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Egypt's cultural picks of the week, 22-29 December: VIDEOS
With Christmas carols dominating the music field, Cairo and Alexandria also offers film screenings, exhibitions and more for its audiences
Published in Ahram Online on 21 - 12 - 2013

Sunday 22 December
Bibliotheca Alexandrina Orchestra to perform works by Rageh Daoud at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, 8pm
Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) Orchestra will perform works by a contemporary Egyptian composer Rageh Daoud. The orchestra will be conducted by Daoud himself. Soloists of the evening are Ines Abdel-Dayem on flute, Hany El-Badey on nay, Mamdouh El-Gibaly on oud and Saber Abdel Sattar on qanoun. Rageh Samy Daoud represents the third generation of the Egyptian composers. He has composed many classical music works and music for many feature and documentary movies, along with TV dramas. Listen to Daoud's "25 of January Martyrs" below.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina Conference Hall, Great Hall, Shatby, Alexandria
Blink: Collective exhibition at Medrar
Curated by prominent contemporary visual artist Shady El-Noshokaty, "Blink" is an exhibition featuring projects by students from the American University in Cairo's Visual Arts Department until 25 December at Medrar for Contemporary Art. The works showcased range from photography to experimental animation to audio and video projects. "The artworks, presented by 21 students, explore the moment of art making that turns an idea into a unique creation process," reads the curatorial statement. The exhibition runs until 25 December.
7 Gamaleddin Aboul-Mahasen Street, First Floor, Apartment 4, Garden City, Cairo
Monday 23 December
The Choir Project in Rawabet Theatre, 8pm
The Choir Project will perform songs and stories in celebration of its three-year anniversary. The project, also managed by Salam Yousry, brings together people who are not musicians or singers to work together in a workshop and write songs about life in Egypt. After the revolution, the performances have been centred around political events in Egypt, but some social commentary remains. The workshops have taken place in Cairo, Alexandria and even with Egyptians living in London. The Choir Project has performed all over Europe and on Bassem Youssef's "El-Bernameg" earlier this year. Read more here and watch the video below.
3 Hussein Al-Maamar Street, off Mahmoud Bassiouny Street, Talaat Harb, downtown Cairo
Freedom collective exhibition at Hotel Viennoise
A collective exhibition entitled "Freedom" featuring projects by four contemporary visual artists -- Hany Rashed, Ganzeer, Ahmed Hefnawy and Ammar Abu Bakr -- will run at Hotel Viennoise from Monday 23 December to Sunday 29 December. The four projects react in one way or the other to Egypt's unfolding political changes; with the show, the artists have set out to create a "Revolution Museum."
11 Mahmoud Bassiouny St, downtown Cairo
Tuesday 24 December
The Nutcracker ballet at the Cairo Opera House, 8pm
Cairo Opera Ballet Company and Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nayer Nagui will perform this timeless story based on The Nutcracker and the King of Miceby E.T.A. Hoffman, revised by Dumas and set to the music of P.I. Tchaikovsky. The ballet is based on achoreography by Pepita, Ivanov and Vaionine, with touches by late director Abdel Moneim Kamel. This lovely story is a captivating experience for the audiences of all ages and a particularly enjoyable evening for children. The ballet will be repeated on 25, 27, 28, 29 and 30 December.
The Cairo Opera House will allow entry to children aged 7 and above.
Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek
Art Expression Day & Art Therapy in Bait El-Raseef, 5pm
El-Raseef will provide basic art supplies and people are welcome to come use these supplies to freely paint whatever they feel like in a comfortable environment. There are also optional art therapy sessions where specialists will help visitors analyse their emotional and psychological state through these pieces. Read more on art therapy here
Street 151, off Street 9, next to Midan El-Horreya, after El-Ezaby Pharmacy and in front of National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Maadi, Cairo
Screening of Hiroshima Mon Amour in El-Cabina, 7pm
Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 1959, and screened earlier this month in the Classics section of Panorama of the European Film, French film "Hiroshima Mon Amour" follows an actress who arrives in Hiroshima to star in a film about peace, where she meets a Japanese man and they quickly become lovers and confidants. She narrates to the story of her teenage years in Nevers during WWII, how she fell in love with a German soldier and the humiliation she was subjected to during the liberation. Read Ahram Online's review here and watch the trailer below.
11 San Saba Street, Al-Raml Station, downtown Alexandria
Also on this day:
- The Choir Project at 8pm in Rawabet Theatre. Check Monday 13 December listings for more details.
Wednesday 25 December
Aya Metwalii & Rasha Magdy concert in Rawabet Theatre, 8pm
Two young female musicians are set to perform a set each and some songs together. Metwalli and Magdy are talented rising performers, with Metwaly performing several concerts since 2012. Watch Aya Metwalli below.
