Egypt's culture picks of the week: 23 February-2 March: VIDEOS

Ahram Online, Saturday 22 Feb 2014

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

Women Shorts II, still from Alia Ayman
Women Shorts II, still from Alia Ayman's Catharsis

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

Future Shorts Film Festival at Vent, at 7.30pm

Vent, a new art space in downtown Cairo, is hosting the winter edition of the global Future Shorts Film Festival for two days this month, 23 and 24 February.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. This Cairo edition will feature six films: 'That I'm Falling and Blind Spot (France), 'Out of Reach' (Poland), 'Rabbitland' (Serbia), 'The Date' (Finland) and 'Buzkashi Boys' (Afghanistan). Check the trailer of Buzkashi Boys below.

Vent, 6 Qasr Al-Nil Street, Downtown, Cairo

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

Fabrica's Les Miserables at El-Sawy Culturewheel at 8pm

The musical theatre troupe of the art initiative Fabrica will perform highlights from Les Miserables in Arabic with an Egyptian dialect at El-Sawy Culturewheel on Sunday, 23 February. Led by renowned soprano singer Nevine Allouba, Fabrica seeks invigorate the performance arts scene in Egypt, with a focus on musical theatre. Fabrica recently toured the United States with their performance of Les Miserables — the world-famous musical based on Victor Hugo's French novel of the same name — in Arabic.

River Hall, Wisdom Hall, El-Sawy Culturewheel, 
26 July Street, under 15 May Bridge, 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 performs Aram Khachaturian's ballet Spartacus. In his choreography, Valentin Yelizariev underlines the philosophical and emotional elements of the story. The ballet’s opening evening was on 21 February, and it will be performed again on 23, 24, 25, 26 and 28 February. The performance of Tuesday, 25 February, will be preceded by a short tribute to the late Abdel-Moneim Kamel, founder of the Cairo Opera Ballet Company. Read more about this year’s version of Spartacus and the cast here.

Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

Monday 24 February

The Self and The Other': 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. Exhibition runs until 25 February.

8 Al-Kamel Mohamed Street, Zamalek

Also on this day:

- Future Shorts Film Festival at Vent, at 7.30pm

- Qos Qazah storytelling performance at 7.30pm, Jesuit College, 15 Al-Mahrany Street, Al-Faggala, Ramses, Cairo

- Spartacus ballet at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm.
Check 23 February listings for more details on the three events.

Tuesday 25 February

Trio concert at Alexandria Centre of Arts at 8pm

Wiener Duo — Johanna Horny on piano and Roland Horvath on horn — joined by Shady Abdel Salam on violin will perform works by Liszt, J Strauss, Bartok, Mussorgsky, Sayed Darwish and Sharara.

Alexandria Centre of Arts (Markaz Al-Horeya w El-Ebdaa), 1 Horeya Road, Alexandria

Agenda 2014: Collective exhibition at Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Agenda, a collective exhibition showcasing painting and sculpture of young and emerging artists, opened last week and will run until 1 March at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Conference Centre's Exhibition Hall. In its seventh year, Agenda creates a platform for eminent names as well as emerging visual artists. Among a multitude of artists, highlights include: Wafaa Yehia's oils depicting ordinary people waiting for the metro; Eman Hussein, who presents captivating surrealism-inspired work; Ibrahim El-Tanbouli, with oils portraying a guitar player; Zakaria Soliman, a reflection on war through symbols of doves and peace symbols; Mohamed Gomaa who toys with calligraphy  with letters cut out from paper; Aziza Fahmy's mosaics; Mohamed Abou El-Wafa, a cubism-influenced canvas depicting a couple with their faces joined. Exhibition runs until 1 March.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina Conference Centre, Alexandria

Also on this day:

- Spartacus ballet at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm. Check 23 February listings for more details. The 25 February performance will be preceded by a short tribute to the late Abdel-Moneim Kamel.

