CAIRO – 11 March 2018: French actor, scriptwriter and director Clémentine Baert told Egypt Today about her second workshop with D-CAF in Egypt. “The acting workshop will run from March 9-11; from 2:30 to 6:00 PM on March 9-10 at Institut Français d’Egypte (French Institution in Egypt) and from 6:00 to 9:30 PM on March 11 at Studio Emad Eddin.”
Baert said that this three-day workshop will focus on acting, writing, directing and dancing. "I will work with the participants on the four types of art, which are acting, directing, writing and dancing because an efficient actor should know how to direct actors, how to write a script and how to perform and deliver all his/her feelings through dancing."
Baert explained that dancing is also very important because at any time it may be required of the artist to dance as part of his role. “The actor should use all his senses, his hands, his voice, and all his body movements, especially his facial expressions, while acting; he/she must master them all.” Baert said, adding that the participants will be more independent and creative by the end of the workshop. "The workshop's main theme is how to create art with your body and imagination."
Baert revealed that she prefers theatre performance because beside the direct interaction and feedback from the audience, theatre performance is more precise, sensitive and technical.
She admitted that she also loves movies as she directed and acted in a number of movies in France, “it is great to make movies because the technical aspects used in movies are more advanced than theatre, but on the other hand in movies you are just one small part of a big thing as an actor but in theatre performances you get to understand all the details of the production.”
“Sometimes in the movies you may feel a little bit that the story is scattered and you may lose focus with some characters, especially if the movie contains a lot of actors, unlike what happens in the theatre,” Baert recounted.
Baert said that the D-CAF festival is by all means a great comprehensive festival and she is very happy and proud to participate in it for the second a time. “D-CAF is the optimal haven for all art lovers as it introduces a comprehensive and interesting program; it is really fantastic to offer Egyptian public a festival that contains this rich mix of different art forms with great young female artists as the female participation in this year's edition is prominently highlighted.’’
Baert stated that the festival contains plenty of concerts, plays, movies, seminars, and workshops; besides the benefit of such artistic events, the festival provides artists from all over the world with a great opportunity to meet and cooperate which will definitely result in great artistic works in the future.
Baert will present the first acting performance in the festival which is the French "Alors, est-ce que c’est là?"(So, is it here?). It is a theatre piece about the absence of a loved one and the abyss that opens within the person who is left behind. Performed as a monologue by Baert, the performance will be held at AUC Falaki Theatre on March 13 and 14.
Coming back for another round of remarkable shows, including dancing, music, film, literature and visual arts, the seventh Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) kicked off on March 9 with a special “women-dedicated” edition and cutting-edge performances that shed light on the ever-developing Arab arts.
For the very first time, Egypt’s only multi-disciplinary, international contemporary arts festival inaugurated outside the downtown Cairo area, with the opening music concert that took place at Al-Azhar Park. And as it set off on the International Women’s Day, this year’s event has been planned as a special women’s edition, D-CAF Founder and Artistic Director Ahmed el-Attar told Egypt Today.
Established in 2012, D-CAF has been held for three weeks in March and April for the past five years.
“What makes this year special,” Attar added, “is that the festival offers free tickets for theatre, dance and musical concerts to civil organizations for refugees, disabled people and orphans, giving them a chance to come and see these events.” A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help offer free shows and affordable tickets for D-CAF performances.
From Arab Arts Focus, to directors forum, disability shows and much more, D-CAF’s unique program is taking place in some of the most spectacular downtown theatres and cinemas, as well as renowned historic and cultural locations in the centre of the city, such as the recently restored Maq’ad of Sultan Qaitbay and Al Alfy Bey Street in Downtown. “Performing in streets would enable all Egyptians to see different contemporary arts shows, spreading this modern art among them and reviving it,” Attar said.
Aiming to shed light on cutting-edge Arab talents, the festival once again features the Arab Arts Focus section, where gifted Egyptian, Moroccan, Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian actors are invited to present their stories through unique performances, including Egyptian actor Ramzi Lehner and Syrian actress Nanda Mohammad.
The festival is also hosting, for the fourth time, a four-day Arab Contemporary Art Forum, where international film and theatre directors are invited to witness Egyptian and Arab arts, to eventually “market Arab creativity across the world,” Attar recounted.
“When we present the arts of people with disability in streets, to be watched whether by interested audiences or people passing by, we correct the misconceptions in our community about those people by showcasing their talents,” he added.