Egypt's culture picks of the week: 16-23 February: VIDEOS

Ahram Online, Saturday 15 Feb 2014

Ahram Online's Arts and Culture team recommends the best of music, theatre, films, exhibitions and talks from Cairo and Alexandria to Upper Egypt

Culture Events
From top left clockwise: Spartacus ballet (first performance on 21 Feb, Photo: Sherif Sonbol); Arab Music Institute building (concert on 22 Feb, Photo: from Cairo Governorate website); Still from film 'Zelal' (screening 17 Feb); Still from 'Kirikou and the Sorceress' (screening on 23 Feb)

Sunday 16 February

Opening of ‘The House of Rare Historic Photographs’ exhibition at Townhouse Gallery at 7pm

Photographer Barry Iverson delves into documents and fantasy associated with the process of image making. The artist plays around with early photographric works of studio portraiture, cinema stills, Orientalist postcards and architectural records. The resulting body of work presents a highly personal documentation of history both remembered and imagined.

First Floor Space, 10 Nabrawy Street, off Mahmoud Bassiouny Street, Downtown, Cairo

Opening of ‘Cinderella’s Tales’ exhibition by Shayma Kamel at Mashrabia Gallery at 7pm

Gallery hop from the Townhouse to the nearby Mashrabia to see Shayma Kamel explore the contrast between the projected image and reality within an ever contradictory Egyptian society. The artist deals with figures such as fictional princesses like Cinderella that are idolised by young girls. Kamel also uses the representation of manikins we see in storefront windows to express an alternate reality. Through painting work, Kamel attempts to capture the blurred lines between fantasy and reality within society. The exhibition is open daily, except Friday, from 11am to 8pm until 20 March. Read more on Shayma Kamel here.

8 Champollion Street, Downtown, Cairo
Four harpists at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm

Egyptian harpists Mona Wassef, Toaa Mohamed Salah, Nourhan Hamdy and Rona Ashraf will take the audience on a unique journey through Western classical music and chosen compositions from Egyptian composers. The evening will include works by Brahms,Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Albinoni, Ortiz, Grieg, Lehar, Puccini, Nayer Nagui, Sayed Darwish and Ramez Bebawi.

Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

'The House of Rare Historic Photographs' opening in Townhouse Gallery (Photo: Courtesy of Townhouse)

Monday 17 February

‘Chronicle of a Summer’ screening at CIC at 7pm

Part of the Meeting Points 7 exhibition screening programme at the Contemporary Image Collective, the 1961 film ‘Chronicle of a Summer’ by Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch will screen. The evening also offers a chance for viewers to go through the exhibition in the CIC space. Read more on the exhibition and screenings here.

22 Abdel-Khalek Tharwat Street, Downtown, Cairo

Chamber music with wind instruments at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm

The concert will include performances of seven musicians in different formations: quintet, quartet, duo and solo. The programme will include Paul Taffanel’s Wind Quintet in G minor, Bruno Bettinelli’s Studio da concerto for solo bassoon, György Kurtág’s Quintet for Winds, Op 2, among other compositions.

Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

‘Zelal’ screening and Q&A with Marianne Khoury at Vent at 8.30pm

The 2010 documentary by Egyptian acclaimed director Marianne Khoury and Mostafa Hasanaoui delves into the world of psychiatry and madness in Egypt’s mental institutions. Khoury will be available for a Q&A after the film.

6 Kasr El-Einy Street, Downtown, Cairo

Tuesday 18 February

Ramy Sebei and Karim Abo Reida concert at El-Cabina at 7.30pm

Syrian classical guitarist Ramy Sebei presents a collection of songs on the Syrian revolution and his stories. Sebei will be accompanied by Egyptian independent vocalist Karim Abo Reida. See a photo gallery from a previous performance of Sebei in Alexandria here.

11 San Saba Street, El-Raml Station, Downtown, Alexandria

El-Sakia String Orchestra's monthly concert at El-Sawy Cuturewheel at 7.30pm

Conducted by its founder and principal conductor, Mohamed Saad Basha, El-Sakia String Orchestra will perform Mozart’s Divertimento in F, Stamitz’s Clarinet Concerto No 3 and Haydn’s Symphony No 45 “Farewell.” The soloist of the evening is Mohamed Hamdy on clarinet.

