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The spirit of dance

Lively performance Afghan dancers during the ABU festival. Photo by The Hindu.

The pursuit of a passion for dance is fraught with risk to lives and livelihood for Afghan dancers, writes Madhavi Puranam.

Nooriya Habibi and Obaid Zazai and a team of Attan dancers from Afghanistan are in Hyderabad for the first International Dance Festival mounted by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) with Prasar Bharati, Telangana government and Doordarshan as the organising partners. As they enthusiastically shared about the Afghan culture, you wonder what culture and arts could have survived such destructive times. The horrifying image of the Taliban destroying Bamiyan Buddha statues of central Afghanistan dating back to the 4-5th centuries AD are still vivid; and the havoc wreaked upon a country whose history dates back to fifty thousand years has been a monumental tragedy. Nooriya nods with wisdom beyond her age when she says, “Yes, we risk our lives to pursue our arts and culture.” When asked if she is not afraid, she says defiantly, “For how long can one be afraid? We have to risk something, even if it is our life, to gain something.”...

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#attan #news #pakistan #dance #television #identity

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