Art Performance: ReOrientalism - a multimedia performance

Sat, October 25, 2003 6:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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The Center for Cultural Exchange and Alwan for the Arts present the New York Premiere of

ReOrientalism - The Near East Lives Next Door
a multimedia performance

Saturday, October 25, 2003 ar 6pm and 8:30pm

A show that explores the gulf between the way the Middle East is portrayed in the media, vs. the lived experience of American artists of Middle Eastern descent.

created by composer and oud virtuoso
Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian
performance poet
Suheir Hammad,

and designer and percussionist
Karim Nagi Mohammed
with Najla Said,
Seyyide Sultan

and the
Bardezbanian Middle Eastern Ensemble
directed by
James Bau Graves

tickets: $35 (for student price, see below) can be purchased at:

Midtown: Kalustyan, 123 Lexington Av. @ 28th St 212.685.3451
Village: Salam Cafe, 104 W 13th St btw 6th & 7th Av 212.741.0277
Brooklyn: Rashid Music, 155 Court @ Atlantic Av., Brooklyn 718.852.3295

Credit card payments can be made by phone (212)352-3101 or over the web at

$20 with student ID only at the Alwan space @ 16 Beaver 5-7pm daily

Created by Armenian composer and oud virtuoso Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian, Palestinian performance poet Suheir Hammad, and Egyptian designer and percussionist Karim Nagi Mohammed, ReOrientalism is a multi-media performance exploring the West's simultaneous romanization and fear of Islam. The creators, like most Arab-Americans, contend with complex identity issues. ReOrientalism unfolds through both spoken and sung text. Suheir Hammad (libretto) will include her own new work interspersed with fragments drawn from Said's writings as well as illustrative samplings from works of Oriental literature that have dominated the West's conception, i.e. 1001 Arabian Nights. The live action will be complemented by several video "conversations" between Suheir Hammad in New York, several different actors, and Edward Said himself, appearing on archival video footage.

Twenty five years ago, Edward Said, a distinguished scholar at Columbia University, published a now-famous book. In Orientalism, Said suggests that the Wests view of the East is distorted by both romantization and fear, and that the dominant narratives Europeans created were used in support of unequal power relationships. Saids book is a landmark of post-colonial scholarship, and helped to instigate the creation of Middle Eastern studies programs at many universities.

ReOrientalism is a commissioned production of The Center for Cultural Exchange of Portland, Maine. It is made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund; the New England Foundation for the Arts, which receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from the state arts agencies of New England and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the LEF Foundation; and the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds. Additional developmental support provided by New WORLD Theater's New Works for a New WORLD play development laboratory.

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the LEF Foundation

Last updated: 2008-01-09 02:06:08

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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