Sunday, August 30, 2015

ReOrient Festival Offers Numerous Productions in San Francisco (Sep 10-Oct 4)

REORIENT THE WAY YOU SEE THE MIDDLE EAST WITH GOLDEN THREAD PRODUCTIONS (SEP. 10–OCT. 4)

ReOrient Festival presents eight fully-produced short plays in two repertory series, including award–winning Iraqi-British playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak’s U.S. debut, new works by Middle East America winners Yussef El Guindi and Mona Mansour, as well as world premieres by emerging voices like Nahal Navidar.

ReOrient Forum (Oct. 3 and 4) includes panels and presentations featuring artists, activists, and scholars from around the world.

Festival includes a Fairytale Players Double Bill:  Two family-friendly short plays inspired by Middle Eastern fables presented in one afternoon.  Music lovers can enjoy Syrian-American soprano Saousan Jarjour’s reminagining of Arabic folk songs.

“The annual cavalcade of short plays about the Middle East that has itself provided, in addition to a dependable variety of aesthetic pleasures, crucial space for public consideration and dialogue.” –Rob Avila, San Francisco Bay Guardian

“The evening offers two hours of the profound and the abstruse, the silly and the sublime. When you’re talking about the Middle East, you’re talking about a multiplicity of cultures and an infinite variety of voices, opinions and styles, and ReOrient offers a bold and broad sampling that give us a taste of that.” —Sam Hurwitt, The Idiolect

San Francisco, July 16, 2015—Featuring plays and artists from Armenia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the U.S., Golden Thread’sReOrient 2015 Festival and Forum will turn San Francisco into a mecca for innovative, spirited, and thought-provoking theatre from and about the Middle East. With plays, talkbacks, panels, roundtable conversations, a family show, and a recital for Arabic music lovers, ReOrient 2015 is an artistic celebration and political exploration of this transforming region for curious and engaged theatre lovers and those passionate about international themes.

The ReOrient Festival presents eight remarkably eclectic short plays in two series in repertory. The playwrights featured include Middle East America Award winner and recipient of 2012 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Circle Best New Play Award Yussef El Guindi; winner of Middle East America and Whiting Awards Mona Mansour; Iranian-American writer and recent USC graduate Nahal Navidar, and award–winning Israeli-American writer Ken Kaissar. For the first-time, the Festival also includes three British writers of Middle Eastern descent: winner of the William Saroyan Prize Silva Semerciyan returns to the ReOrient, and award-winning Iraqi-British playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak and Palestinian-Irish emerging writer Hannah Khalil make their U.S. debut.

The Festival culminates in a two-day ReOrient Forum featuring provocative conversations by artists, scholars, and activists from around the world. This year’s Forum features UC Davis Professor Sunaina Maira as Keynote Speaker, and presents panels on ideas of home and language for Palestinian artists around the world (organized by Theatre Without Borders), the intersection of sexual identity with Middle Eastern performance (organized by Shape-Shift Arts & Saboteur Productions), a multigenerational perspective of Iranian-American theatre (organized by Diaspora Arts Connection), and a panel on the future of Bay Area’s culturally-specific theatre companies (organized by Theatre Bay Area), amongst others. ReOrient Forum events are free and open to the public.

ReOrient 2015 also includes two special performances. Music lovers will get a chance to enjoy award-winning Syrian-American soprano Saousan Jarjour’s reimagining of Middle Eastern folk songs on Saturday, October 3, at 2pm. Golden Thread’s Fairytale Players present two of their most popular shows for families, inspired by Iranian and Armenian fables, as a double-bill on Sunday, October 4, at 2pm.

“Nowhere else in the US, and certainly not anywhere in the Middle East, will you be able to see such a diverse collection of plays from and about the Middle East on one stage,”Founding Artistic Director Torange Yeghiazarian explains. “But at the end of the day, ReOrient is more about us here in the U.S. than a changing Middle East that is thousands of miles away. Bay Area audiences of all backgrounds will find themselves reflected in these intelligent and warm plays.”

Evren Odcikin, Director of Marketing and New Plays, adds: “You know and are passionate about the Middle East? Join us in celebrating and exploring this diverse region and its people. Is all you know about the Middle East from mainstream media? Join us and experience a more complex and layered Middle East, with stories, conversations, and art from the people who live its reality.”