Wisdom Hall, El-Sawy Culturewheel, 26th of July Street, Zamalek, Cairo

‘The Nut Trilogy’ dance performance at Rawabet Theatre at 8pm

The Nut Trilogy is a contemporary dance performance developed by choreographer Hazem Header for more than two years. The trilogy focuses on gender issues in Egyptian society, particularly the marginalisation of women. The performance derives its name from the ancient Egyptian Goddess of the Sky and Stars, Nut. Its exploration of the feminine side of Egyptian society stems from a belief that it has been oppressed for decades, and that Egypt has shifted from being a matriarchal nation to a patriarchal nation, where men dominate all aspects of life. Performers in The Nut Trilogy include Ezzat Ismail Ezzat, founder of Contemporary Dance Night (CDN), as well as Nadine Emile and Nagham Salah, both up and coming choreographers whose work was presented in previous editions of CDN. Read more on CDN here.

3 Hussein Al-Meamar Street, off Mahmoud Bassiouny Street, Downtown, Cairo

Opening of Aswan International Arts Festival for Arts and Culture

Dedicated to Egyptian and international folk art, the festival will include performances by many Egyptian folkloric troupes — Tannoura, Maloudi, Toushka, El-Howaya, among others — along with troupes from Bangladesh, Georgia, Greece, Indonesia, Italy and Romania. China is the festival’s guest of honour. Topped with street events and music performances, the festival will take place in a variety of location in Aswan governorate, including Aswan and Abu Simbel. While the festival is an initiative of Egypt’s Ministry of Culture aiming at promoting arts, it also aims to help revive tourism in Egypt’s south. The festival will continue until 22 February.

Ramy Sebei
Syrian guitarist Ramy Sebei to perform in El-Cabina, Alexandria (Photo: Rowan El Shimi)

Wednesday 19 February

UK Contemporary Composers, concert and film screening, at Ewart Hall at 8pm

UK Contemporary Composers Portrait I is part of the series initiated by the European-Egyptian Contemporary Music Society operating with the support of the British Council and the Foreign Cultural Relations Sector. The evening will feature works by Jonathan Harvey, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Luke Bedford as well as a film about George Benjamin, introducing their works to the Egyptian audiences. The music programme includes Jonathan Harvey’s 'Hidden Voice 2' (1999), Luke Bedford’s 'Igor, The Bird Who Couldn’t Sing' (2011), Harrison Birtwistle’s 'Secret Theatre' (1984) along with the screening of film about George Benjamin’s composition 'A Mind of Winter' (film, 2010). The Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble (ECME)  will be conducted by Rossen Gergov. Narrator for 'Igor, The Bird Who Couldn’t Sing' is Egyptian soprano Neveen Allouba.

Ewart Hall, American University in Cairo, Downtown Campus, Cairo

Meeting Points 7 exhibition at CIC

The Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) is hosting a collective show featuring works by a group of Egyptian and international artists, from 9 February to 8 March. Weekly film screenings will be held in parallel to the exhibition. Inspired by unfolding social and political transformations in the Arab world and the changing shape of capitalism in the world, the exhibitions participate in a global dialogue over politics, economics and culture. Besides Cairo, Meeting Points 7 will be held in Zagreb, Antwerp, Hong Kong, Beirut, Vienna and Moscow. The exhibition features works by Iman Issa, Sanja Iveković, Maryam Jafri, Rajkamal Kahlon, Kayfa ta and Haytham El-Wardany, Jumana Manna, Cecilia Vicuña, Basma Al-Sharif, and Rosalind Nashashibi. Read more here.

22 Abdel Khaled Tharwat Street, 4th Floor, Downtown, Cairo

'Nostalgic Dreams': Georges Bahgory at Al-Masar Gallery

George Bahgory, one of Egypt’s most prominent painters, exhibits this winter at Al-Masar Gallery. In his new collection, 'Nostalgic Dreams,' Bahgory pays homage to a country in which he still believes, through celebrating its simple charms in a colourful, nostalgic exploration. He also glorifies its people, the ordinary individuals, from bread sellers to puppet makers, who he views as Egypt's "real heroes." The exhibition runs until 23 February.

26 July Street, side entrance on Isaac Jacob Street (ground floor), Zamalek, Cairo

Also on this day:

- Aswan International Arts Festival for Arts and Culture. Check 18 February listings for more details.
- ‘The Nut Trilogy’ dance performance at Rawabet Theatre at 8pm. Check 18 February listings for more details.

