World Premiere of #minaret: Omar Rajeh shakes the audience of Romaeuropa Festival with his latest creation
Omar Rajeh, Lebanese Choreographer and Founder of pioneering contemporary dance company ‘Omar Rajeh | Maqamat’ premiered his newest creation #minaret as part of the 33rd edition of the ‘Romaeuropa Festival’.
Romaeuropa Festival is a multidisciplinary contemporary arts festival that takes place from the 19th of September to the 25th of November across a number of venues in Rome, Italy. One of the largest of its kind, 2018 marks the 33rd edition of this ground-breaking festival and will feature artists from twenty-four countries representing four continents.
A preview of #minaret was recently presented to a sold-out audience at ‘tanzmesse internationale’ in Dusseldorf, Germany, the largest contemporary dance showcase in the world. The presentation received an overwhelming response from international presenters and artists. #minaret follows the success of Rajeh’s previous creation, ‘Beytna’, which is still touring since 2016.
In addition to the world premiere at Romaeuropa Festival, #minaret will be touring festivals and venues over the next few weeks in Bulgaria (One Dance Week – Plovdiv), Poland (Body Mind Festival – Warsaw) and Germany (Tafelhalle – Nuremberg).
Featuring a cast of internationally acclaimed artists, #minaret is an encounter between contemporary dance, video arts, a drone, and a soundscape inspired from the classical musical heritage of Aleppo. At its core, #minaret proposes the question of how we position ourselves, resist ‘numbing’, and face the images of destruction and confiscation of entire cities and the daily violation of human intimacy and privacy.
For this new creation, Rajeh collaborated with composers Pablo Palacio and Mahmoud Turkmani who created a unique soundscape inspired from the Classical Musical heritage of Aleppo. They play the music live on stage with renowned musician Ziad El Ahmadie and Joss Turnbull. The dancers are a collective of international artists and in addition to Rajeh include Mia Habis, Charlie Prince (Lebanon), Moonsuk Choi (South Korea), Antonia Kruschel (Germany) and Yamila Khodr (Argentina). Acclaimed UK Light Designer Guy Hoare joins the creative team, alongside video artist Ygor Gama (Brazil) and Lebanese actor Hadi Bou Ayash (Lebanon) as drone pilot.
Alongside his artistic creations, Rajeh is the founder of BIPOD – Beirut International Platform of Dance, which in 2019 will present its 15th edition. Within this framework, Rajeh developed ‘Moultaqa Leymoun’, a platform to showcase and develop the work of young and established artists from the region. Rajeh is also a co-founder of Masahat Dance Network, a regional contemporary dance network across Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan.
‘The powerful dance of #minaret of the Lebanese Omar Rajeh shakes the audience of Romaeuropa Festival 2018’ Giannarita Martino, Danzaeffebi
“Omar Rajeh is the most famous choreographer from the Arab world…”#minaret” combines his strengths: powerful movements and a political connection” Andrea Gerk, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 2018
Further information on the work and on the upcoming tour can be found at www.omarrajeh.com
#minaret is a production of Omar Rajeh | Maqamat
Co-produced by Romaeuropa Festival, BIPOD, HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden
With the support of Tanzfabrik Berlin, Charleroi danse-centre chorégraphique de Wallonie-Bruxelles, Tanzmesse nrw and apap – advancing performing arts project
Dance floor kindly supplied by Harlequin Flooring
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