The Beiteddine Art Festival in Lebanon will open with performances of Maurice Béjart's Ballet for Life, organisers have said, with performances taking place on 14 and 15 July.
Béjart (1927-2007) created Ballet for Life in 1997, to music by Queen and Mozart and with costumes designed by Versace. He dedicated the ballet "to those who died before their time."
The festival will feature a number of well-known performers and musicians, including Pink Martini (19 July), Tunisian singer/songwriter Emel Mathlouthi (21 July), Kadim Al-Sahir (28, 29 July), The Political Circus (2-4 August), and Magida El-Roumi (12 August).
Paralleling the shows, the festival will hold two exhibitions, under the theme Whispers of Time; one commemorating politician Kamal Fouad Jumblatt on the 40th anniversary of his death, and the second one featuring the history of ancient Lebanese costumes.
Launched in 1985, the Beiteddine Art Festival "came as an act of faith in Lebanon’s cultural role and power of creativity, a call for normality amidst the chaos and madness of war. It was born and has grown in very difficult times and made it against all odds," the festival's website reads.
"As of 1987, when Nora Jumblatt and an executive committee took over the organisation of the festival, it gradually gained regional and international recognition" and throughout the years it hosted hundreds of important international artists and spanning across music, performing and visual arts.
All events take place at the 200-year-old Beiteddine Palace in the Chouf mountains, considered to be a jewel of Lebanese architecture.
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