Thursday 20 February

Selection from the 5th Cairo Video Festival in El-Hadara Cinema Centre at 7pm

Medrar for Contemporary Art is showcasing a selection from 5th Cairo’s Video Festival, hosted in September 2013 which featured works by various international artists and experimental filmmakers in Medar. Read our review and find the full programme of the 5th Cairo Video Festival here.

Cairo Opera House Grounds, Zamalek, Cairo

Nagham Saleh concert in Beit El-Raseef at 7pm

Nagham Saleh presents a selection of songs from Egyptian folklore including Sheikh Imam, Sayid Darwish and others. The artist has been part of several independent bands and theatrical endeavours.

Street 151, off Street 9, next to Midan El-Horreya, after El-Ezaby Pharmacy and in front of National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Maadi, Cairo

Sobhy Guirguis retrospective at ArtTalks

A retrospective exhibition titled 'The Self and The Other' will feature over 60 of Sobhy Guirguis's paintings and sculptures. Spanning his 60-year art career, the exhibition marks the first anniversary of the artist's death.  At the forefront of the avant-garde movement of Egyptian sculptors, Guirguis's skilled and distinctive style allowed him to experiment with scale to defy the conventions of figurative sculpture, setting him apart as a bold, rebellious innovator.

8 Al-Kamel Mohamed Street, Zamalek

Also on this day:
- Aswan International Arts Festival for Arts and Culture. Check 18 February listings for more details.

Friday 21 February

Qos Qazah storytelling performance at Hanager Theatre at 7.30pm

Qos Qazah (Rainbow), a storytelling performance by El-Batt El-Eswed (The Black Ducks), will be showing in Hanager Theatre on the Cairo Opera House grounds as part of the second Season of Independent Arts and fifth Season of Theatrical Arts, organised by the Young Independent Artists Association and sponsored by the Cultural Production Sector. The performance, which is sponsored by the British Council in Cairo, is about people's relationships with their bodies in societies like ours; the complicated, convoluted perceptions that develop within limited spaces for free physical expression. Qos Qazah is a result of two workshops; a writing workshop where participants explored their relationships with their own bodies, and a movement workshop where they further explored those relationships in practice. The result, despite moments of awkwardness and discomfort, was a moving, eye-opening experience similar to witnessing a rainbow at the end of a rainy day. And this is where the show got its name. The performance is directed by Reem Hatem and choreographed by Nadine Emile.

Hanager Theatre, Cairo Opera House Grounds, Zamalek, Cairo

Inaugural concert by Ensemble Bokra at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm

Founded by Bahaa El-Ansary at the end of 2013, Ensemble Bokra consists of: flutist Emad Atef, clarinetist Mostafa Saeed, pianist Israa Abd Elaziz, violinists Ahmed Ashraf and Ameer Sorour, violist Yousef Sameh, and cellist Marcellino Safwat. Ensemble Bokra will present music by five young composers: Bahaa El-Ansary, George Kolta, Ibrahim Shamel, Mahmoud Shaarawy and Shady Hanna, in addition to compositions by Amr Okba, Nahla Mattar and Ramz Sabry. The programme contains pieces with varied combinations, from solos to quintets.

Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

Spartacus ballet at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm

Cairo Opera Ballet Company with artistic director Erminia Kamel and Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nayer Nagui will perform Aram Khachaturian's ballet Spartacus. In his choreography, Valentin Yelizariev underlines the philosophical and emotional elements of the story. In April 2009, Yelizariev brought his production to Egypt, the ballet being performed by the National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus. Much of the choreography in the production performed by the Cairo Opera Ballet Company, also choreographed and directed by Yelizariev, reflects ideas taken from the Belarus production, topped with a unique take on the ballet by the Cairo Opera Ballet Company that added their own artistic style and individuality. The ballet will be performed on 21, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 28 February. Check a fragment from the Spartacus 2010 rehearsal by the Cairo Opera Ballet Company below.

Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

Also on this day:

- Aswan International Arts Festival for Arts and Culture. Check 18 February listings for more details.

Saturday 22 February

Pas de Deux exhibition at Nile Sunset Annex at 12pm

The artist run space Nile Sunset Annex is hosting a painting exhibition by Marc-Alexandre Dumoulin and Marianne Vlaschits. The paintings present an air of romance and intensity of colours. The gallery space is open Saturdays from 12pm to 6pm or by appointment.

