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December 10, 2009

A vibrant depiction of Pakistan’s cultural legacy


December 10, 2009


The Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and Pakistan National Commission for Unesco joined hands in organising a seminar and presentations to highlight the vibrant and dynamic cultural heritage of Pakistan.

Held at the National Art Gallery here on Wednesday under the title of ‘National Intangible Heritage Archives (Dance, Music and Drama)’, the seminar laid bare the importance of heritage preservation and promotion, as it carries the cultural identity of a nation.

Speaking on the occasion, PNCA Director General Tauqeer Ahmad Nasir said that the arts in Pakistan are vibrant, dynamic and deeply embedded in traditions, followed through ancient times and civilisations. He said that culture is not only demonstrated through tangible crafts and frozen music or architecture but also through the strongest mediums of human expressions, such as performing arts, including dance, drama, music, customs, rituals, and a whole range of manifestations.

Tauqeer Nasir said Pakistan is a signatory of the Unesco Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and PNCA, in collaboration with Pakistan National Commission for Unesco, launched a pilot project that has completed a strong database for the establishment of the National Intangible Heritage Archive at the PNCA.

He said a vibrant team of experts comprising Agha Khalid Zubair, Project Director; Sarmad Sehbai, Consultant Drama; Nahid Siddiqui, Consultant Dance; Syed Arif Jaffery, Consultant Music; and Agha Sahir Tanvir, Consultant Sound; has completed the gigantic task of compiling the database that would now be taken forward for the production of database publication by Ayesha Taslim.

The seminar was followed by an ensemble of drama, music and dance performances. Eminent dance maestro Nahid Siddiqui was the star of the evening with her enigmatic dance saga, presented by her students, and her elaborate talk on the history of dance in this region.

Short scenes from extracts of classic dramas were also enacted on stage, including ‘Anarkali’, ‘Saile Rawan’, and ‘Moar Mehel’.


POETRY IN MOTION: A student of Nahid Siddiqui performing a dance at the National Art Gallery in Islamabad. – Naveed Akram

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