The ballet Spartacus, choreographed by Valentin Yelizariev, is currently staged at the Cairo Opera House by the Cairo Opera Ballet Company accompanied by the Cairo Opera Orchestra under the baton of Nayer Nagui. (Photo: Sherif Sonbol)

Wednesday 26 February

Evening with waltzes on piano at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm

Georgian pianist Elena Dzamashvili will perform works by Brahms, Schubert, Liszt, Debussy and Ravel in an evening dedicated to waltzes. Dzamashvili is frequently performing at the Cairo Opera House and other locations across Egypt. She is a professor at the Cairo Conservatory and also teaches piano at the Talent’s Development Centre under the Cairo Opera. Read more about the concert here and listen to Debussy’s 'La plus que lente, valse' (in the evenings programme) performed by François-Joël Thiollier below.

Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek

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. 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. Exhibition runs until 8 March.

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

Thursday 27 February

Massar Egbari concert in Bibliotheca Alexandrina at 8pm

The band, which has played together for years in Alexandria and Cairo, boasts a unique sound, fusing rock and funk with oriental beats and melodies. Their lyrics tackle social issues while their concerts — especially in Alexandria — often prompt audiences to chant anti-establishment slogans. They have just released their first album this week. Read more on Massar Egbari and watch their first video here.

Music Hall, Alexandria Library, Azarita, Alexandria

The House of Rare Historic Photographs: Barry Iverson at Townhouse
Cairo-based US photographer Barry Iverson presents a series of sepia and hand-colored photographs that honour Egyptian and Arab history at the Townhouse's First Floor Gallery. Iverson moved to Cairo three decades ago, and has shot photographs for various international publications, including Life, People, National Geographic, and others. "Playing with early photographic vernacular stemming from studio portraiture, glamorous cinematic gestures, Orientalist postcards and architectural records, this body of work is a highly personal documentation of a history both recent and deep, remembered and imagined; a projection of subjective memories on actual places," reads the curatorial statement. Exhibition runs until 12 March. See photos from the exhibition here.

10 Nabrawy Street, off Champollion Street, Downtown, Cairo

Friday 28 February

Chamber music concert at Cairo Opera at 8pm

Mahmoud Osman and Iman Amin on piano will perform works by Beethoven and Grieg.

Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

Last performance of 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 performs Aram Khachaturian's ballet Spartacus. In his choreography, Valentin Yelizariev underlines the philosophical and emotional elements of the story. Read more about this year’s version of Spartacus and cast here.

Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

Saturday 1 March

Yasmine El-Baramawy & Kareem Osman concert in 100Copies Music Space at 8pm

Yasmine El-Baramawy will be on the traditional oud playing her own compositions, while graphic designer and visual artist Kareem Osman will be joining her with live visuals.

22 Talaat Harb Street, Downtown, Cairo

Jazz concert with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra at Cairo Opera at 8pm

Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mohamed Saad Basha will present a programme including Gershwin’s 'Cuban Overture' and 'An American in Paris' followed by Bolling’s 'Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio.' Soloists of the evening are flutist Ines Abdel Dayem, pianist Mohamed Saleh, double bass player Sherif Elian and percussionist Hesham Kamal.

Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

International photo festival at Gezira Art Centre
Twenty-eight professional photographers from 20 different countries will participate in the International Gezira Contemporary Photography Festival's second edition hosted by the Gezira Art Centre in Zamalek. Curated by Egyptian photographer Ayman Lotfy, the festival will exhibit an exceptional selection of works by a multitude of acclaimed photographers with a number of international awards to their names.  Hosted every second year in Cairo, the festival will later be received by the Egyptian Art Academy in Rome, Italy, as it traditionally travels to one of the participating countries. Festival runs through 12 March.

Gezira Art Centre, Al-Sheikh Al-Marsafy Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Sunday 2 March

‘Cinderella’s Tales’: Shayma Kamel at Mashrabia Gallery
Keeping a close eye on the dynamics of social life in Cairo, Shayma Kamel usually captures the essence of the Egyptian persona through large paintings that simultaneously haunt and enchant. In this exhibition, 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. Exhibition runs until 20 March. See photos from the exhibition here.

8 Champollion Street, Downtown, Cairo


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