by ANSAR M BHATTI
ISLAMABAD, OCT 5 (DNA) – The French embassy celebrated 45 years of Rafi Peer Theatre workshop and its outstanding contribution to the arts and culture in Pakistan.Thrilling performances of renowned Pakistani folk artists such as Saeen Zahoor, Tahseen Sakina, Mian Meeri Qawals, Shoukat Dholiya, Nighat Choudhery and Wahab Shah virtually left the audiences spell-bound, majority of whom was comprised foreigners and diplomats.For most of them this sort of music was a real feast as they did not hear such kind of music before. Especially those diplomats who have just arrived in Pakistan were greatly enchanted by this zonre of music.
Rafti Peer Theatre workshop started its journey in 1974 with the National Threatre Culture Project. In 1982 the first permanent puppet theater was set up at the Alliance Francaise Karachi.
Ambassador of France Marc Barety in his brief remarks on the occasion thanked the Pirzada brothers’ especially famous artists Usman Pirzada and his brothers for hosting such a memorable event.
The ambassador also quoted sayings of Jalauddin Rumi about sufi music which makes to forget about everything else because of its strong and captivating melodies.
He said “our continued and friendly partnership underscors the historic contribution of the French embassy and of Alliance Francaise in the promotion of arts and culture in Pakistan”.
Renowned actor Usman Pirzada said, Rafi Peer Theatre workshop was a non-governmental body dedicated to the promotion of the performing arts globally. Since its inception, it has grown to encompass the Rafi Peer cultural centre which houses the Museum of Puppetry, an art and craft village and a café.
Rafi Peer Theatre he added, has promoted over 80 festivals including the World Performing Arts Festival, the international folk puppet festival, the youth performing arts festival, the international peace festival, mystic music sufi festival, the international film festival etc.
It has also helped authorities to develop creative educational programs for Pakistani children and also includes an artist’s management company, plus a complete production studio with post production facility for video, animation and music.
The company embraces both traditional and modern cultural expressions and encourages international cultural exchange and participation.
Rafi Peer he said also focuses on robust outreach programs that include initiatives for awareness development and education.=DNA