Friday, January 26, 2007
This year's Middle Eastern Arts Festival showcasing culture and artistic traditions, again will feature a vivid array of music and dance from the region, as well as exhibits, lectures by artists and scholars, and foods from the various countries.
Most festival events, which runs from Feb. 1 to Feb. 10, require no admission fee and all are open to the public .
Mohamed Shahin, an internationally-known performer, instructor and choreographer of Egyptian and Oriental folk dances is one of several artists scheduled to participate. Also, Cornell University scholar Buzz Spector, enthnomusicologist Irene Markoff, and award-winning painter Najjar Abdul Musawwir will give presentations.
The festival is a result of a collaboration by several IU faculty members who focus on the region, community members and the IU Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
An exhibit of books and manuscripts on Middle Eastern arts and culture also opens on Feb. 1 at the IU Fine Arts Library, 1133 E. Seventh St. A selection of artists' books from Spector, an artist and critical writer who also chairs the Department of Art at Cornell, will accompany this exhibition.
Iraqi music group Salaam will join Windfall Dancers, Bloomington's original contemporary dance ensemble, to kick off festival entertainment with Arabian Nights concerts, Feb. 2-3 and 9-10, in the auditorium of the John Waldron Arts Center, 122 S. Walnut St. The show will tell the age-old stories of Arabian Nights. Performances all four nights begin at 8 p.m.
Families will enjoy a special children's event Feb. 4 at the Monroe County Public Library, 303 East Kirkwood Ave. Swordsmen and stories from the Middle East will be the entertainment, along with Bloomington's Katya Faris and performer Shahin, who will present the dances of the Middle East.
Shahin studied with the famous El Kawmia Troup in Egypt and has been a dancer and choreographer for numerous television programs and movies. Highlights of his performances include the Tanoura, commonly known as Whirling Dervish for the spinning motion it emulates. The dance is a Sufi rite used to communicate with the Divine. The Sufis, who represent a spiritual offshoot of Islam, have performed the dance for centuries.
Sufi music and culture also are the focus of Markoff's appearance. From York University in Canada, she is a scholar of the musical theory, performance and professional baglama, or folk lute, specialists of Turkey. From 7-9 p.m., on Feb. 9, she will give a workshop, "The Challenges of Teaching Turkish Music in an Ensemble/Lecture Setting," at the Mathers Music of World Cultures, 416 N. Indiana Ave.
Markoff also will lecture on Sufi music and ritual in Turkey on Feb. 10 in the Faculty Room of the University Club, located in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.
Performance will be integrated into the presentation, which will be from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Her visit is sponsored by the American Turkish Society. Of Bulgarian heritage, Markoff directs York University's Balkan Ensemble. She has written and published various research about Bulgarian and Turkish traditional and popular music, and mystical Islam in Turkey.
[For the complete program, click on the title of this article,
and/or at http://www.indiana.edu/~nelcmesp/arts/]