Anna Lewis

Palser, Marega

Marega Palser received funding to present 'Sometimes We Look' an exhibition of movement, drawing and animation at Fez International Dance Festival, Morocco.

Following the visit, Marega reported: "In October 2013 I presented Sometimes We Look at the seventh International Dance Festival in Fez, Morocco. The financial support provided by Wales Arts International enabled the production with three dancers and two technicians to be presented at the festival along with the support given by the hosts Babylon Arts. The Festival ran from 22nd to the 26th October and took place mainly in the Al Hourria Cultural Complexe situated in the New Town area of Fez.

The opportunity to go to Fez first arose in November 2011 whilst presenting Sometimes We Look at Chapter Arts Centre. Jess Stephens, originally from Wales and now resident in Morocco, saw the show and expressed an interest in presenting it in Morocco. Jess, a Visual Artist and cultural facilitator, runs an organisation called Culture Vultures, which is a Moroccan organisation based in and around Fez. Its aim is to enhance cross-cultural exchange and dialogue through art ventures and cultural programmes, connecting artist to audience, traditional artisan to contemporary practices and local to global. It was through and Aziz Hakim of Babylon Arts, who produces the Dance festival, that the opportunity arose to present my work in Fez.

The dance festival hosted an eclectic mix of companies ranging from the more traditional Egyptian Dervish dance, to a company of French belly dancers, to more contemporary dance pieces, most notably from France and Fez. It was interesting to see how a show like Sometimes We Look sat amongst this other work.

Sometimes We Look is a piece that is usually situated in a Gallery style space with a limited audience and it soon became apparent that the original idea of doing the show in the gallery attached to the Cultural Complexe was not technically possible with the resources at the centre. There was also a high level of demand for the shows at the festival so it was decided to present the show in the larger theatre space.

Taking part in this Festival gave me such an insight, not just regarding the other work being presented but, into the organisation of the festival and the performance/audience relationship. This opportunity to take work to Fez has been an incredible experience both personally and on a professional level and further opportunities to create work and develop further projects in Fez has already been discussed."

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