Islamabad-A 32-member cultural group of Pakistan National of Arts (PNCA) has reached China to participate in the ‘Xinjiang Cultural Festival’ where it will present the regional dances of the country, an official said on Wednesday.

The troupe is being headed by Syed Jamal Shah, Director General Pakistan National of the Arts (PNCA). The delegation comprising of folk singers and dancers from all parts of the country as well as traditional music instrumentalists will be performing at four different places in Xinjiang.

Jamal Shah while talking to media said that all the best talent was selected for the troupe including Sitar player Aamir Hussain, Tabla player Muhammad Ajmal, Flutist Salman Adil, Rabab player Ghulabkhel, Violinist ustad Raees Ahmed, Kathak Dancer Adnan Jehangir.

He said the selected folk dance performers of the National Performing Arts Group (NPAG) from Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi are the main attraction of the cultural troupe.

The National Performing Arts Group (NPAG) will be performing various dances including Kalash Valley dance, Leva, Kashmiri, classical, Kathak, Sindhi Jhoomar, Khattak, Bhangra, Dhol and Aaj Rang Hae of Ameer Khusro.

Every dance is very colourful and reflects the local traditions, customs and the vibrant dresses and jewellery.

The cultural troupe’s performance begins with the Kalash dance that is from the extreme north western region of Pakistan where the mountains meet the sky.

The valley of the Kalash is inhabited by people of an origin which is still a subject of research. These people have been there for more than a millennium. The Kalash dance depicts the people’s closeness with nature. The attractive headgear of the girls is decorated with cowries’ shells.

Another is the traditional Leva dance performed by men. This dance is a common feature at weddings and other happy occasions in the tribal society of the Baluchis. This dance has a hypnotic beat and an evocative rhythm.

The classical dance form has always been source of inspiration that takes one to the times of the great Mughals when there was a rich renaissance of arts and culture. Choreographed in Kathak style with intricate foot work and changing rhythmic patterns, Adnan Jehangir, the performer brings this exquisite dance form to an exciting climax.

The Kashmiri dance is a vital part of the performances. In the legendry paradise on earth that is the verdant valley of Kashmir surrounded by snow-capped mountains, girls gather for the traditional Kashmiri dance.

The symbol of their land is the leaf of the plane tree, which is embroidered in white silk on their green velvet skirts. Kashmiris keep warm in winter by wearing a pot filled with glowing embers encased in mulberry wicker baskets around their necks – the Kangri.

The troupe also includes the Balti dance from the highest Karakorum Mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan, the extreme Northern region of Pakistan. The music and dance loving people of Baltistan welcome the spring through the popular dance called “MENDOO TANGMO” in which the young boys and girls keeps on exchanging flowers through their bantering dance movements to select their life partners.

The concluding performances of the cultural troupe are the Bhangra dance and Dhol performance. Banghra and Dhol are symbol of the colours and vigour of the Punjab, the most populous province of Pakistan. Bhangra dance is performed by a group of young males and females to welcome the spring and to celebrate the successful harvest. The dance is performed on the scintillating beat of ‘DHOL’ the double barrel skinned drum.