Interweaving Performance Cultures
Fellow 2015/16, 2017/18
Writer, performer, choreographer, theatre director and educator, Amin is a founding member of the Modern Dance Theatre Company at The Cairo Opera House (since 1993) and the founder of “Lamusica Independent Theatre Group”, where she directed and produced thirty-five theatre, music and dance productions since 2000. She has published four collections of short stories, three novels, a poetry audio book and two books on theatre methodology. She is the author of the first Arabic book on theatre and human rights, “The Egyptian Contemporary Theatre: The Art of Claiming our Right”, published by CHRSI in 2003, as well as of a book on theatre as a medium for healing and transformation for trauma survivors, “Theatre For Change: From the Internal to the External”. In 2009, she launched the independent initiative “Our Stories” to encourage personal storytelling in popular neighborhoods. In 2011 Amin founded “The Egyptian National Project Of Theatre Of The Oppressed” and its Arab network.
The Impact of Political Transformation on The Role and Aesthetics of Theatre: "An Enemy of the People" as an Egyptian model
From November 2012 throughout the year 2013, “An Enemy of the People” (musical political drama) was the only Egyptian theatre production that ran for the whole time and on a monthly basis in different venues in Cairo and Alexandria, while most artistic and cultural activities were put on hold. The production was a form of artistic protest directed by myself and presented by “Lamusica Independent Theatre Group”, founded in 2000. The production was conceived as a cry for survival under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ibsen’s message was astonishingly relevant to the political situation in Egypt.
The scenographic and dramaturgical concepts were inspired by the experiences and aesthetics of the Egyptian revolution of January 25. The performance was an interactive space of exchange, reflection, expression and communication between the performers and the spectators. A new culture of performance in Egypt was being born.
Investing this model of new theatre aesthetics conceived in a newly born culture of protest, the research will include the study of the creation of the production, the analysis of the performances in relation to the political events and transformations in Egypt, an examination of the different versions of the production which were created in response to the political and social changes of context, and a detailed analysis of the aesthetics of the performance in relation to the growing shift in collective dynamics and reception.
Watch a video interview with Nora Amin.
- The Politics of Interweaving Performance Cultures: Beyond Postcolonialism. Edited by Erika Fischer-Lichte, Torsten Jost and Saskya Iris Jain, New York, Routledge, 2014
- Amin, Nora, “The Egyptian Contemporary Theatre: The Art of Claiming Our Right”. Cairo: The Cairo Human Rights Institute, 2003.
- Performance and the Politics of Space: Theatre and Topology. Edited by Erika Fischer-Lichte and Benjamin Wihstutz
- Global Ibsen: Performing Multiple Modernities. Edited by Erika Fischer-Lichte, Barbara Gronau, and Christel Weiler