Press Releases

21
November 2007

Rafi Peer and Telenor Bring Asia Biggest Festival to Pakistan

Islamabad, November 21, 2007: Rafi Peer Theater Workshop (RPTW) and Telenor Pakistan have joined hands yet again to present Asias biggest festival, World Performing Arts Festival 2007. The festival showcasing Music, Drama, Film, Theater, and Puppetry, from 600 international artists, will be held from 22nd November to 2nd December, 2007, at Alhamra Cultural Complex, Lahore.

Commenting on the partnership between Pakistans largest creative arts group and the fastest growing mobile company, Executive Vice President Telenor Pakistan Irfan Wahab Khan said, Telenor Pakistan has worked with Rafi Peer Theater Workshop to further expand the festival because it offers so much. We get to contribute to the international appreciation of the richness of our culture. We create opportunities for upcoming Pakistani talent and experienced folk performers to reach out to international audiences. We get to host artists who will act as cultural ambassadors for Pakistan in their own countries. Such a creative platform is the need of our society and aligns well with Telenor Pakistans aim to promote our culture as something that binds us together across distances.?

CEO Peer Group, Usman Peerzada, pleased to continue his partnership with Telenor Pakistan, said, Over the years, the World Performing Arts Festival has experienced tremendous growth alongside enjoying international media coverage. In the year 2007, Rafi Peer Theater Workshop with Telenor Pakistan, will reach newer heights. The festival has traveled a long journey to reach its twenty-sixth edition and become the biggest showcase of performing arts in Asia. It is the only independent event of such magnitude in the region, serving to put Pakistan firmly on the cultural world map, year after year.?

The aim of the festival is to promote culture as a fundamental dimension of contemporary life at all levels. It is the search for the expansion of the role of culture at national and international levels. The festival highlights the fundamental role of the arts as cultural expression necessary for human development, the economy, the creation of new educational partners and the cultivation of diversity.

The idea for the World Performing Arts Festival took root in 1992, in the form of a simple puppet festival. It has grown since then into the largest and most exciting cultural event in to take place each year in Lahore. It incorporates every important mode of creative expression, be it dance, theater, puppetry, music, or film, and grants each country a space in which to shine. The participating countries this year come from all over Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Australia.

The festival provides a strong platform, away from the West, for artists from all over the world to meet and fight for a better society through diversity of cultures. It also gives them a chance to understand this region and develop relationships with the artists here. A natural outcome of this exchange will be a more informed dialogue between cultures and the potential for further peaceful collaborations between countries.

The twenty-sixth World Performing Arts Festival 2007 will present a range of art forms in over a hundred performances. The music showcase will feature a different genre of music each night: World Music, Rock, Pop, Mystic Soul, Ghazal, and Classical. The puppetry, theater, and dance showcases are dominated by international groups this year. The puppetry segment will include a new performance style called object theater.? The segment, as a whole, includes 13 performance groups, of which 11 are international. The theater portion of the festival features 16 international and five local groups, while the dance line-up includes six international and three local groups. The festival will screen over 58 films, ranging from feature films to documentaries, short films, and telefilms, originating from 13 countries. Foreign media guests will include Govind Nihalani, Sudhir Misra, and members of Film Trust India.

Telenor ASA is an international provider of high quality telecommunications, data, and media communication services. It ranks as one of the biggest GSM service providers in the world, with over 133 million subscribers. Telenor Pakistan is 100% owned by Telenor ASA and adds on to its operations in Asia, together with Thailand, Malaysia, and Bangladesh

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