|Daily Times - Site Edition||Thursday, November 16, 2006|
World Performing Arts Festival: Art students awed by foreign artists
* Turkish, Indian and US troupes most popular
LAHORE: A large number of students and young art enthusiasts flooded the Alhamra Cultural Complex to benefit from a plethora of new techniques on the 6th day of World Performing Arts Festival on Wednesday.
A number of prominent dramaturges and actors from Pakistani theatre joined them in comparing local art with foreign. The most remarkable play of the evening was Loona, a Punjabi play by an Indian troupe. The audience included many Sikh visitors from India. Written by well-known Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi, the play is considered a masterpiece of modern Punjabi literature.
The story of the play revolves around an ‘untouchable’ woman married off to an old impotent king but secretly loved his son. The female protagonist, Loona, brings the female liberation debate to the fore. The actress did justice to the character.
Manch Rangmanch theatre was founded by Kewal Dhaliwal, one of the most eminent directors of Punjabi theatre. Artists from the group said Loona portrayed the image of a very deprived girl whose life had been ruined by her parents. They said the company had staged more than 150 issue-bases plays.
The most popular of the dance performances was a Persian dance by Shaharzad Dance Company from the US. The girls’ style drew from ancient aesthetics embedded in Persian culture, infused with contemporary themes and concepts. The group also performs ballet, modern, jazz, Indian, Middle Eastern, flamenco, Yoga and Pilates. Children were the major audience at puppet shows, the most popular of which was Romeo and Juliet by a Turkish troupe. The show was a new perspective on Shakespearean scenes and language. Somewhere between comedy and tragedy, the play featured comedia dell’arte style, a popular form of improvisational theatre in Turkey.
Children got involved in the show and tried to interact with the puppets. Actress Nadia Jamil and her children were among the audience.
The three movies shown on Wednesday were Vipere Au Poing from France, Stratosphere Girl from Germany and The Storm from Sri Lanka. staff report
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