3 Hussein Al-Maamar Street, off Mahmoud Bassiouny Street, Talaat Harb, downtown Cairo
Ayten Amin's Villa 69 hits cinemas
"Villa 69" is director Ayten Amin's debut feature film, and has won theSpecial Jury Award for a Film from the Arab World in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. The film follows Hussein, a solitary man content in his self-imposed isolation, until a visit from his sister and her grandson force him to face certain realities about himself he had been refusing to address, and to start seeing life from a newperspective. Thefilm was screened twice in Cairo as part of the Panorama of the European Film, and was received with acclaim by audiences and critics.
Sound Interpretations: Mutaz El-Emam at Gallery Misr
A solo exhibition entitled "Sound Interpretations" featuring works by Sudanese artist Mutaz El-Emam opens 18 December at Gallery Misr. The show is curated by artist and curator Maie Yanni. El-Emam's artistic practice includes painting, drawing, mixed media, and collage. The artist resides between Egypt and Sudan, and participates in regional and international exhibitions.
Ibn Zanki Street, from Hassan Sabry Street, Zamalek, Cairo
Also on this day:
- Free painting and art therapy sessions in Bait El-Raseef.
- The Nutcracker ballet at the Cairo Opera House. Check Tuesday 24 December listings for details.
Thursday 26 December
Thursday Market at Gezazy Shop all day
Gezazy shop has always been known for recycling old bottles and glasses into artistic lighting solutions for houses and offices. The shop hosts a flea market every thursday for people to sell old items and their handmade products. The market is open from 1pm to 10pm.
250 Street, between the Arab Square and Bank Misr (behind Maadi Grant Mall), Maadi, Cairo
References: Artists Activating the Archive: Collective exhibit at CIC
Curated by Hala El-Koussy and Uriel Orlow, "Reference: Artists Activating the Archive" presents four projects that are the final results of over a year of research and development. The projects were selected to be developed following a workshop that took place at Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) in 2012, led by El-Koussy and Orlow, in which the potential for research and archiving for contemporary art was explored. The four installations by contemporary artists Amado Alfadni, Mariam Elias and Marwa El Shazly, Aliaa Salah, and Nada Shalaby each address "a place and its attendant narratives that connect different layers of history with the contemporary," the exhibit's press release explained.
4th Floor, 22 Abdel Khaled Tharwat Street, downtown Cairo
Friday 27 December
Yehya Khalil Band in Cairo Opera House, 8pm
Dubbed "Revolution is on..." the evening will include Yehya Khalil, one of the most established jazz musicians in Egypt, and his band. Watch Yehya Khalil's concert in Jazz Festival in Serbia below.
Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo
Also on this day:
- The Nutcracker ballet at the Cairo Opera House. Check Tuesday 24 December listings for details.
Saturday 28 December
Christmas Concert with the soloists of the Cairo Opera Company in Alexandria, 8pm
The soloists of the Cairo Opera Company will perform the best known Christmas songs and carols, accompanied by pianist Medea Ormotsadze. The director of the evening is Hazem Tayel.
Alexandria Opera House, 22 El-Horreya Road (formerly known as Fouad St.), El-Raml Station, Alexandria
A selection of Carols with Bibliotheca Alexandrina choir and soloists
Bibliotheca Alexandrina Choir and Bibliotheca Alexandrina Chamber Orchestra will perform Christmas repertoire. The soloists of the evening will be Rodica Ocheseanu, Christine Magdy Eskander and Gary Bohjelian.
Chatby, Alexandria
WHY: Nadine Hammam at ArtTalks
Zamalek's ArtTalks Gallery is hosting Nadine Hammam's fourth solo exhibition, entitled “WHY.” The Cairo-based, multidisciplinary artist often puts social taboos and gender dynamics into question, exploring the structures pervading Middle Eastern society in artworks produced in various media, including painting, text, sound, video, and installation. In this exhibition, Hammam takes a closer look at the word “why.” By rearranging fragments of broken mirrors on canvas to spell out words such as “love, lust, forever,” the artist places the audience in her artwork.
8 Al-Kamel Mohamed Street, Zamalek, Cairo
Also on this day:
- The Nutcracker ballet at the Cairo Opera House. Check Tuesday 24 December listings for details. Watch fragment of The Nutcracker by the Cairo Opera Balet Company below.
Sunday 29 December
Saint Augustine Choir Christmas concert at El-Gomhoria Theatre, 8pm
Egypt's Sainte Augustine Choir was founded almost half a century ago by Makram Hanna.
El-Gomhoria Theatre, 12 Al-Gomhoreya Street, Abdin, Cairo
The House of Sleep: Doa Aly at Gypsum Gallery
The recently launched Gypsum Gallery in Zamalek hosts a solo show by Cairo-based artist Doa Aly. "The House of Sleep" features paintings and drawings inspired by the tragic love story that unfolds in The Metamorphoses, a poem by the Roman poet Ovid.
5a Bahgat Ali Street, Zamalek, Cairo
Also on this day:
- The Nutcracker ballet at the Cairo Opera House. Check Tuesday 24 December listings for details.
Don't forget to check out Ahram Online'sArt Agendafor exhibitions in Cairo between 16 and 31 December 2013.
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