Created by the Asia Society, BAM and New York University Center for Dialogues, "Muslim Voices" is a ten-day festival of theatre, music, dance, exhibitions and dialogue that will run June 5-15.
"The divide between the United States and the Muslim world is rooted in hard political issues such as the question of Palestine, the war in Iraq, relations with Iran, and other points of contention," said NYU Center for Dialogues director Mustapha Tlili, in a statement. "Arts and culture alone will not solve these issues, but our initiative — 'Muslim Voices: Arts and Ideas' — could at least contribute to changing perceptions, foster mutual understanding and respect between the two sides, and pave the way for the solution of the hard issues."
Theatrical offerings include Dastangoi: The Adventures of Amir Hamza, June 7-8 at the Asia Society's Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium. Indian film star Naseeruddin Shah joins Daanish Hussain and Mahmood Farooqi to "recount the adventures of the Prophet Muhammed's uncle Amir Hamza in an artfully dramatized oral narrative. Exploring a fascinating world full of magic, sorcery, and tricksters, The Adventures of Amir Hamza will be performed in the rich Indian storytelling tradition of Dastangoi which dates back to medieval Iran (Persia)."
The BAM Harvey Theater will host Richard III: An Arab Tragedy June 9-12, as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works Festival. Sulayman Al-Bassam directs the adaptation that "places the Shakespeare tragedy within a contemporary context, while examining the relationship between the Arab world and the West."
Additional programming includes musician Youssou N'Dour (June 5 at BAM's Gilman Opera House), Sufi Music Ensembles (June 6 at BAM's Harvey Theater), Sight Unseen: Video from Afghanistan and Iran (June 9-Sept. 13 at the Asia Society Museum), Parissa: Classical Persian Music (June 11-12 at the Asia Society Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium), Qawwali Gospel Creation (June 13 at BAM's Harvey Theater) and Sardono Dance Theater of Indonesia (June 13-14 at the Asia Society Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium). Tickets for BAM-hosted "Muslim Voices" events go on sale Jan. 21 at BAM.org. Tickets for Asia Society-hosted events will go on sale Feb. 15 at AsiaSociety.org.
A full list of events will be made available on the "Muslim Voices" website, which will launch Feb. 3 at MuslimVoicesFestival.org.