New Creation, Bruno Beltrao. Performance view. Image © Wonge Bergmann.


A new season of performances organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, Perform Sharjah invites audiences to discover intersections and shared spaces between the ideas, values and aesthetics of various artistic disciplines.

Eliciting a closer engagement with the city—its inhabitants, urban pulse, history and future promise—the programme includes five performances, taking place in the open spaces, squares, streets, heritage houses and theatres of 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.

The programme opens in the heritage house Bait Obaid Al Shamsi with the play Every Brilliant Thing, adapted and directed by Ahmed El Attar. In a nuanced performance, Nanda Mohamed balances the storyline with the energies of the audience—who are invited to participate and even improvise.

Behind Rolla Park, Joe Namy presents the ninth iteration of his sonic performance Automobile. The artist collaborates with the owners of cars fitted with powerful, custom-made sound systems that are often used to blare music at gatherings in the desert. Namy brings this practice into the city centre, connecting the speakers to create an enormous stereo system, simultaneously broadcasting field recordings gathered and composed by the artist.

Award-winning theatre group Rimini Protokoll is known for producing unconventional performances that make use of unique technologies. The group was invited to create a new version of Remote X, which has been presented in cities around the world. The Sharjah iteration, titled Remote Sharjah, will begin in Al Mureijah Square where a computer-generated voice guides participants via headphones on a walk through various indoor and outdoor sites. The audiences will experience the locations in a novel way, as if immersed in scenes from an imaginary film.

The programme returns to Bait Obaid Al Shamsi with Miet Warlop’s performance. After All Springville: Disasters and Amusement Parks blends slapstick comedy, theatre and visual arts with performance. In the courtyard of the heritage house, spectators will encounter surreal characters who have hybrid bodies—half-human, half-object. Through a series of small dramas and comic events, the performance narrates the story of a dysfunctional community.

Presented at the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, the season concludes with a performance by Bruno Beltrão, who writes the codes of hip hop and street dance into contemporary dance. In New Creation, his physically intense choreography with Grupo de Rua deconstructs hip hop and explores the vocabulary of street dance alongside contemporary dance.

Perform Sharjah has commissioned artists to create performances and site-specific works in various locations around the city, to be presented to the public over the coming years. As we experience the cultural spaces of our cities collectively, events like Perform Sharjah feel like an opportunity for an inspiring adventure.