The Sharjah Arts Foundation launched the second season of “Sharjah Performances”, which will be held between October 19, 2023 and February 11, 2024, and includes 8 contemporary performances presented by artists from the region and the world.
The Sharjah Arts Foundation announced the launch of the second season of “Sharjah Performances”, which will be held between October 19, 2023 and February 11, 2024, and includes 8 contemporary performances presented by artists from the region and the world.
Since its launch last year, the Sharjah Arts Foundation’s performance season seeks to discover spaces of encounter between contemporary artists and the city’s audience, and to test experiences of contemporary and live creativity in the field of performing arts, which are closely linked to the specificity of the city of Sharjah, its residents, its urban spaces and its architectural heritage, and with interactive participation with the audience. And local artists.
Hence, this year’s program, which is curated by Tariq Abu Al-Futouh, Director of Performing Arts at the Foundation, seeks to investigate issues of heritage and its role in the contemporary imagination, whether the historical heritage, which sometimes extends back hundreds and thousands of years, or the modern heritage and archives that have accumulated over the years. A few decades ago, contemporary art, in its various fields, has always interacted with the material and moral heritage, in a complex creative process that explores the themes of identities, cultural particularities, and the cognitive systems of peoples, groups, and minorities.
Just as the first season interacted with public spaces and presented performances in the streets and squares of the city, this year’s program also interacts with the urban, cultural and artistic project of downtown Sharjah, as it presents most of its performances in artistic spaces, homes and heritage squares, which have formed and continue to be an important part in the awareness and imagination of the city’s residents. It will be launched with a theatrical performance in the Dar Al-Nadwa building under the title “Transformations 2” directed by the artist Assia Jaaibi, in collaboration with her mother, actress Jalila Bakkar, who is considered a prominent figure in Arab theater and a pioneering name in the new Tunisian theatrical movement that began in the nineties of the last century.
The show contains a young artist’s critical view of a history she has lived through since she was a four-year-old child, and addresses her personal relationship with her mother, the art of theatre, cultural work, and the relationship of art to politics.
The program moves to the flying saucer building to host the “The Return” show by artist Rayan Tabet, in which he presents a special artistic installation that intersects with the building and its unique architecture, and traces through it the history of a marble statue in the shape of a bull’s head, discovered during excavations in the Phoenician Temple of Eshmun in Lebanon in 1967. It was stolen and smuggled in the early 1980s, during the Lebanese Civil War, to be traded among antiquities and antiquities collectors for forty years until it reappeared in the galleries of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Over the course of two nights, director Mohit Takalkar and his theatrical troupe will present in Calligraphy Square a show entitled “Hunkaroo,” which is a word in the Marathi language that means the art of listening, or the state that describes active listening, in which the listener confirms his interest to the narrator through facial expressions, body language, or murmurs and words.
“Hunkaro” brings together three contemporary stories, dealing with different human experiences and tribulations, all linked by the importance of hope for the continuation of life.
To the Arts Square and to Beit Alserkal in particular, the program moves with three performances, the first of which is titled “Youth Choir” directed by Judit Boruc, Bence György Palinkas and Matej Czegeti, who seek in this work to breathe life into a huge statue that was erected in front of a sports stadium in Budapest in 1953. During the socialist era, through six young singers, they sang excerpts from newspaper articles dealing with that monument, and news and memoirs of the Greek artist who sculpted it, in addition to many press statements by politicians and articles, which shed light on the political and social circumstances surrounding it since its construction. Its continuity and survival despite all the political changes that the country has undergone.
As for the second show, it is presented by the Berlin Theater Group under the title “All the Scary Ghosts,” where the audience is allowed to hear and watch thirty monologues, narrating true stories that the artists collected from newspapers, magazines, and YouTube views, so that the show takes on an intimate character, as each member of the audience sits in front of a screen on which characters from Various parts of the world tell stories on the verge of believability, including a story that was produced specifically for the show version in Sharjah, in an unusual marathon of storytelling arts.
While the third show presents a new artistic experience under the title “Maybe Here,” with the participation of many theater and live art installation artists, video artists, poets, and writers, who were invited to present their contemporary creativity in the rooms of the house, simultaneously, several times a day, allowing the audience to choose between… Four or six shows to watch in one screening night.
“Maybe Here” refers to the title of the fourth collection of poems by the poet Kholoud Al-Mualla, which is a title with temporal and spatial dimensions that cast a warm shadow on the recipient through details that have many linguistic connotations. In the poems of this collection, the past moment intersects with the coming through the now, forming a broad and extended horizon of time.
On the other side of the Arts Square, in the heritage house of Obaid Al Shamsi, director and choreographer Redouane Mreziga presents his show “Libya”, an amazing artistic adventure in which he partners with the dancers in exploring the cognitive systems that have been passed down through the generations of the Amazigh people and have helped preserve the language and customs despite From thousands of years of invasion and occupation in many areas of the Amazigh peoples.
In a dance performance, the choreographer Tao Yeh’s troupe performs on the stage of the Sharjah Arts Academy, a performance entitled “4” that revolves around four bodies flowing with strength and deliberate movements, in a way that leaves the audience under the influence of a special state of contemplation.
The group is based in Beijing and is known for its Minimalist aesthetic, which generates powerful energy through simple movements inspired by the kinetic vocabulary of Asian combat sports and its ancient rituals.
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