Widow of the Desert is an adaptation of Bahaa Taher's award-winning novel Sunset Oasis
The Egyptian Modern Dance Theatre Company re-staged The Widow of the Desert dance performance at El-Gomhouriya Theatre, three years after it's debut.
The dance is based on Sunset Oasis (Wahat Al-Ghoroub), a novel by acclaimed contemporary author Bahaa Taher, and winner of many prestigious literary awards, including the inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction, the Arabic Booker prize, in 2008.
Sunset Oasis takes place at the beginning of the British occupation of Egypt. The Siwa Oasis — located over 500km south-west from Cairo, close to the border with Libya — becomes a microcosm of the country and the characters epitomes of identities torn between constantly rivaling governing forces and human values and choices.
While Taher's book is written in the voice of "Mahmoud" as the protagonist, in Widow of the Desert, the director and choreographer Sally Ahmed focuses on Maleeka, a young widow or "ghoula" of the local community.
According to Siwa's practices, a ghoula has to stay at home for four months and 10 days to become cleansed of the spirit that had possessed her and brought death to her husband. The performance looks into Maleeka's innocence trapped within the harsh customs ruling the oasis of a distant desert, and rebeling against them.
The performance was held between 28 and 30 November.
Photos: Bassam Al Zoghby