ReOrient, now produced every two years, is Golden Thread’s signature program and is a hugely ambitious undertaking for this intrepid theatre company. Chosen from submissions from all around the world, the festival of eight plays, selected by a committee of artists from around the country, is the artistic centerpiece of ReOrient 2015. This year’s festival will employ and feature more than 75 artists and participants and engage a large team of volunteers. The ReOrient Forum presentations are co-sponsored by many like-minded partners around the world, including Diaspora Arts Connection, Shape-Shift Arts & Saboteur Productions, Theatre Without Borders, Theatre Bay Area, and the University of San Francisco. This impressive network of artists and activists is essential in creating a unique and much-needed space for conversation and exchange with the Middle East, which is a core element of Golden Thread’s mission.

The ReOrient Festival performs in two series in repertory on September 10–October 4, 2015 at Z Below (470 Florida Street, San Francisco). Series A performs Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm. Series B performs Fridays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. The opening nights for the festival are Saturday, September 19, at 8pm (Series A) and Sunday, September 20, at 3pm (Series B). ReOrient Forum features free panel discussions and presentations on October 3–4, 2015 (9am–6pm) at Z Space (450 Florida Street, San Francisco). The Fairytale Players Double Bill for families performs on Sunday, October 4, at 2pmat Z Space (470 Florida Street, San Francisco). The Arabic Folk Songs Recital by Saousan Jarjour performs on Saturday, October 3, at 2pm at Z Space (450 Florida Street, San Francisco).

Golden Thread offers two passes that allows audiences to immerse themselves in the ReOrient experience and save: The All-Access Pass ($60) includes admission to all Festival and Forum events and the Series Pass ($40) includes admission to Series A and B of the Festival. Single tickets for the Festival are $22-$30. Single tickets to the Fairytale Players Double-Bill are $20 and free for children 12 and under. Single tickets to The Arabic Folk Song Recital by Saousan Jarjour are $20. ReOrient Forum panels and presentations are free and open to the public. Registration for ReOrient Forum is recommended. All passes, tickets, and registration are available at goldenthread.org.

ReOrient Festival and Forum is made possible by generous grants from California Arts Council, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Grants for the Arts, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, and San Francisco Foundation. Golden Thread also wants to acknowledge sponsorsAdobe, BART, and La Méditerranée.

ABOUT GOLDEN THREAD
Golden Thread Productions, founded in 1996, is the first American theatre company focused on the Middle East. We produce passionate and provocative plays from and about the region that celebrate the multiplicity of its perspectives and identities. Every play serves as an invitation to discover unexpected connections and engage in deeply moving conversations that last well beyond the life of the play. In our work, we are a developmental catalyst and vibrant artistic home to artists at various stages of their careers, and bring the Middle East to the American stage, creating treasured cultural experiences for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. goldenthread.org

REORIENT 2015 FACT SHEET:
ReOrient 2015 will turn San Francisco into a mecca for innovative, spirited, and thought-provoking theatre from and about the Middle East. Featuring plays and artists from Armenia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the U.S., ReOrient 2015 is an artistic celebration and political exploration of this transforming region and its people.

REORIENT 2015 FESTIVAL PROGRAM
WHAT: Short plays exploring the Middle East presented in two repertory series
WHEN: Sep. 10–Oct. 4, 2015
Series A: Thu & Sat at 8pm; Series B: Fri at 8pm & Sun at 3pm
Opening nights: Saturday, September 19, at 8pm (Series A); Sunday, September 20, at 3pm (Series B)
WHERE: Z Below (470 Florida St, San Francisco)
For info and tickets: goldenthread.org

THE PLAYS: U.S. Premiere

Lost Kingdom by Hassan Abdulrazzak, directed by Michael French
When a Lebanese-American FBI agent is called in to interrogate a fallen dictator, a twisted tango ensues that complicates black and white notions of good and evil.

Picking Up the Scent by Yussef El Guindi, directed by Evren Odcikin
Hisham, an archeologist, discovers an ancient perfume bottle in a war zone. As he digs deeper, his poet wife Nisrin questions if it’s worth risking his life for history.

