Following the creation of its new Performance Department, Sharjah Art Foundation announces its inaugural performances programme—featuring five performative works by regional and international artists taking place in the open spaces, public venues, heritage houses and theatres across the emirate from 4 November 2022 to 8 January 2023.
Curated by Director of Performance and Senior Curator Tarek Abou El Fetouh, this new programme, titled Perform Sharjah, formalises and extends the Foundation’s commitment to supporting the creation and presentation of performance.
As contemporary art increasingly blurs the boundaries between disciplines, performance artists have brought together theatre, 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 programmes that engage closely with the city and its inhabitants.
With Perform Sharjah paving the way for future performance programmes, 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 theatre and performance through workshops, talks and educational programmes conducted by artists and created with local partners including the Sharjah Theatre Department and Sharjah Performing Arts Academy.
The five performances for the inaugural season are:
Every Brilliant Thing
4 November 2022, Bait Obaid Al Shamsi
The programme 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.
6 November 2022, Rolla Park Parking
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. 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 centre of the city, connecting the speakers to create an enormous stereo system, simultaneously broadcasting field recordings gathered and composed by the artist.
11, 13, 18, 20 November; 9, 11 December 2022; and 6, 8 January 2023, Al Mureijah Square
Award-winning theatre 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.
After All Springville: Disasters and Amusement Parks
6, 7 December 2022, Bait Obail Al Shamsi
The programme resumes in December with Miet Warlop’s After All Springville: Disasters and Amusement Parks, which blends theatre 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.
8 January 2023, Sharjah Performing Arts Academy
The season concludes with Bruno Beltrão’s performance New Creation. Internationally recognised 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.
Admission is free; however, prior booking is required.
Book tickets at the Box Office, performance venues or online at ticket.sharjahart.org.
Information Centre, Al Mureijah Square
Saturday to Thursday, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday, from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
About Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. The Foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art. The Foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications.
Sharjah is the third largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one bridging the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Reflecting the deep commitment to the arts, architectural preservation and cultural education embraced by its ruler, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Sharjah is home to more than 20 museums and has long been known as the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. It was named UNESCO's Arab Capital of Culture for 1998 and the UNESCO World Book Capital for 2019.
Alyazeyah Al Marri
Sharjah Art Foundation