Flat 17, 4th Floor, 1071 Corniche El-Nil, Garden City, Cairo

Darb El-Mazzika with Masar Egabri and others at Darb 1718 at 7pm

One of Egypt’s top independent bands, Masar Egbari, will take to Darb’s stage Saturday. The night will also feature Karakeeb and Cherine’s Project.

Kasr El-Shamee Street, behind Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque, Fustat, Old Cairo.

Symphonic concert at Cairo Opera House at 8pm

Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nader Abbassi will feature soloists Saber Abdel Sattar on kanoun and Abdel Hamid El-Shwekh on violin. The programme will include Dance For Peace (Banat Bahary) by Abbassi, Beethoven Violin Concerto, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 4 and Bizet’s Carmen Suite for Orchestra No 1 & 2. The same concert will be repeated in Alexandria Opera House on Sunday, 23 February.

Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble at Arab Music Institute at 8pm

The International Music Centre will present a concert by the Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble. Soloists of the evening will be Rasha Yehia on viola, Sophie Patey on piano and Sherif El-Razzaz on clarinet. The programme of the evening will include György Ligeti's etudes for solo piano, Sonata for viola solo, Robert Schumann's Märchenerzählungen (Fairy Tales), György Kurtág's Hommage à R. Sch. Op 15d, among other compositions.

The Arab Music Institute, 22 Ramsis St, Downtown, Cairo

Also on this day:

- Last day of Aswan International Arts Festival for Arts and Culture. Check 18 February listings for more details.
- Qos Qazah storytelling performance at Hanager Theatre at 7.30pm. Check 21 February for more details.

Nile Sunset Annex
'Pas de Deux' exhibition by Marc-Alexandre Dumoulin and Marianne Vlaschits at Nile Sunset Annex (Photo: Courtesy of Nile Sunsent Annex)

Sunday 23 February

Women Shorts II at the Netherlands-Flemish Institute at 7pm

After the success of the first two showings of Misr International Films’ project ‘Women in New Egypt,’ where through mentorship and workshops four young filmmakers produced films on women’s issues in Egypt, comes 'Women Shorts II.' The films include: ‘Bahia’ by Mavie Maher, ‘Ibn Benoot’ by Mina Magdy, ‘El-Bent’ by Sondos Shabayek and ‘Virtual’ by Nadah Riadh. The screenings will also include ‘Catharsis’ by Alia Ayman, which was not included in the workshops. Read more about the films here. Read more about Alia Ayman here

1 Mahmoud Azmy Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Screening of ‘Kirikou and the Sorceress’ at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina at 7pm

Based on elements of West African folk stories, particularly tales from Senegal, ‘Kirikou and the Sorceress’ is a 1998 traditional animation feature film written and directed by Michel Ocelot. The movie incorporates captivating images of art and nature of West Africa. Film duration is 74 minutes and will be screened in English.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Children’s Library, Chatby, Alexandria

Future Shorts Film Festival at Vent at 7.30pm

The festival, which captured the attention of Egyptian culture fans since it first came to Cairo in winter 2012, is a cross-cultural initiative that now takes place simultaneously in approximately 325 cities in 90 countries worldwide. Usually held in warehouses, galleries, theatres and a number of other cultural locations, the screenings showcase a standardised programme of short films with local music and art in the background. This Cairo edition will feature six films: from France, 'That I'm Falling' and 'Blind Spot', Poland, 'Out of Reach', Serbia, 'Rabbitland', Finland, 'The Date' and Afghanistan, 'Buzkashi Boys'. There will be another chance to visit Future Shorts on Monday.

6 Kasr El-Nil Street, Downtown, Cairo

Symphonic concert at Alexandria Opera House at 8pm

Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nader Abbassi will feature soloists Saber Abdel Sattar on kanoun and Abdel Hamid El-Shwekh on violin. The programme will include Dance For Peace (Banat Bahary) by Abbassi, Beethoven Violin Concerto, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 4 and Bizet’s Carmen Suite for Orchestra No 1 & 2. The same concert is also performed in Cairo, on Saturday, 22 February.

Sayed Darwish Theatre (Alexandria Opera House), 22 El-Horreya Rd, El-Raml Station, Alexandria

Also on this day:

- Spartacus ballet at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm. Check 21 February listings for more details.
- Qos Qazah storytelling performance at Hanager Theatre at 7.30pm. Check 21 February listings for more details.



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