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Egypt's culture picks of the week: 6-13 April: VIDEOS
Published in Ahram Online on 05 - 04 - 2014

This week is marked by closing of the D-CAF festival while the India by the Nile festival takes over Cairo and Alexandria stages. This topped with film screenings, concerts, theatre performances and more
Sunday 6 April
Screening of 'Karama Has No Walls' at theBibliotheca Alexandrina at 7pm
Oscar-nominated Yemeni film 'Karama Has No Walls,' directed by Sarah Ishaq, takes viewers on a raw, emotional journey through the violent events of Yemen's Jumaat Al-Karama (Friday of Dignity)—a turning point in the country'srevolution in 2011 that saw thousands of protesters take to the streets against president Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime after pro-government snipers shot 53 demonstrators dead. Read more about the movie here and check the trailer below.
Art Centre, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Chatby, Alexandria
Last performance of 'Bollywood Love Story' at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm
The musical 'Bollywood Love Story' will be performed for four consecutive evenings — 3, 4, 5 and 6 April — as part of the first events of the India by the Nile Festival. This one-month annual event, now in the second year, aims at bringing India's culture to Egyptian audiences. The musical will next be performed in Alexandria on 10 and 11 April and then in Hurghada. Check the complete programme of India by the Nile (1-20 April)here.
Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo
Piano recital at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm
As part of his international tour across seven continents and 25 countries, American pianist Kimball Gallagher will perform at the Cairo Opera House on 6 April and at the Alexandria Opera House on 7 April. The performances will include two works by Egyptian composer Ashraf Fouad, Sonata by John Baboukis, and Akhet (Horizon) by Egyptian-American composer Ryan Francis, before the evening closes with Franz Liszt's Sonata in B Minor, S.178. Gallagher will be joined by the Egyptian soprano Neveen Allouba and a special guest Taiwanese pianist Kaiyin Huang. Read more here.
Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo
D-CAF programme:
12pm smART Mobile Film Festival, screening booths across Downtown Cairo
12pm Hassan Khan Exhibition, Kodak Passageway
1pm Ahmed El-Attar, On the Importance of Being an Arab (Egypt), Rawabet Theatre
3pm Is Art Important? Discussion Series: Contemporary Middle-Eastern Art from International Perspective, The Greek Campus, AUC
7pm Alphée des étoiles — Alphée of the Stars (Canada, 2012), French Institute, Alexandria
9pm Dance Double Bill (Egypt/France), Falaki Theatre
9pm Francophone Short Films (Third Evening), Odeon Cinema
Check the festival's programmehere.
Also on this day:
- Kathak Dance Recital by Marami Medhi at the Alexandria Opera House at 8pm. The same performance will be staged at the Cairo Opera House on 8 April. Check 8 April listings for more details.
- The People Upstairs at AUC at 6pm. Check 7 April listings for more details and read more here.
Monday 7 April
'The People Upstairs' at AUC at 6pm
'The People Upstairs' is the third full-length play written by prominent Egyptian playwright Noaman Ashour, and produced for the first time on Cairo's National Theatre stage in 1958. Directed by Mahmoud El-Lozy, the play follows a group of people from varying social classes, satirically depicting the different situations they experience during a period of rapid social change. 'The People Upstairs' is performed in Arabic. Read more here. The final performance of the play will take place on Tuesday, 8 April, at 5pm.
Malak Gabr Arts Theatre, AUC Campus, New Cairo
Piano recital at the Alexandria Opera House at 8pm
As part of his international tour across seven continents and 25 countries, American pianist Kimball Gallagher will perform at the Cairo Opera House on 6 April and at the Alexandria Opera House on 7 April. The performances will include two works by Egyptian composer Ashraf Fouad, Sonata by John Baboukis, and Akhet (Horizon) by Egyptian-American composer Ryan Francis, before the evening closes with Franz Liszt's Sonata in B Minor, S.178. Gallagher will be joined by Egyptian soprano Neveen Allouba and a special guest Taiwanese pianist Kaiyin Huang. Read more here
Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo
D-CAF programme:
12pm smART Mobile Film Festival, screening booths across Downtown Cairo
12pm Hassan Khan Exhibition, Kodak Passageway
7pm Teatro Egyptian Independent Theatre, No Exit (Egypt), The Arayes Theatre: Cairo Puppets Theatre
7pm Left Foot Right Foot (Switzerland, 2013), Teatro Eskendria, Alexandria
Check the festival's programmehere.