Counting in Sha’ab by Emma Goldman-Sherman, directed by Erin Gilley
Life goes on for Mr. Hattab and a colorful cast of characters from his bustling Baghdad neighborhood despite a bomb going off in front of his grocery store.

Bitterenders by Hannah Khalil, directed by Manijeh Mohamedi
Maha’s Palestinian family shares their East Jerusalem apartment with an Israeli family, until a surprising letter changes everything—or does it?

Ceasefire by Ken Kaissar, directed by Evren Odcikin
Can a ceasefire allow Israeli and Lebanese soldiers patrolling the border to see each other as something other than enemy?

The House by Tala Manassah and Mona Mansour, directed by Sara Razavi
Kamal, a Palestinian-American scientist, and his philosopher daughter Alia put on a play and take an imaginary trip to his childhood home.

Songs of Our Childhood by Nahal Navidar, directed by Sara Razavi
Childhood friends, Mira and Sanaz, work as triage nurses during the Iran-Iraq War. But it’s their ideological battles that threaten the peace inside the hospital.

Turning Tricks by Silva Semerciyan, directed by Erin Gilley
Even slavery has evolved in wealthy and genteel Europe. But the players are not who you would expect.

ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES FOR FAMILIES

The Fairytale Players Double-Bill
WHAT: Princess Tamar Rescues Nazar the Brave and 21 Days That Change the Year: Two beloved family-friendly productions, inspired by Iranian and Armenian fairy tales will be presented in one afternoon.
WHEN: Sun, Oct 4, 2015, at 2pm
WHERE: Z Space (450 Florida St, San Francisco)
goldenthread.org

FOR MUSIC LOVERS
Arabic Folk Song Recital by Saousan Jarjour
WHAT: Acclaimed Syrian-American soprano presents a repertoire of Middle Eastern folk songs, reimagined with jazzy arrangements.
WHEN: Sat, Oct 3, 2015, at 2pm
WHERE: Z Space (450 Florida St, San Francisco)


REORIENT 2015 FORUM
WHAT: Join us for provocative conversations by artists, scholars, and activists from around the world. This year’s Forum features UC Davis Professor Sunaina Maira as Keynote Speakers and presents panels on ideas of home and language for Palestinian artists around the world (organized by Theatre Without Borders), the intersection of sexual identity with Middle Eastern performance (organized by Shape-Shift Arts & Saboteur Productions), a multigenerational perspective of Iranian-American theatre (organized by Diaspora Arts Connection), and a panel on the future of Bay Area’s culturally-specific theatre companies (organized by Theatre Bay Area), amongst others.
WHEN: Sat, Oct 3 & Sun, Oct 4
Panels and presentations will take place 9am–6pm each day.
WHERE: Z Space (450 Florida St, San Francisco)
TICKETS: FREE and open to the public

To register and for details, please visit goldenthread.org/forum.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

4 Short Plays from Arabian Shakespeare Festival on Aug 8 (SF)


The Arabian Shakespeare Festival is presenting 4 Short Plays created with inspiration from one of Shakespeare's Sonnets or the Poetry of Sidi Abderrahman el Mejdub and Abeliziz Al Magrouhi (arab poets from the same period). Actors and directors will put the play up with well under 10 hours of rehearsal!

New works written by Barry Eitel, Elmaz Abinader, David Graham and Deema Shehabi.

For more info and tickets, see http://m.bpt.me/event/1582798


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Ramy Adly: Concert at Kennedy Center

Oud Master Ramy Adly will be in concert at the Kennedy Center on August 28th, at 6pm,  His performance aims at highlighting the Oud instrument  and the way it has always featured within the canon of Arabic/Middle Eastern music. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Interview with Nadia Ahmad, Co-Host of Kalam Nawaem كلام نواعم

Interviewing Nadia Ahmad https://soundcloud.com/arabology/nadiaahmad

Arabology is proud to share Dr. Ramzi Salti's interview with Nadia Ahmad who co-hosts the TV show 'Kalam Nawaem' (the Arabic version of 'The View') on MBC1.  The interview was conducted in English at Stanford on July 21, 2015.  Listen below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/nadiaahmad



Nadia Ahmad is an acclaimed Arab Media personality and actress whose experience intersects theatre, film and television. She has performed with great panache on stages in Kuwait, Beirut and New York, winning wide spread acclaim from theatre stalwarts and critics alike. As a producer and director, she continues to develop major musical theatre productions in association with the National Council of Arts and Culture and the Amiri Diwan in Kuwait.

