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Egypt's arts and culture: The best of August 2015

Ahram Online highlights the artistic achievements and important cultural events in July 2015

Ahram Online , Tuesday 1 Sep 2015
Best of August
Views: 1398
Views: 1398

Prachee Shah brings Indian classical Kathak dance to Cairo

The renowned dancer-turned-actress Prachee performed at Cairo’s Sayed Darwish Theatre on 3 August. The auditorium was filled to the brim with an audience watching Prachee’s every move, following her footwork, hands and eyes and awestruck by her the spins.

Prachee follows the school and repertoire set by guru Ganesh Hiralal from Jaipur, Rajasthan, a representative of the seventh generation of the dance. Today in his seventies, Hiralal still performs opposite Prachee, playing harmonium and reciting padhant or “recitation” on stage.

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Kamilya Jubran
Kamilya Jubran and Werner Hasler's performance at Bibliotheca Alexandrina on 8 August. (Photo: Butheina Shalan)

Palestinian singer and songwriter Kamilya Jubran performs at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The concert, held on 8 August, featured Jubran on oud and as vocals and Swiss musician Werner Hasler on trumpet and electronic instruments. The duo played a selection of songs from their three collaborations together: Wameed (Gleam), Wanabni (And We Shall Construct, 2010), and Wasl (2013).

Throughout the night, Jubran and Hasler performed a number of texts by poets like Gubran Khalil Gubran, Aicha Arnaout, Hassan Najmi, Salman Meslaha, amongst others. The political underpinning of Jubran's repertoire was, as always, audaciously present; every song standing out as a form of activism.

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Egyptian Project
The Egyptian Project performs at Alrabaa (Photo: Walt Curnow)

The Egyptian Project performs across Cairo and Alexandria

The Egyptian Project gave numebrous concerts in Cairo and Alexandria, one of them being an event at Rabaa in Fatamid Cairo on 21 August.

The event thoroughly entertained an excited crowd. All three floors of the building were full so even getting a glimpse at the band was not easy. The fusion of traditional Egyptian and electronic music meant that at no point in the evening did the music become repetitive or boring.

Illustration from Garage comic magazine (Photo: courtesy of Haitham Raafat)

New comic book Garage features Egyptian and Arab artists

Egypt's newest collective comic book, Garage, launched its first issue in Cairo on Friday 28 August.

The project was started by two brothers, Mohamed and Haitham Rafaat, who are known on the scene as Twins Cartoon. The twins graduated from Cairo's Fine Arts Faculty and worked as artists across several fields, including animation and graphic design, but found a growing interest in comics.

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Awtar Quartet
Awtar Quartet performs for children at Artellewa (Photo: Ati Metwaly)

Awtar Quartet performs for children in Cairo's poor neighborhoods

On Friday 28 August, the Awtar Quartet premiered their new creative formula coining it "Music and Animal Stories for Kids." They chose Artellewa, a cultural centre operating in the heart of the Ard El-Lewa, an underprivileged neighbourhood and the only provider of arts in the area, as their first location. 

Funded by Fulbright Alumni Community Action Grant, which was awarded to the quartet's violinist Khaled Saleh, the concert was their first interactive event, part of the educational series. The second event, which took place on 31 August, targeted children from Tawasol School in Stabl Antar, Cairo's slum area. 

Check the photo gallery here

Prachee Shah
Prachee Shah performs in Cairo (Photo: Ati Metwaly)

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