-reels were shown about the work done by the Walled City of Lahore Authority followed by Lashari’s speech.

He said he didn’t know what struck Jabbar to showcase the talent of his group in a city like Karachi.

“We are gated in 12 gates [in Lahore] so thank you for opening those gates. I’m delighted and overwhelmed because I’m the guy who’s carried Sindh inside me all my life. It was instant love. The romance with Sindh began as soon as I got into civil service. I carried the name Lashari, but we [his family] were settled in Lahore, we are culturally pucca Punjabis… What a great exposure my civil service [has given] which took me to far-flung areas.

“I landed in Umerkot in District Tharparkar for my first 18 months of service. I was instantly attached to the culture. Then I stayed in Sindh for about nine years, Thatta, Karachi West and the last posting was at Sukkur. Even today when somebody calls me I shorten the talk unless that person is from Sindh… This flame for culture in me was ignited by Sindh, most of all the District of Tharparkar.”

Lashari then spoke on the projects that he undertook after retirement. The second half of the programme constituted of vibrant performances introduced to the audience by Sabahat.

The first act was a kathak dance presented by the father-daughter duo of Zakarya and Jessica. It was a traditional rendition of the teen taal beat.

Next up was Jessica’s interpretation of the famous Rahat Fateh Ali Khan song ‘O Re Piya’ also used in the Indian film, Aa Ja Nachle. The dance format continued with another established artist Raja Mughal who first performed with the fire theme and then did a Bharatanatyam piece.

The mood of the show was elevated to a lively state when folk artist Fazal Jatt appeared on stage with a bunch of musicians in the background; and a dhol player to his right and a chimta player to his left, flanked by four dancers. He, in the form of storytelling using impressive vocal and rhythmic patterns, sang the famous tale of Sohni-Mahival. It was an instant hit with the audience.

Carrying on in the same form, he sang ‘Challa’ and rounded off his stint in front of the attendees with ‘Lok Boliyan’ that had some members of the audience clap to its lively beat. Apart from the vocalist, the dhol player that accompanied him was quite the livewire.

He exuded tremendous energy helping the whole act move with the kind of oomph that’s required for such a performance. The final item of the evening was a dhamal by Saen Abbas.

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