As an Activist, Nadia helped co-found the non-profit organization, the Lothan Youth Achievement Center (www.loyac.org) in the wake of September 11, 2001 with her mother Fareah Al Saqqaf and other progressive and committed women from the Kuwaiti society.
LOYAC runs several programs for the youth to develop their professional skills, enhance personal growth and to help them find a sense of purpose, including the LOYAC Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA), a non-profit institution offering free classes in any of the performing arts for troubled or under privileged youth who may have talent but no means or support to pursue it. LAPA is the first academy in Kuwait that caters to all aspects of the performing arts such as music, dance and theatre.
A graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she earned her Bachelors of Science with honors, and a second major in Italian Language and Literature. Further education includes the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where she earned her Masters of Fine Arts from the intensely competitive Peter Stark Producing Program. 

This December, Nadia will be starring in a new one woman show in San Francisco where she will be celebrating the untold, true stories of several remarkable Arab women. Written by ASF Associate Artist Jennifer Le Blanc, based on interviews with the women of Kuwait, ' We Made Bread' stars renowned Kuwaiti actress Nadia Ahmad and is directed by Louanne Moldovan.


PHOTOS OF NADIA AHMAD AT STANFORD:






Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dr. Ramzi Salti Interviewed on AATV

Watch the video at https://youtu.be/VMgvU0Kaxqk

Dr. Ramzi Salti, Lecturer at Stanford + Radio Host of 'Arabology' on KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM, was recently interviewed by Suad Asfour (AATV) about his teaching, his publications and his radio show.  The taping took place on July 14, 2015 at the ABC TV News/CreaTV  Building in San Jose, California.

You can watch the video below or at https://youtu.be/VMgvU0Kaxqk









Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tinariwen: The Best of Saharan Blues

Tinariwen solidifies Saharan Blues

Tinariwen is a Grammy Award-winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. The band began in 1979 in Algeria and started to gain a following outside the region in 2001, leading to performances at such world festivals as Festival au Désert and the Roskilde festival in Denmark. They received global acclaim for the release of their Aman Iman in 2007. 

Tinariwen's sound features Berber music from northern Algeria, rai music, pop, and Egyptian music. They are also influenced by Dire Straits, Santana, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Kenny Rogers and Don Williams.  Their style sounds like a blend between the blues and West African music,

Here is one of their hits titled 'TOUMAST TINCHA' (https://youtu.be/bvFrCulCvgM)


Here is their entire concert at WOMAD (https://youtu.be/uUS0-0Fv7c8)


For more info:

Tinariwen YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Tinariwen
Tinariwen Web Site: http://tinariwen.com/



Silk Road Rising Receives ArtPlace America Grant

Silk Road Rising has been awarded ArtPlace America’s National Grant to support their civic engagement and new play project, Jamil Khoury's Mosque Alert! Silk Road Rising (formerly known as Silk Road Theatre Project) creates live theatre and online videos that tell stories through primarily Asian American and Middle Eastern American lenses. In representing communities that intersect and overlap, they aim to advance a polycultural worldview.



Mosque Alert is an artistic and civic engagement project that dramatizes the difficulties Muslims face across the country (see https://youtu.be/Ojvgm7r4KU8).  Last summer, Jamil Khoury and Malik Gillani—the founders of Silk Road Rising—found the ideal site for their fictional mosque: The Old Nichols Library in downtown Naperville. Working with ten community partners in downtown Naperville, they plan to use Mosque Alert to generate community-wide conversations that will examine fears associated with the building of this fictional mosque.

The project also utilizes video plays, community discussions and live stage work. The final artwork will be a production of Mosque Alert at Naperville’s North Central College in Fall, 2016. The stage play will integrate comments and feedback gathered from upcoming community engagement programs. 

Silk Road Rising has been working in Naperville for the past two years on the theme of Muslim American integration. This video, by Naperville Community Television 17 (NCTV17), documents one of their most recent presentations at the Naperville Public Library. You can also read this article by Susan Frick Carlman of The Naperville Sun, discussing one of the presentations we recently conducted in Naperville.

