“Dancing is more than just moving body parts; it is a pathway of expressing your deepest inner thoughts.” – Normani Kordei

‘Sway with Us’ is a monthly all Pakistan choreographers exhibition that takes place at The Colony in Lahore in partnership with the Sway Dance Project. In its first volume, The Colony introduced Argentine Tango, ballet, modern contemporary, semi-classical, Bharatanatyam and hip hop. The Colony is all set for its second volume on 21st December with jazz, Martha Graham, classical, dance hall, urban movement and hip hop on the line up.

The Colony is a performative art house and cultural hub that welcomes people who share a passion for creativity, acting, dance, music and theatre

Founded by Saad Sheikh and Salman Jahangir, The Colony is a performative art house and cultural hub that welcomes people who share a passion for creativity, acting, dance, music and theatre. With a goal to nurture talent to revive true artistry, it provides education and vocational training in the performing arts and a platform for these young artists to showcase their talents.

The Colony is housed at the historic Plaza Theatre which was launched in 1933 as Sagar Theatre during the British rule of India

The Colony is housed at the historic Plaza Theatre which was launched in 1933 as Sagar Theatre during the British rule of India and later turned into the Plaza Cinema in 1985 and now serving as a theatre. Steeped in history, with the venue being such an integral part of the cultural fabric of Lahore, it is just right for The Colony.

‘Sway with Us’ is a monthly all Pakistan choreographers exhibition that takes place at The Colony in Lahore

Reaching the venue, you might be taken by a surprise by the huge, life-size posters of sexualized women displayed all over the main entrance and you might want to reconsider your decision going in, however with a slight gaze at the bottom right corner you’re able to see the logo of The Colony resting artistically under the questionable posters. This itself shows how important it is for art to grow, educate and cater to people.

The performance by Amna Mawaz was both exuberant and dramatic with a careful blend of facial and foot movement

The amazing architecture of the historic European styled building sweeps you away and if not, then what is waiting within the building surely does. ‘Sway with Us’ managed to deliver more than what it had promised. The showcase opened up with a modern contemporary group act which was beautifully choreographed by co-founder of The Colony, Saad Shiekh.

We were rather astounded by the performance that followed. “Bharatanatyam” is a major form of Indian classical dance that originated in the state of Tamil Nadu, which expresses South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas. The performance by Amna Mawaz was both exuberant and dramatic with a careful blend of facial and foot movement which was backed up with a hip-hop number by another very talented dancer and choreographer, Manoor Walli.

The art of tango, body movement, perfect amount of intimacy and seduction, and the phenomenal chemistry between Hashim and Wajeeha had us all grooving and took the temperature soaring high

Next up were art director Hashim Ali and Wajeeha Wasti who stunned the audience with a very memorable performance. The art of tango, body movement, perfect amount of intimacy and seduction, and the phenomenal chemistry between the two had us all grooving and took the temperature soaring high.

Gillian Rhodes, the ballet performer with a degree in dance from Columbia University, started on a joyous note and contemporary moves from the late Gatsby era

Next in line was a solo performance by Gillian Rhodes titled “With Love from Gillian”. The ballet performer with a degree in dance from Columbia University started on a joyous note and contemporary moves from the late Gatsby era completely transformed into one of the most breathtaking acts one could have seen on any Pakistani platform. The movements became modern, delicate and soulful – it wasn’t just dancing anymore but flying.

What came after Gillian felt straight out of a dream. A magnificent semi classical number by Fatima A. who’s trained in Lakhnavi/Banaarsi style of Kathak. It was a stellar performance by a truly impeccable artist flooded with emotions that spoke volumes. She is someone who truly justified the grace ethics of the Lakhnavi culture. The final act by Saad Sheikh and Wajeeha Wasti, based on the ideology of ‘My Band-Aid Lover’ with a background score of the iconic ‘Hallelujah’ was no exception when it came to deliver. One couldn’t have asked for a better ending.

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