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February 3, 2019

Mausikaar opens season in style


February 3, 2019

Islamabad : For its first program of the season, Mausikaar Welfare Trust organised an evening of classical dance and music. The event was held at the Marriott Hotel and attended by aficionados of dance and music, both from the diplomatic corps as well as local members. Since such performances are few and far between the event was much appreciated by attendees who applauded generously to encourage both the artistes and the organizers.

Addressing the gathering, president Mausikaar, Dr Seema said they had completed eleven years of work in music and the hotel had been supporting them since then. “We promote the traditional music of Pakistan in all its genres,” she said. “We also highlight the problems of deserving artistes by bringing their problems to the attention of the media, whether they are well-known or young and upcoming performers. We have helped many of them find jobs, helped pay their medical bills, raised funds for them and we need support and donations to continue our work.” She then thanked her committee members and said they all worked on a voluntary basis to promote and preserve our rich musical heritage.

The program began with a dance performance by Khanzada Asfandyar Khattak, a descendent of famous poet Khushaal Khan Khattak - who dances for peace. He has an MBA degree but his love for the performing arts made him take up dance, whereby he learned basic ‘kathak’ in 2001 and then’ bharat natyam from Mrs Indu Mitha. He is A Sufi at heart and he calls himself the ‘whirling pushtoon.’ His two items of dance were ‘logree asfandee’ and ‘sar-e-logar’ both choreographed by himself.

Interspersed with his performance was that of Saima Salem Makhnaa from Lahore. A student of Imran Hazari, she has been dancing for fifteen years. She did a Sufi performance on sitar and ‘ghara’ (water pot); a classical dance on raga ‘darbari tirana’ and a folk dance. Both artists were featured for the first time in Mausikaar and gave enjoyable performances. The main artist of the evening was Farhan Rais, son of the late maestro of sitar Ustad Rais Khan Sahab. Carrying the legacy of his father forward, he has performed on popular music platforms and had come all the way from Karachi.

Accompanying him on ‘tabla’ was Ustad Shabbir Hussein (pride of performance) and Anil Salem a local artist, on guitar. He began by playing raga ‘Sunder Kalyan,’ followed by a ‘dhun’ in misher khammaj 'pyar hai'. He then went on to play an interesting fusion with guitar, ‘tabla’ and electric drum and the rhythm and style delighted the audience. As one happy guest put it, we need more of such entertaining events and kudos to the trust for keeping up the good work despite the odds.

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