You can watch the video below or at https://vimeo.com/122791461


ReOrient Forum & Festival 2015



Golden Thread’s upcoming ReOrient Festival in San Francisco is well known for innovative, spirited, and thought-provoking theatre from and about the Middle East. With short plays by playwrights from Iraq, Iran, Egypt, England, and the U.S., the latest ReOrient promises to be a one-of-a-kind exploration of this unique region and its theater, stories, and artists.

The festival will feature 8 short plays by leading and emerging Middle Eastern writers (see below). The month-long festival of short plays, which will begin on September 10, 2015, will conclude with a FREE weekend Forum, a convening of artists, activists and scholars aimed at expanding the dialogue on theatre and the Middle East .

THE PLAYS:

LOST KINGDOM
by Hassan Abdulrazzak, directed by Michael French

When a Lebanese-American FBI agent is called in to interrogate a fallen dictator, a twisted tango ensues that complicates black and white notions of good and evil.

PICKING UP THE SCENT
by Yussef El Guindi, directed by Evren Odcikin

Hisham, an archeologist, discovers an ancient perfume bottle in a war zone. As he digs deeper, his poet wife Nisrin questions if it’s worth risking his life for history.

COUNTING IN AL SHA’AB
by Emma Goldman-Sherman, directed by Erin Gilley

Life goes on for Mr. Hattab and a colorful cast of characters from his bustling Baghdad neighborhood despite a bomb going off in front of his grocery store.

BITTERENDERS
by Hannah Khalil, directed by Manijeh Mohamedi

Maha’s Palestinian family shares their East Jerusalem apartment with an Israeli family, until a surprising letter changes everything—or does it?

CEASEFIRE
by Ken Kaissar, directed by Evren Odcikin

Can a ceasefire allow Israeli and Lebanese soldiers patrolling the border to see each other as something other than enemy?

THE HOUSE (World Premiere)
by Tala Manassah and Mona Mansour, directed by Sara Razavi

Kamal, a Palestinian-American scientist, and his philosopher daughter Alia put on a play and take an imaginary trip to his childhood home.

When: September 10- October 4th

More Information: http://www.goldenthread.org/reorient-festival-2015/

THE FORUM:

The month-long festival of short plays will conclude with a FREE weekend Forum, a convening of artists, activists and scholars aimed at expanding the dialogue on theatre and the Middle East .

This year, Golden Thread presents Theatre Between Home & Exile, a panel exploring the ideas of home and language for Palestinian theatre artists around the world. Panelists include Palestinian-American playwright and activist, Ismail Khalidi, University of Haifa’s theatre professor and professional Massoud Haman and Ramallah based, emerging playwright Dalia Taha.

Panel: “Theatre Between Home and Exile: New Palestinian Voices” (Oct 3)

Panelists: Massoud Hamdan (Israel), Yasser Abu Shaqra (Syria/Turkey), Hannah Kahlil (UK),
Ismail Khalidi (USA), Dalia Taha (West Bank, OPT)

This panel will bring five unique voices in Palestinian theatre together to discuss the complexity of telling Palestinian stories at home and abroad. The panelists will explore various identities and voices that make up Palestinian identity in the face of globalization.

Concert: ReImagined Folk Songs with Saosan Jarjour (October 4, 2:30 PM)

An afternoon of Syrian folk songs with award-winning Syrian American soprano, Saousan Jarjour.

For more info see http://www.goldenthread.org/

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Arab Western Film about Sultan Basha Al Atrash

Syrian-American Director Faisal Attrache is currently working on a new short film that deserves much attention and support. Titled 'From the Mountain' this Arab western short focuses on Sultan Basha Al Atrash's fight for freedom against colonial oppression. Read about it below and consider donating at THIS LINK.

For more info, see the film's Facebook Page and this YouTube video/promo: https://youtu.be/wn9_VNE_7As






Thursday, July 2, 2015

Malek Jandali Honored by The Carnegie Corporation of New York




Syiran-American pianist/composer Malek Jandali was honored today as a 2015 Great Immigrant - The Pride of America by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.  Established in 1911, the Carnegie Corporation of New York is honoring a distinguished group of accomplished immigrants who have helped advance and enlighten our society, culture, and economy. Both The New York Times and The Guardian will feature the 38 honorees and their accomplishments on Independence Day, July 4,2015.

