SAWAH (Wanderer) - April 10-13, 2014Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfont Centre
207 Queen's Quay West, Toronto
April 10-12, 8pm & April 12-13, 2pm
Information & Tickets: here416.920.5593
CONSTRUCTION NOTICE: see details here
SAWAHEAST & WEST MEET, DANCE & MUSIC COLLABORATE
Arab and Western cultures find common ground, the classical and modern intertwine, Montreal and Toronto artists join in one creative family. Over 20 dancers and 20 musicians take to the Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront, Toronto stage for 6 performances, April 10-13, 2014 as part of the NextSteps Series. After a year of inward exploration, Arabesque re-emerges to present the world debut of SAWAH. With over 1.3 million YouTube views, Arabesque is an ensemble of dance and music artists unique in the world. Since there is nothing to compare to their work, the experience Arabesque provides can only be understood through attending a performance.
Directors Yasmina Ramzy, Bassam Bishara, Suleiman Warwar and the core dancers and musicians of Arabesque have been working together since 2005. This group of Canadian dance artists and Arab musicians love working with each other. Audiences comment that the love is palpable. Over the last 9 years, Arabesque has implemented Western sensibilities in the hopes of transforming a traditional solo dance form into ensemble work without losing its Arab essence. Arabesque has taken Arab musicians whose tradition is to improvise and forced them to rehearse and memorize so they can accompany the dancer's choreography. "The process has never been easy but we keep persisting because magic happens as the musicians and dancers inspire each other” says Ramzy.
The Arabic word SAWAH means a "traveller” or "wanderer”. The nomads of the deserts of the Middle East are renowned for their hospitality. The eagerness to share knowledge, food, culture and art, giving and receiving is deeply important and infused with ritual. The farther away their guest travels from, the more treasured is the learning opportunity the visitor offers.
In SAWAH, Arabesque remains authentic but veers away from traditional Arab music and dance. The company ventures out along its new chosen path in a world where East and West, old and modern, music and dance unite to create something very new. Arabesque has welcomed five dance artists from Montreal, an oud ensemble and an army of drummers interacting with dancers. With over 40 artists, there is lots of collaboration as Arabesque makes new friends and shares its heart and soul.
Arabesque Dance Company & Orchestra
Choreography: Yasmina Ramzy
Music Arrangement/Composition: Bassam Bishara
Percussion Arrangement/Composition: Suleiman Warwar
Lighting Design: Arun Srinivasan, Costumes: Deborah Shaw
Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre
207 Queens Quay West, Toronto
April 10-13, 8pm & April 12-13, 2pm
Information & Tickets: here 416.920.5593
Formed in 1992, Arabesque has thrilled audiences internationally with nine major productions featuring many dance and music styles of the Middle East as well as contemporary interpretive expression led by directors Yasmina Ramzy, Bassam Bishara and Suleiman Warwar. The recipient of numerous awards and critical acclaim for artistic excellence, the company has performed alongside such artists as Alabina, Bijan Mortazavi, Amr Diab, The Rolling Stones, Rageb Alema and Ben Harper.