F.A.D A Celebration of Love and Diversity
Written by: Mashaael Basheer
Photography: Salman Moghaddam
Ever since Loyac Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA) was established in 2010, they’ve believed in ‘empowering talented youth of Kuwait,’ worked hard to prove this country is a gold mine of creative minds and they haven’t disappointed us… not even the doubtful ones.
Fast forward to December 2017, the first week to be specific, LAPA hosted Festival of Art & Dance (FAD) and for five days Kuwait wore a festive custom, allow me to say it was more festive than Christmas itself! International, regional and local talents gathered and worked together under LAPA’s latest initiative; which took two months of preparations with dancers, artists, musicians and writers.
Here’s what it came down to:
1. Level Up: Solo Dance Competition.
2. Art Mash: Contemporary Performance Dance Competition.
3. Animation Workshop by Czech dancer Jaja Vankova.
4. Contemporary workshop by Helen Ainsworth.
5. Breaking Workshop by Omani dancer Sindbad.
6. Afro Dance Workshop by MOTO (Karina Palmira and Majid Mjay)
7. Hoops Flow Workshop by Dalal Al Mohannah.
8. Kuwaiti Dance Workshop by Al Mass.
9. Afro Hiphop Dance Workshop by prominent Kuwaiti dancer Awash & Saudi dancer Khadijah Al Sheikh.
10. Ballet Workshop by Helen Ainsworth.
There were also presentations, free style battles, talks and different DJs playing everyday. It was an influential week on all levels. Each and every corner of Loyac was popping, especially on FAD Gala night, December 5th.
The gala was set in the backyard of Loyac. It kicked off at 8:00pm but people had been gathering since 5:30pm. The place was so packed by 7:00pm that it was hard to find the right spot to enjoy and snap some photos. Five minutes into the show, my friend sitting next to me said “this feels like Kuwait’s Got Talent live show!” She was right!
It’s so hard to wrap all the details of the show in one article, but I’ll try to be fair with everyone. Tamara Qabazard was the opening act with an arial performance, swimming in the air to Elastic Heart by Sia. Carol Souki and Daffy were our rock’n’roll MCs throughout the show, the finalist acts and choreographers of the Level Up Competition took us on a rocket to the dance galaxy and the three finalists in Art Mash had us in tears with their soul moving performances.
The Art Mash Competition theme was ‘Peace & Love.’ Seven teams lead by genuine influencers in art, music, dance, design and poetry in Kuwait choreographed a performance best depicting the theme. Supposedly, there were only two finalist spots, but thanks to the high level of creativity and talent, LAPA chose three finalists out of seven.
The three teams were:
1. Tarek Kabbani: this team’s piece depicted the conflict between good or evil and how we, as humans, can be torn between them. Good indeed wins at the end in a piece that included English poetry reading, contemporary dance and music.
2. Paulo Angelo & Nadine Kabbani: this team put together a contemporary dance show, played with fire and depicted the necessity of appreciating and loving Mother Earth, our devastated planet.
3. Tamara Qabazard: this team wrapped up the Art Mash Competition with a piece about a humanity crisis; displaced and stateless people due to war or other man-made disasters. Depicting the five stages of grief, the act featured both Arabic poetry reading and contemporary performance dance.
The winning act in Art Mash was Tamara Qabazard’s team, a very well-deserved victory. Not only did they compose a solid piece, various elements of art, the harmony of music and visuals that complemented the piece, but they introduced an international level of performance art to Kuwait’s scene as well. In other words, they lifted the level up a notch!
However, in a show like FAD, everyone is a winner! The LAPA team succeeded in organizing a great show. They balanced granting access to international experts and bringing out the best from Kuwait, in a show that celebrated the creativity, love and diversity of this country. I only hope it won’t stop there because trust me, we are eager for more.