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A befitting tribute to the role of women over time

Karachi: Tehrik-e-Niswan’s play “Raqs Karo”, part of their ‘Tlism Drama Festival’, is a befitting tribute to the role of women in the history of humankind, as it traces their progress since the time of Adam and Eve.
The symbolic play was part of the International Women’s Day celebrations, and also marked 30 years of Tehrik-e-Niswan’s existence and efforts to get women their due place in society.
Based on Fehmida Riaz’s poem “Aao Ae Humwatano Raqs Karo, Raqs Karo”, the impact of the 70-minute long musical play was heightened by the powerful vocals of Tina Sani and Gulshanara Syed. The futuristic musical performance, involving multimedia projections, paintings and drama with dance further enhanced the genius of the performance.
Sheema Kirmani, who choreographed the performances, led the line with her graceful dancing, presenting conscious rhythmic movements of the human body as a medium for universal unity. She was ably supported by nine of her dance students. However, their performance was lacking in the fluidity that is the hallmark of a Sheema Kirmani production.
Beginning with pre-historic times, Sheema’s troupe skilfully communicated the tale of women across the millennia, culminating in contemporary Pakistan, where women are subject to rigorous control and violence. Various forms of harassment faced by women, including domestic abuse, cat-calling on the streets, limited choices, the dominant patriarchal strain, and the society as a whole were depicted through interspersed dances and films.
The highlight of the play Undoubtedly remained the elegant use of body movements through which the narrative of women through history unravels. The symbolic veil that encapsulates the woman’s fragile form represented societal impositions upon women, which that stifles their freedom and suppresses the celebration of their form.
However, behind the facade, her spirit is yet to die, and in a last flurry, she breaks through the imprisoning attire. Inhaling the fresh air, she mocks her captors: “Haan Yeh To Tumhaari Hasrat Thi Ab Kiun Ho Pasheeman Raqs Karo”.
Sheema, the eternal activist, ensured that the play ended with yet another dialogue reinforcing the equality of the sexes. The audience responded to the reinforcement and the performers were given a standing ovation as they took their bows.
The festival will continue its first spell till March 15, before resuming from March 27 for its second spell.
Source: The News

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