Podcast ZanZanA

mardi 29 janvier 2008

Universes en concert à El Menzah 6 et à Monastir

Le Centre Culturel américain se bouge un peu et propose deux représentations du groupe UNIVERSES en Tunisie :

-          samedi 2 février 2008 à 17h00 au Centre Culturel et Sportif pour les jeunes d’El Menzah 6

-          lundi 4 février 2008 à 18h30 au Palais des Sciences de Monastir


Ces concerts entrent dans le cadre d’une tournée générale qui verra le groupe UNIVERSES se produire au Maroc (26 janvier-1 février), en Tunisie, en Turquie (6 au 11 février), au Kenya (13 au 19 février) et en Grande Bretagne (20 au 23 février).


Cette tournée est produite par le Jazz at Lincoln Center et par le U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs dans le but de promouvoir les échanges culturels.


Pour en savoir plus sur UNIVERSES, voici leur biographie. Désolé pour les « ananglophabètes », elle m’a été envoyée en anglais et je n’ai pas vraiment le temps pour la traduire.


UNIVERSES is an ensemble company of multi-disciplined writers and performers who fuse poetry, theater, jazz, hip-hop, down-home blues and Spanish boleros to create challenging and entertaining theatrical works. Committed to their roots in the New York City poetry scene, the group has performed in venues all over the five boroughs, including Nuyorican Poets Café, Joe's Pub, Aaron Davis Hall and The Bronx Academy of Art & Dance, among others.  They also present their work in schools and colleges across the U.S. and recently completed a tour to Chile.


Gamal Abdel-Chasten (co-founder, vocals, poet, percussion) is known as “the base” of the group, as his roots reach deep into music and lyricism.  He has been a professional writer and performance poet for over 11 years and met UNIVERSES co-founders Sapp and Ruiz at a Nuyorican Poets Café open mic night.  Chasten counts Nikki Giovanni, Willie Perdomo, Louis Reyes Rivera and Muhammed Ali among his poetic inspirations and recently wrote, directed and starred in a one-man show inspired by Ali’s story.   In addition to his long list of on-stage and directorial credits, Chasten is also the artistic director of Voices UnBroken, a community-based organization dedicated to providing under-heard members of the community with the tools and opportunity for creative self-expression.


Mildred Ruiz (co-founder, vocals, poet) is the “earth mother” of the group and her full-throttled vocals supply the musical foundation for the rest of the members to build on.  Ruiz’ voice is a cultural hybrid, mixing Spanish boleros with gospel, the blues and contemporary sounds.  She works all over New York as a playwright, actor and vocalist and recently participated in an Arts Link International Exchange with Teatre Polski in Poland.  Ruiz is a past recipient of the TCG National Theater Artist Residency Program Award, OBIE Award Grant, Bessie Award and BRIO Awards from the Bronx Council on the Arts.  She is currently working with Barco Music Productions to launch her debut CD, Blues & Boleros in a Bag.


William “Ninja” Ruiz (MC, beatbox, poet, verbal DJ), the UNIVERSES crew’s newest member, brings with him a unique brand of Nuyorican-flavored vocals, beats and rhymes.  He was born and raised on the Lower East Side of New York City and received his bachelor’s degree in theater from Bard College, where he studied under Joan Akaliuts, Elizabeth Smith and Bob Holman.  In addition to his work with UNIVERSES, Ninja has appeared in Jack Kerouac's Ti-Jean Blues, which was adapted and directed by Joan Akalaitis, Nicole Quinn's Tree Tails directed by Shelly Wyant, Oscar Wild's Salome directed by Nick Jones, Anthony Rivera's Latin Howel directed by Todd A. Jackson and Nicky Cruz's Run Baby Run directed by Chris Fredricks.  He also wrote and directed his own adaptation of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot entitled Waiting for Gordo.


Steven Sapp (co-founder, poet, and percussion) is a Bronx-born director, playwright and poet.   He cut his theater teeth at Bard College, where he met UNIVERSES co-founder Ruiz while directing her stage debut. The recipient of honors from prestigious theatre institutions like New Dramatists and the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Sapp directs the theater program at the Abrons Arts Center in New York.  He and Ruiz are also co-founders of The Point, a South Bronx cultural center offering classes and performances in theater, poetry, dance, visual art and other invaluable services to the community's youth. 

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