“Afghanistan’s Local Dance Festival” was held in Kabul on Thursday with the aim of reviving traditional dances.
Organized by the Asia Culture House in Kabul, dancers performed different types of local dances that are traditionally performedfor special occasions – a tradition that is dying out.
Festival organizers said the event aimed at keeping the art alive – especially as the challenges Afghans have faced over the past 30 years have eroded their popularity.
The local dances include Attan, three types of Hazaragi dances, Sama dance and a few other local dances.
“Afghanistan’s local dance festival was in fact part of the dance project that was started a year ago,” Najib Farzad, director of Asia Culture House said.
The festival was meanwhile welcomed by both festival-goers and performers.
First up was an Attan dance followed by Sama’s Sufism dance, which was performed by six young boys.
These dancers said they practiced for the festival for three months.
The Sama dance was accompanied by live music and the singer sung a famous poem by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī.
“We will perform two dances, one at the middle and one at the end of the program. Our first performance will be a group dance and we four people will perform the Sama dance, but the second dance will be performed individually,” Ahmad Arash Karimi, a dancer said.
A Hazaragi dance was also performed, by a group of 10 girls.
“We want to revive our culture, because these dances are about to be forgotten,” Sabira, a dancer said.
Other local dances, famous among the people, were also performed.
“At this festival, the best dances from different areas and local cultures of Afghanistan were selected,” Bita Basir, a participant said.