For the seventh year in a row, Cairo’s Downtown celebrates spring by turning into a hub for art performances from various cultures, presenting several kinds of arts to thousand of attendees.
The seventh Downtown Contemporary Art Festival (the D-CAF) will kick off 8 March and last until 29 March, bringing different sorts of art performances and exhibitions from all over the world.
The three-week event will bring 14 art shows varying from theatre performances to dance collaborations. Some of them are the well-established acts that have previously been met with huge success and warmth.
This year, the festival crosses the borders of Downtown that the D-CAF had always been limited to, as the opening concert is to be held at Al-Azhar Park.
The Arab Arts Focus (AAF) programme will be brought to audiences for the third time. The groundbreaking programme presents the tremendous beauty of Arab talents by showcasing several art theatre shows, including shows about the Arab refugees crisis and Syria’s civil war. The AAF is a project established by Orient Productions and the D-CAF in a collaboration with the Tamasi collective of 11 groups for performing arts. This year, the programme will present 15 dancing performance by talents from seven Arab countries including Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Iraq, Palestine, and Tunisia. The AAF took part in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the biggest arts festival in the world.
The D-CAF’s most unique performance Urban Visions, according to its founders, will strike again with six public space dances for performers from several countries, including Egypt and France. Dancers are to perform their routines in the streets of Downtown near its most popular cultural hubs.
For the first time, this year’s performances are not limited to the Downtown area only, but will be expanded to other areas of Cairo.
From Australia comes the band Trolleys, featuring five exceptional dance and physical theatre artists using supermarket trolleys.
As for the music programme, this year’s edition is dedicated to women, in celebration of International Women’s Day. Through a concert of all-women singers, the D-CAF is due to highlight local, regional, and international female talents from different genres.
The music programme is also joined by music curator Mahmoud Refaat, who collaborates with other local and international theatre and film musicians to come up with new genres of famous music that has been out for over 10 years.
This year’s film and literature programme focuses on highlighting the connection between text and image-based storytelling. This will be done through screening films that are taken from novels and were globally accredited by winning awards.
The innovative producer Isabelle Fauvel curated this edition’s film and literature programme. She collaborated with writers, directors, and producers on all types of projects, as well as talent development, talent scouting, subject research in literature, consulting, story editing, and insightful advising during the whole project development period.
The festival’s special events programme offers a series of theoretical and practical workshops for professional and amateur artists.