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Tuesday 8 April
Last performance of 'The People Upstairs' at AUC at 6pm
'The People Upstairs' is the third full-length play written by prominent Egyptian playwright Noaman Ashour, and produced for the first time on Cairo's National Theatre stage in 1958. Directed by Mahmoud El-Lozy, the play follows a group of people from varying social classes, satirically depicting the different situations they experience during a period of rapid social change.Read more here. 'The People Upstairs' is performed in Arabic.
Malak Gabr Arts Theatre, AUC Campus, New Cairo
Egyptian Sinfonietta at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm
Egyptian Sinfonietta conducted by its founder, Ahmed El-Saedi, will perform Giya Kancheli's ‘A Little Daneliade' for piano, violin and orchestra; Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 5 in D major and Haydn's Symphony in B-flat major ‘La Reine.' Soloists of the evening are Laura Mikkola on piano, Frank Stadler on violin and Peter Olah on flute. Founded in 2012, the Egyptian Sinfonietta is a chamber orchestra, the newest formation operating under the Egyptian Philharmonic Society, an NGO aiming to contribute to the musical life of Egypt outside governmental institutions. The Society consists of the Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonic String Quartet, both launched together with the Society in 2004 by Ahmed El-Saedi. Read more about the Egyptian Sinfonietta here. Check the Egyptian Sinfonietta's Brandenburg Concerto No 5 below.
Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo
Kathak dance recital by Marami Medhi at the Alexandria Opera House at 8pm
A Kathak dance evening will be presented by Marami Medhi, an accomplished dancer from Assam, India, and a well-known name in the field of Kathak. Medhi is the founder of a dance institute in Guwahati, Assam, called Sur Sangam. She is the recipient of various awards and titles, including the title Nritya Mukuta (Dancing Crown) and Nritya Gaurav (Dancing Glory). The same performance will be staged at the Cairo Opera House on 6 April. The performance is part of the India by the Nile Festival (1-20 April). Check the complete programme of India by the Nile here.
Sayed Darwish Theatre (Alexandria Opera House), 22 El-Horreya Road, Raml Station, Alexandria
D-CAF programme:
12pm smART Mobile Film Festival, screening booths across Downtown Cairo
12pm Hassan Khan Exhibition, Kodak Passageway
7pm Cie L'Entreprise, Le Prince Séquestré (France/Egypt), El Warsha
Check the festival's programmehere.
Wednesday 9 April
Opening of an exhibition of Saris at the Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum
Titled ‘The Magic of Indian Weaves,' the exhibition is a tribute to the craftsmanship and skills of countless Indian spinners and weavers, showcased through saris woven in seven of India's states, representative of its north, south, east and west. They reflect both traditional and contemporary design interpretations, highlighting a diversity of natural materials and techniques, as well as an evolving aesthetic and colour story. The exhibition is part of the India by the Nile Festival (1-20 April) and will run until 12 April at the museum's Isis Gallery. Check the complete programme of India by the Nile here. The museum's opening hours are 10am–2pm and 5pm–8pm. Read more about this unique museum here.
5 Tahrir Street, Opposite Cairo Opera House
Artist's talk with Hassan Khan at Cairo Atelier at 6pm
This year's Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) visual arts programme is dedicated to spotlighting Hassan Khan, one of Egypt's most prominent multidisciplinary contemporary artists. His solo show, which opened Sunday, 30 March, occupies four spaces in the Kodak Passageway linking Adly and Abdel-Khaleq Tharwat streets in Downtown Cairo. Hassan Khan's exhibition brings with it a series of events this April, including artist talks, tour, seminar and concert. An artist's talk will take place at Cairo Atelier, and will be held in Arabic with English translation. Check the complete programme of the events here.
