Sharjah Art Foundation unveils inaugural season of five performances across Emirate

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Following the creation of its new Performance Department, Sharjah Art Foundation has announced its inaugural performances program — featuring five performative works by regional and international artists taking place in the open spaces, public venues, heritage houses, and theaters across the emirate from November 4, 2022 to January 8, 2023.

Curated by Director of Performance and Senior Curator Tarek Abou El Fetouh, this new program, titled Perform Sharjah, formalizes and extends the Foundation’s commitment to supporting the creation and presentation of performance.

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As contemporary art increasingly blurs the boundaries between disciplines, performance artists have brought together theater, music, contemporary dance and installation into their practice. During Perform Sharjah, regional and international artists will engage the public in their explorations of the city’s rhythm through their individual perspectives on its living urban structure as well as its architectural and cultural heritage.

Perform Sharjah is deeply rooted in the emirate’s diverse communities, with programs that engage closely with the city and its inhabitants.

With Perform Sharjah paving the way for future performance programs, the Foundation will commission artists to create performances and site-specific works in various locations around the city, to be presented to the public over the coming years.

Additionally, Perform Sharjah will offer participants from the UAE and the wider Gulf region a wide range of learning opportunities in theater and performance through workshops, talks, and educational programs conducted by artists and created with local partners including the Sharjah Theater Department and Sharjah Performing Arts Academy.

Following are the five performances with dates and venues for the inaugural season:

Every Brilliant Thing

The program opens with the Arabic iteration of ‘Every Brilliant Thing,’ adapted and directed by Ahmed El Attar. The play will feature Nanda Mohamed, seated alone on an empty stage with only a minimal set, accessories, and music. She has the challenging task of balancing the storyline with the energies of the audience who are invited to participate and even improvise during the show.

November 4, 2022, Bait Obaid Al Shamsi

Automobile 9

Behind Al Rolla Square Car Park, one of the most vital and distinctive areas of the city, Joe Namy will present the ninth iteration of his sonic performance ‘Automobile.’

Automobile, Abu Dhabi, performance by Joe Namy. Image © Radfan Alqirsh
Automobile, Abu Dhabi, performance by Joe Namy. Image © Radfan Alqirsh

Namy collaborates with the owners of cars fitted with exceptionally powerful, custom-made sound systems that are usually used to blare music at gatherings in the desert.

He brings this practice into the center of the city, connecting the speakers to create an enormous stereo system, simultaneously broadcasting field recordings gathered and composed by the artist.

November 6, 2022, Rolla Park Parking

Remote Sharjah

Award-winning theater group Rimini Protokoll will recreate a version of ‘Remote X.’ The performance, a kind of mobile research experimental lab, has been presented in many cities around the world. For each new edition, a unique dramatic structure is developed, based on the urban fabric of the hosting site.

The Sharjah iteration, titled ‘Remote Sharjah,’ will begin at the Sharjah Art Foundation spaces in Al Mureijah Square where a computer-generated voice will guide the participants as they walk through a sequence of carefully selected indoor and outdoor sites. Each person will see the sites come to life, as if immersed in a set for an imaginary film.

This interactive performance will be conducted in English, Arabic, Urdu, and Malayalam.

November 11, 13, 18, 20; December 9, 11, 2022; and January 6, 8, 2023, Al Mureijah Square

After All Springville: Disasters and Amusement Parks

The program resumes in December with Miet Warlop’s ‘After All Springville: Disasters and Amusement Parks,’ which blends theater and visual arts with compelling performative works.

During the performance, spectators will witness fantastical characters with hybrid bodies (half-human, half-object) that are engaged in unpredictable, but somehow oddly familiar actions.

December 6, 7, 2022, Bait Obail Al Shamsi

New Creation

The season concludes with Bruno Beltrão’s performance ‘New Creation.’ Internationally recognized as an innovator of the hip hop scene, Beltrão pays close attention to the political realities of his Brazilian homeland in order to translate them into extreme pulses of bodily energy, with an analytical understanding of music and space.

Along with his company Grupo de Rua, Beltrão deconstructs hip hop and explores the vocabulary of street dance and contemporary dance.

January 8, 2023, Sharjah Performing Arts Academy

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