MAKKAH: The Saudi Theater and Performing Arts Commission will launch the second edition of the Qemam International Festival for Mountain Performance Arts from Jan. 20-27 in several villages across the Asir region.
During that time, visitors to the Asir region will enjoy music from both the Kingdom and abroad, with folk bands from around the world and from different cities of the Kingdom participating in the festival and offering visitors a glimpse into their celebration rituals
The commission has chosen eight sites rich in heritage to hold daily festival activities.
Each festival site will host various events and activities, including theater and music performances, kiosks serving traditional food, souvenir shops, arts and crafts exhibitions and a children’s area.
Artists from across the Arab world and the Saudi National Band and Choir will perform during the festival’s opening and closing ceremonies. There will also be a firework display and a carnival procession.
The festival will offer a cultural program for visitors, including seminars, panels and educational workshops on the traditional performance arts of mountainous regions.
Through its diverse activities, the festival aims to raise awareness of these arts, introducing their history, methods and role in bringing people together.
CEO of the Saudi Theater and Performing Arts Commission Sultan Al-Bazie told Arab News that mountainous regions worldwide have rich legacies in performance art, especially music.
Al-Bazie added: “We found clear similarity in the arts performed along the Sarawat Mountains, from the north to the south of the Kingdom, through our experience in the first edition. There is a similarity in rhythm and movement, which was demonstrated through the harmony of the tunes between a band from Tabuk and other bands in Asir or Najran, as well as the synchronization of their movements.”
He said that this year would witness the participation of countries around the world from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Arab region, which allows for greater comparison between different mountain groups in how they practice their arts.
He pointed out that several countries have been contacted and are eager to participate after witnessing the success of the first edition.