2 Karim Al-Dawla Street, Downtown, Cairo
D-CAF programme:
12pm smART Mobile Film Festival, screening booths across Downtown Cairo
12pm Hassan Khan Exhibition, Kodak Passageway
6pm Footnotes to Hassan Khan exhibition (related programmes), Cairo Atelier
7pm Cie L'Entreprise, Le Prince Séquestré (France/Egypt), El Warsha
8pm La Voix Est Libre (France), Falaki Theatre
Check the festival's programmehere.
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Thursday 10 April
Screening of 'Pictures from Gaza' at Gezira Arts Centre at 7pm
Gaza is a returning topic in international news platforms which present conflict and clashes. In his documentary 'Pictures from Gaza,' director Tamer Ashry aims at showing lives of the Gazan people in new and largely unseen images. The documentary is the photographer's journey through Gaza, its land and the daily realities of its people.
1 El-Masrafy Street, Zamalek, Cairo
Nour Ashour band at El-Sawy Culturewheel at 7pm
Born in 1982 in Alexandria, Egyptian saxophonist Nour Ashour moved to Cairo in the 2000s and began performing solo and with bands such as Ressala Band and Crash Boom Bang. Ashour has many performances in Egypt to his account, along with international appearances in Qatar, UAE, Jordan, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Malta and South Africa. Currently, he performs often with his band, Nour Ashour Band, a repertoire of covers and original compositions in Western and Arabic genres.
El-Sawy Culturewheel, 26 July Street, Zamalek, Cairo
Musical 'Bollywood Love Story' at the Alexandria Opera House at 8pm
The musical is comprised of over 35 Indian dancers performing to known music from Indian cinema. In the programme notes, the organisers reveal that the musical tells the story of a beautiful heroine, Priya, a handsome hero, Rahul, an evil Don and a group of girls against the backdrop of dance and song. The musical also provides a visually rich experience, a defining characteristic of Bollywood. The performance will be also staged on 11 April at the same venue. The show is part of the India by the Nile Festival (1-20 April). Check the complete programme of India by the Nile here. Watch a clip from the musical below.
Sayed Darwish Theatre (Alexandria Opera House), 22 El-Horreya Road, Raml Station, Alexandria
Autostrade band at Darb 1718
Formed in 2007, the Jordanian band Autostrade performs what they call "'Mediterranean Indie" music fused with Jordanian slang and lyrics depicting everyday life. They touch on love stories, financial struggles, life on the streets, etc. The concert will be repeated in El-Sawy Culturewheel on 11 April at 7pm and in Alexandria on 12 April.
Qasr Al-Shamee Street, Al-Fakhareen – Old Cairo (behind the Hanging Church and Amr Ibn Al-As Mosque)
D-CAF programme:
12pm smART Mobile Film Festival, screening booths across Downtown Cairo
12pm Hassan Khan Exhibition, Kodak Passageway
9pm La Voix est libre (France / Egypt), French Institute, Alexandria
Check the festival's programmehere.
Friday 11 April
Closing of DCAF
Last day of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF), a multidisciplinary festival that took place between 20 March and 11 April in several venues in downtown Cairo, with this year's edition also stretching to Alexandria. The programme included performances, talks, film screenings, workshops and a large-scale exhibition.
In conversation with Shabana Azmi at the Artistic Creativity Centre at 6pm
Shabana Azmi is one of India's most revered film stars with more than 100 films and five Indian National Film Awards to her credit. She is a social activist both on and off-screen. The discussion is part of the India by the Nile Festival (1-20 April). Check the complete programme of India by the Nile here.
