It’s hot and sweaty in a rat-infested room in Lahore’s historic red light district, a neighborhood of narrow alleyways lined with brothels.
A barefoot, long-haired woman is gyrating and twirling on the carpet, to the beat of a four-man band whose drummer sweats profusely as he pounds out a furious rhythm.
The dancer, who only gives her first name, Beenish, is performing a kind of Pakistani belly-dance called the mujra.
Her harmonium player, a skinny bald man who squints through coke-bottle glasses, has been performing like this for the past 50 years. But he says the art form is dying out. Continue reading