The third edition of the Qemam International Festival for Mountain Performance Arts took center stage in Saudi Arabia’s Asir region, creating a mesmerizing spectacle celebrating the vibrant world of mountain performing arts. This unique cultural extravaganza featured a remarkable blend of local and international talent, with 45 participating groups from around the world. This article delves into the diverse tapestry of performances that graced the festival’s stage, showcasing 40 distinct types of mountain arts from Saudi Arabia, the Arab world, and beyond.
The Chinese Delight: Long Drum and Bronze Drum
The Chinese contingent left a lasting impression with their enthralling performances. The first, a traditional Yao dance known as “Long Drum,” hailing from the Han dynasty, was a masterpiece of artistic prowess. Their second act, “Bronze Drum,” seamlessly combined traditional art, music, and skilful group performance, offering a unique and enchanting experience.
Japan’s Cultural Tapestry: Kokiriko Bushi, Hanagasa Ondo, and Genroku Hanami Odori
Japan contributed to the festival’s cultural tapestry with a performance group that presented three distinct arts: Kokiriko Bushi, Hanagasa Ondo, and Genroku Hanami Odori. These performances encapsulated the essence of Japanese culture and tradition, captivating the audience with their grace and authenticity.
The Spanish Flair: A Rhythmic Extravaganza
The Spanish group brought a taste of Spain to the festival, enthralling the audience with three mesmerizing performances set to Spanish music tunes. These acts showcased the authenticity and heritage of Spanish mountain arts, leaving spectators spellbound.
Sudan’s Ancient Ardah and Jordan’s Vibrant Dabkah
Sudan brought forth the ancient art of Sudanese Ardah, a cultural gem that transported the audience to a bygone era. On the other hand, Jordan presented the vibrant ‘Dabkah’ with about twenty variations, highlighting the region’s rich dance heritage.
Lebanon’s Dabkah Odyssey
Lebanon’s performance group took the festival on an odyssey through the art of Dabkah. They showcased this captivating dance form at eight heritage sites, emphasizing its profound significance in the Levant region’s cultural landscape.
Morocco’s Enchanting Ahidouss and Amazigh Mountains
The Moroccan group wowed the audience with their Ahidouss, Obidat Al-Rama performance and captivating solo and group acts that celebrated the Amazigh Mountains’ rich heritage.
Iraqi Artistry: Gobi at Heritage Sites
An Iraqi group presented the art of ‘Gobi’ at eight heritage sites, offering a glimpse into the cultural tapestry of Iraq and its vibrant mountain performing arts.
Yemen’s Rich Legacy: Al-Samrah and Al-Awd Mountain Arts
The Yemeni performances depicted the rich legacy and heritage through ‘Al-Samrah’ from Yafi and Al-Awd Mountain performance arts, providing a glimpse into Yemen’s cultural treasures.
Italy’s Three Mountain Arts
At the festival, Italy showcased three mountain arts: Mediterraneo Performance Arts, Old Ttarantella, and the Ballad of SanCalogero. These performances transported the audience to the picturesque landscapes of Italy, celebrating its cultural diversity.
Uzbekistan’s Delight: Lyasgi
The Uzbekistani group delighted the audience with ‘Lyasgi,’ a performance highlighting individual and group skills, adding an international flavor to the festival.
Saudi Arabia’s Diverse Showcase
The Saudi performances at the festival were a testament to the country’s cultural diversity. Twenty performance groups from different regions presented traditional dances reflecting age-old customs and traditions.
Al-Dammah Performance Arts: Excitement and Strength
Notable performances included Al-Dammah Performance Arts, known for its excitement and strength, captivating the audience with its powerful choreography and energy.
Al-Le’ab Al-Shehri: Poetry and Music Combined
‘Al-Le’ab Al-Shehri’ combined poetry and music in a mesmerizing blend, leaving the audience in awe of its artistic excellence and cultural significance.
Al-Khatwa: The Southern Rhythmic Dance
‘Al-Khatwa,’ one of the most prominent southern performing arts from Aseer, enthralled spectators with its rhythmic tunes and intricate choreography.
Ardah from Al-Baha: A Captivating Group Art
Ardah from Al-Baha, a famous performing art, captivated the audience with its group art form characterized by rhythmic tunes and synchronized movements.
Msahabani: Rhythm Takes Center Stage
‘Msahabani,’ which relies on rhythm, showcases the power of beats and percussion in mountain performance arts.
Al-Majroor from Taif: Western Region’s Finest
Al-Majroor from Taif, a leading performing art in the western region, showcased the rich cultural heritage of Taif through captivating performances.
Al-Dahah from Northern Regions: A Dance Tradition
Al-Dahah from northern regions offered a glimpse into the dance traditions of Saudi Arabia’s northern regions, preserving cultural heritage.
Jazan’s Folk Heritage: Al-Rabsh, The Sword, and Al-Azzawi
The Jazan region showcased several arts, including ‘Al-Rabsh,’ ‘The Sword,’ and performances of ‘Al-Azzawi,’ forming a folk heritage that still narrates the cultural reality of a specific era, influencing the region’s people to this day.
The Organizers and Saudi Vision 2030
Organized by the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, the festival aims to present Saudi heritage globally, attract international attention to local events, and emphasize the Kingdom’s efforts in preserving cultural heritage. This aligns with Saudi Vision 2030’s cultural strategy, reflecting the Commission’s commitment to enhancing international cultural exchange.
The Qemam International Festival for Mountain Performance Arts is a beacon of cultural diversity and artistic expression. With its annual showcase of traditional and contemporary performances, the festival is vital in fostering cultural exchange and preserving the rich heritage of performing arts worldwide. It is a testament to the power of art in bridging cultures and celebrating the shared human experience. Join us in this enchanting journey through the world of mountain performance arts at the Qemam International Festival, where tradition meets innovation on a global stage.