Tuesday, November 21, 2006 Fez Sacred Music Festival 2007 Morocco Property offers you this news:
There has been much conjecture and discussion the Fez Sacred Music Festival in 2007 - and now we can reveal some details of the program. They will become public knowledge shortly, but, as they say in the classics, "you heard about it here first!" A New Director. For a start, the new Director General is Naima Lahbil Tagamouti. Naima is a former professor of economics in the Economics department, Faculty of Law, at the Allal Ben Abdellah University. Her research has covered such areas as land tenure, property, heritage, historical sites, poverty and unhealthy habitats in the medinas and slum areas. From 1994 to 2000, she was instrumental in setting up the project for the rehabilitation of the Fes Medina as well as in the preliminary studies on the Meknes medina. She has also contributed to or directed, on behalf of the World Bank, several studies on social evaluation, property, poverty, habitat, tourism and heritage. Since 2000, she has run a social monitoring programme of conservation for the World Bank and ADER (Agency for the Dedensification and Rehabilition of the Fes Medina). She has published various works and many articles. In 2003 and 2004, she was a UNESCO consultant in preparing a seminar on international training, ‘Fes 2003’, with the theme of heritage and sustainable development in the historical urban centers. She has been a management coach since 2005, and has been recently appointed Director General of the Sprit of Fes Foundation. It is our understanding that because Naima took over the administration of the 2007 festival at short notice and on a very tight timeline, the complete progamme is not yet ready for release. But The View from Fez can report on two of the outstanding performances we can expect at the festival. Le Zoulou Blanc with Johnny Clegg. Johnny Clegg was born in Rochdale, England in 1953 and raised in his mother’s native land of Zimbabwe before immigrating to South Africa at the age of nine. Clegg first came to world attention with a crossover band “SAVUKA” (We have risen), mixing African music with Celtic folk music and international rock sounds. SAVUKA launched in Johannesburg in 1986 with 5 week run at the market theatre. The band was well received and Clegg was offered a mini tour of France. A year later their Third World Child album was released in France. The band toured Europe extensively in 86 and 87 and soon developed a strong fan based which began to be translated into album sales. By the end of 87 SAVUKA was the leading world music group touring the francophone countries. Johnny Clegg Greater success lay waiting in the phenomenal record sales that began to consolidate in 1988. By the end of 1989, SAVUKA had sold over 1 million records of their debut album and their second album was reaching 700,000 units. In an incredible moment on the album and singles charts, SAVUKA held the #1 and #2 position on the album charts with the 1st and second album at the same time, and on the singles charts held the #1 and #7 position with their singles " Asimbonanga " and "Scatterlings of Africa". This was a momentous achievement for the group out of South Africa and in 1990 they received the "Victoires" award from the French recording industry for the biggest selling international artists over two years. They also received in that year the world music award for the biggest selling world music group internationally. In 1990 they completed a nine-month world tour and in 1991 took off six months to rest. In October 2002 Johnny Clegg released a new solo CD titled “New World Survivor”, and completed a very successful run of theatre shows in South Africa playing to over 40,000 people in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. In July 2003, Johnny Clegg embarked on a very successful tour of France and Germany. At one festival, 140km north of Paris, Johnny Clegg played to 60,000 people, breaking all previous attendance records for this biennial event. In Germany, Johnny blew the crowds away and had to perform no less than three encores for the enthralled crowd before they would leave. And in 2007 he will perform in Fez. "A poet working with horses" - Bartabas - the magical horseman from Theatre Zingaro. This will be a sensational performance in an extraordinary venue. The performance will take place at dawn in the Hafra de Moulay Idris (the Hole of Moulay Idris) - the giant hole in the ground where the founder of Fez is said to have dug all the sand and stone for the original Medina of Fez. In this giant quarry Bartabas will be accompanied by the Turkish ney (reed flute) player Kudsi Erguner and vocalist/percussionist Nezilh Uzel . Those who have seen Theatre Zingaro will tell you that this is great theatre, not circus, although the crowd cheers the spectacular acrobatic skill of some of the younger riders as they stand astride a pair of galloping Arabs, or hurl themselves over the broad backs of the big Shire and Percheron horses. But for aficionados it's the far more subtle art of Bartabas on his white stallion conducting an extremely elegant dance in perfect harmony, or 'dialogue' as Bartabas would have it - that is a truly heart stopping experience. This symbiotic, long-term relationship with his horse is demonstrated in another sequence, as Bartabas, arms outstretched in flowing wings of black silk, and the centaur-like horse dip and weave as one, and then canter, impossibly, backwards! No photo, no painting can reproduce the sensual impact of the presence, the life force, that's in a beautiful horse. As Bartabas says: "We have been working for 15 years, we have made six different performances and they are basically about the relation between man and horse. It also means the relationship between men themselves. Because the way you are with a horse is the way you are with others. When you are dealing with a horse, you're dealing with what's inside yourself, so I always say the horse is like a mirror, the horse is like an instrument in a noble sense, he's responding to what you are proposing, whether you want a dialogue, or to write a poem with the horse. I say I'm a poet who's working with horses." Also on the program will be a celebration of the life and work of the great Sufi sage Jallaludin Rumi as 2007 is the 800th anniversary of the birth. There will not be an event at Volubilis in 2007. In 2007 the Fes Sacred Music Festival will be held between the 1st and the 9th of June.
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