Cairo Opera House grounds, besides Hanager Theatre, Zamalek, Cairo
Indian Film Panorama launches with ‘Godmother' screening at the Artistic Creativity Centre at 6pm
Bollywood films encompass family drama, the sordid urban underbelly, fresh young romance, and of late the contemporary and complex Indian ethos. Between 11 and 16 April, films screened will include 'Godmother,' 'English Vinglish,' 'Kahaani,' 'Guzaarish,' 'Barfi' and 'Band Baaja Baarat.' The opening day (11 Apri) will screen 'Godmother,' a story about the rise of a woman from a housewife to a powerful politician. The screenings are part of the India by the Nile Festival (1-20 April). Check the complete programme of India by the Nile here. Watch fragments from 'Godmother' below.
Cairo Opera House grounds, besides Hanager Theatre, Zamalek, Cairo
D-CAF programme:
12pm smART Mobile Film Festival, screening booths across Downtown Cairo
12pm Hassan Khan Exhibition, Kodak Passageway
3pm Film Masterclass, the GrEEk Campus, AUC
9pm La Voix Est Libre (France), Sherazade Nightclub
Check the festival's programmehere.
Also on this day:
- Musical 'Bollywood Love Story' at the Alexandria Opera House at 8pm
- Autostrade band at El-Sawy Culturewheel. See 10 April listings for more details.
Saturday 12 April
Conversation with Javed Akhtar at Hanager Arts Centre at 5pm
Songs in Bollywood movies are deliberately crafted with lyrics often written by distinguished poets, and set to music choreographed to match the dance routine or script of the film. One such eminent Indian film scriptwriter, lyricist and poet is Javed Akhtar, who will be in conversation discussing "The Song in Indian Cinema." The event is part of the India by the Nile Festival. Check the complete programme of India by the Nile here.
Cairo Opera House grounds, Zamalek, Cairo
Rajastan Josh at Alexandria Creativity Centre at 8pm
Nathoo Solanki, Chugge Khan, and other Rajasthani musicians will perform traditional music from the north western region of India. The same performance will be staged in Cairo on 13 April. The event is part of the India by the Nile Festival. Check the complete programme of India by the Nile here.
1, Horeya road, Alexandria
Sabhan Adam and Hossam Dirar: Beauty and the Beast at ArtTalks
ArtTalks hosts an exhibition featuring works by Syrian-born artist Sabhan Adam (1973) and Egyptian-born artist Hossam Dirar (1978), who take on universal notions of beauty and ugliness through portraiture. "Each artist presents his perception of individuality by seeking to bring out whatever is common with the rest of humanity. For Sabhan Adam, it is ugliness. For Hossam Dirar, it is beauty," reads the curatorial statement. The exhibition runs until 5 May
8 Al-Kamel Mohamed Street, Zamalek, Cairo
Also on this day:
- Indian Folk Music in Alexandria's artistic creativity centre at 7pm
- Autostrade in Cinema Rio (Alex)
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Sunday 13 April
Rajastan Josh at Hanager Arts Centre at 7pm
Nathoo Solanki, Chugge Khan, and other Rajasthani musicians will perform traditional music from the north western region of India. The same performance will be staged in Alexandria on 12 April. The event is part of the India by the Nile Festival. Check the complete programme of India by the Nile here.
Cairo Opera House grounds, Zamalek, Cairo
Alexandria Opera House String Orchestra to perform in Alexandria at 8pm
In its gala concert, Alexandria Opera House String Orchestra conducted by Hassan Sharara will be joined by a multitude of musicians including: the Awtar Quartet, Emad Hamdy on guitar, soprano Amina Khairat, baritone Ezzat Ghanem and tenor Walid Korayem. The evening will include works by Vivaldi, Bizet, Sphot, Dyens along with repertoire from musicals and neapolitan songs. Awtar Quartet consists of Yasser Ghoneim on first violin, Khaled Saleh on second violin, Essam Abdel-Hamid on viola and Mohamed Abdel-Fattah on cello. Read more about Awtar Quartet here.
Sayed Darwish Theatre (Alexandria Opera House), 22 El-Horreya Road, Raml Station, Alexandria
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