The 2015 Great Immigrants come from more than 30 countries around the world and represent leadership in a wide range of professions. They include Nobel laureates Arieh Warshel and Thomas C. Südhof; Google Engineering Director Craig Nevill-Manning; Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Thomas Campbell; Atlanta Braves coach Eddie Pérez; Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin; Pulitzer Prize-winners Geraldine Brooks and Anne Telnaes; actress Sofía Vergara; singer Thalía and television game show host Alex Trebek.



Last month Malek Jandali released The Moonlight  طلع البدر, an original symphonic work for piano and orchestra recorded in Moscow with The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. It is based on one of the oldest songs in Islamic culture, Tala Al Badru Alayna, dating back more than 1400 years. 

You can listen to this work below or at https://youtu.be/xPI-lf-oN8U

 

The Moonlight is now available on iTunes and CDBaby worldwide.



The Malek Jandali Trio performed in the UAE last month to sold out audiences in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Abu Dhabi Classic FM Radio featured Variations for Piano and Orchestra which is based on an ancient Syrian folk melody and is featured in the latest album Syrian Symphony.

Notes For My Homeland a short documentary film featured recently on National Geographic and premiered by the Newest Americans project at Rutgers University after the release of Syrian Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

BBC - NPR Music - VOA - NBC News - Al Arabiya TV - Fox News -
Al Jazeera - The Huffington Post - News 12 New Jersey - Al Hurra TV 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Santa Cruz Arabic Music Week



Check out this amazing event which is coming up on July 19-25 at Pleasure Point FDC in Santa Cruz, CA. Registration form and detailed schedule at THIS LINK.

This is a weeklong celebration of Arabic Music with instruction, workshops, performances in Arabic singing, instrumental music, percussion, and even a bit of dance. Instructors this year include Antoine Lammam for percussion, Elias Lammam, voice, maqam theory, ensemble, Arabic music history and subgenres, rhythms, improvisation and taqsim, Sarah Michael, assistant music director, Janelle Rodriguez, oriental dance, Carolé Acuña, flamenco, and Tina Enheduanna, oriental dance.

This year there will be two phases of the week-long event: a two-day Bootcamp for musicians new to Arabic music (less than 3 years experience) on July 19-20; and a four-day intensive for more advanced students of Arabic music. The week will end with an evening of performances for family, friends and the public. There will be additional performance opportunities in the evenings throughout the week.

Instruments: traditional Arabic instruments such as qanun, oud, riqq, rebab, etc., as well as traditional Western instruments: accordion, violin, bass, guitar & other strings, woodwinds, brass instruments, and keyboard; percussion instruments such as riqq (tambourine), tabla/doumbek, and various frame drums.

July 19-20: Intensive immersion program for musicians, drummers & singers who are new to Arabic music.
July 19 from 1-5 pm: Dancer-friendly overview of Arabic music including: learn to sing your first Arabic song, percussion, history, famous figures in Arabic music, & more.

July 21-25: A wide variety of classes in Arabic music, percussion & singing at a more advanced level.
Percussion-only track also available, afternoons from July 19-25. See registration form for details.

July 24: The participant ensemble will perform live music with dance performances by our dance faculty & workshop participants.

July 25: Full concert by the participant ensemble and our instructors (myself, Tony Lammam and Sarah Michael).

Both of the shows on July 24-25 are open to the public. Tickets just $5 adv or $10 at the door.

Evening Dance Program: Dance workshops with

Janelle Rodriguez, July 20-21,
Carole Acuna, Flamenco, July 22
Tina Enheduanna, July 23

Join the FB event page for updates:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1603223289894322/

Check out some new videos of our instructors on our Youtube channel at:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHYPKpehgeOX_32f_0NyaHw/videos?flow=grid&view=0&sort=p




Monday, May 25, 2015

Pierre Dulaine at Stanford on Friday May 29 (Noon + 7pm)

TWO events for Ballroom dancing legend Pierre Dulaine were planned at Stanford on Friday May 29 (see flier below):

