Contemporary dance by the sea in Alexandria

Ahram Online, Sunday 8 May 2011

Nassim El-Raqs brings a new experience of contemporary dance to public spaces in Alexandria between 11-13 May

Nessim el Raqs

Founded in 2007, Moutawassat (meaning Mediterranean in Arabic) invited artists to participate in an innovative set of performances called Nassim El-Raqs. The artists come from residency programmes in the Mediterranean to Alexandria to give expression to the concepts they’ve been immersed in here. 

Nassim El-Raqs proposes moments of contemporary dance in a public space close to the sea.

This year’s project relies on a simple idea: connecting artists with various locations and situations within the Mediterranean.

With four residencies for four choreographers in four locations within the historical quarter of Alexandria, the project goes through very different environments: different social and cultural areas; communities; lifestyles; but all are common in their proximity to the sea.

The project was initiated by Moutawassat (Marseilles, France) and organised in Alexandria by Centre Rezodanse, Egypte, Agora for Culture and Arts, the French Institute and the Goethe Institute. Nassim El-Raqs is a product of Egyptian and international artists for two weeks, during which they created their own vision of Alexandria and set it to a choreography.

Thursday 12 May, 7pm at the Alexandria Library Plaza                                                                         

Performance choreographed by Frédéric Gies

An international endeavour set in an institutional and well-known location in the heart of Alexandria. The Alexandria library hopes to win some of the grandur that the original, ancient Alexandria Library boasted.

An intimate location, overlooking the area around, such as what can be found in many Mediterranean cities

In collaboration between French Institute in Alexandria and the Goethe Institute in Alexandria.

Thursday 12 May, 9pm at Cinema Rio Rooftop

Performance choreographed by Mohamed Fouad

An intimate location, overlooking the surrounding area, typical of what can be found in many Mediterranean cities.

Friday 13 May, 7pm at Bahary Beach (in front of Abou el Abbas Mosque)

Performance choreographed by Shaymaa Shoukry

An artistically sensible dialogue between the dancers, the sea, the boats supported by sound-and-light techniques.

Friday 13 May, 9pm at the Anfoushi shipyard

Performance choreographed by Mohamed Shafik with the participation of Anfoushi’s fishermen

Re-build, repair, gather together scattered pieces in order to reinvent new shapes, starting from a world which is disincarnated, deconstructed and with no illusions.


Wednesday 11 May, 7pm
Roundtable at the French Institute theatre, Alexandria

Discussions will revolve around issues related to art in public spaces, using examples of similar projects implemented throughout the Mediterranean region.

Speakers include:

  • Claudine Dussolier (Marseilles, France), international relations and project developer at ZINC EMC, La Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseilles, France
  • Selma Ouissi (Tunis, Tunisia), co-director of Dream City event, the first of which took place in Tunis at the end of 2010. This event gathers several artists representing various artistic fields, from dance to visual arts and street theatre, in many locations spread around the historical quarters of Tunis.
  • Adham Hafez (Cairo, Egypt), founder of Haraka project in Cairo and head of several projects in the field of contemporary dance and research in Egypt and abroad.
  • Frederic Gies (Berlin, Germany), French choreographer based in Berlin.
  • Mohamed Shafik (Cairo, Egypt)
  • Mohamed Fouad (Alexandria – Cairo, Egypt)
  • Shaymaa Shoukry (Cairo, Egypt)

Discussions will be held in French with Arabic simultaneous translation.

Moutawassat has already materialised several projects, bringing artistic expression to cities around the world. Their latest project took place on a nine meter-long ship.

More information can be found on their blog

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