We are delighted to announce the projects that were selected to benefit from an artistic residency in Hammana Artist House between 15 and 30 May 2018, part of AMARRE residency programme:
Knot by Almahdi Shbat and The other self by Maryam Semaan.
Knot by Almahdi Shbat (Performance & contemporary dance)
Knot portrays the crisis of a young woman dealing with a growing schism between her dreams and her real life. She vainly tries to reconcile the two until her crisis reaches its climax and she commits suicide.
Over the past decades, suicide rates have been rising across the world and in the Arab region in particular. This performance attempts to take a look at this social phenomenon, questioning the absurdity of life and thin line between illusion and reality. During AMARRE residency in Hammana Artist House, the artists will focus on developing the choreography and set design for the project.
About Almahdi Shbat
Born in 1991, Almahdi graduated from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus. As a playwright and theatre director, he worked both in theatre and television. Almahdi was one of the organisers of the Baroque Music Festival in its first and second editions in Damascus Opera House and was member of the administration of Damascus Baroque Music troupe. His photography project about the library of Dr. Abdel Rahman Mounif was presented in Stuttgart, Germany, as part of a research entitled When the library was burgled. His first experience as a dramaturge was with the visual art performance Transformation. He has written a number of productions for stage and screen and is currently directing one of them - Knot, a contemporary dance performance.
The other self by Maryam Samaan (Puppet theatre)
What syrians are experiencing today, due to displacement, exile and alienation, is closer to fiction than it is to reality. The other self project attempts to take some lucid distance from the suffering self by creating conversations between two facets of the same character, materialised in the puppet and its puppeteer.
The first stage of the project consists of developing puppet construction and manipulation techniques using material such as sponge, paper, elastic, fabric, gypsum and other... and creating puppets based on real life characters in situations of distress. The second stage of the project consists of creating a performative dialogue between each puppet and its manipulator relying on improvisation and interactivity mixing reality with imagination.
About Maryam Semaan
Born in 1984, Maryam Samaan is a syrian artist and set designer of palestinian origin. She is currently living in Lebanon and working with One Hand - Puppet theatre group. Following her studies in painting at the Adham Ismail centre for fine arts and set design at the national higher conservatory of dramatic arts in Damascus, she chose to pursue a double major in France. Maryam Samaan integrated the fine arts school in Rennes, opting for design while following several workshops at the National theatre of Bretagne. She is currently doing a masters in theatre studies at Sorbonne-Paris III university.