1. Noon Lunch Talk at Language Center (Building 30-102): SEE VIDEO BELOW
Mr. Dulaine discussed his 'Dancing Classrooms' method which he applied in his award winning documentary Dancing in Jaffa to bring Arab and Jewish children together through dance. Mr. Dulaine spoke about the film, his journey into the world of dance and his experience as a Judge on the Arabic version of the TV show 'So You Think You Can Dance.' Includes audio-visual intro by Dr. Ramzi Salti.  See video at https://youtu.be/h2aQzq4H1qk



2. 7pm Screening of Dancing in Jaffa + Q&A with Pierre Dulaine (Building 260-113):
Arrive by 6:30 pm for a live performance by the Stanford Middle East Ensemble, followed by a screening of the film at 7 pm + Q&A with Mr. Dulaine (moderated by Ramzi Salti). Dinner Provided.  Watch video below or at https://youtu.be/uEQ1NAz6beo



Events were sponsored by the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, The Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford Language Center, Division of Literatures Cultures and Languages, Department of Comparative Literature, The Department of Theater & Performance Studies (TAPS), ITALIC, Arab Students Association at Stanford, Hillel, Jewish Student Association, the Arab Film Festival and a generous artsCatalyst grant by the Stanford Arts Institute.

About Pierre Dulaine:



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gibran Poetry Night w/ Ramzi Salti at Stanford (May 22 @ 6 pm)



Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti gave a talk about Lebanese Poet جبران خليل جبران / Khalil Gibran this Friday on May 22 at 6 pm at Stanford Markaz Resource Center at Stanford University.  The evening focused on Gibran's poems in Arabic, followed by elaboration and explanation in English--plus various musical renderings by Fairuz.

Here is a video recording of the event (https://youtu.be/B7vEClRcDKs) followed by pictures from the talk.




Pictures from Gibran Poetry Night at Stanford:









Saturday, May 16, 2015

5/12 Arabology Podcast Available

Arabology 9.10 Podcast https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology910

This episode of 'Arabology' aired on May 12, 2015.  The podcast includes new music by Algerian singer Souad Massi (based on Al Motanabi poem and translated to English) + the latest track by Egypt's Badrawies Project + Jordanian indie music by El Morabba3-المربّع and ZA'ED NA'ES زائد ناقص (ft. Muhammad Abdullah) + Morocco's OUM + various songs by Mike Massy and Maya Waked (both of whom are also interviewed). This podcast includes an inspiring interview with Hamza Chraibi, Founder of Arab Excellence, and an interview with writer Maisaa Al-Hatemi including a reading of one of her daring short stories in Arabic and English. Also includes a chat with Serge Bakalian, Executive Director of the Arab Film Festival, and a conversation with Adam Eltoukhy and Waleed Mohsen, Founders of Mohsen Arts Foundation + interview and Oud music by this year's grant winner Bangin Kanjo.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

San Francisco Premiere of "Intima" at Z Space




Intima is a fusion of visual art, dance, and music that investigates themes of self-discovery, conflict, loss and resolution. The cultural history of Syria, ranging from the Gilgamesh myth to the current, tragic war, inspired Tayeb Al-Hafez to bring these artists together.  This event is premiered on May 8 and 9 at Z Space in San Francisco.

Here is my interview with some members of the Intima Creative Team, recorded backstage after their SF premiere, featuring Tayeb Al-Hafez, Ilyas Iliya, Ali Kaaf, and Ashraf Kateb:



"Intima brings together artists with mutual respect and a shared vision.”
—Gregory Dawson, Choreographer

“Exploring the relationship between man, space, and death has always been a focus of my work. Intima enhances this exploration by incorporating the physical body at every step. Movement is an ever-present feature of the total performance, giving the visual display a unique dynamism.”
—Ali Kaaf, Visual Artist

“For me, Intima addressed many questions especially now as my native homeland of Syria struggles. Intima is now part of my creative arc, part of my humanity.”
—Ashraf Kateb, Music Director


Collage with Intima cast and crew



Ramzi Salti's Talk: Healing through Lebanese Music (EPIC Fellows, Stanford Global Studies, September 2020)

Watch full talk at https://youtu.be/LzAaUrZEq8k This audio-visual talk by Stanford Lecturer + Arabology program host Dr. Ramzi Salti was pre...