Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mo V, Triple Threat

So, in the past week I've gone to see a choral performance, a play, and a ballet at the Mohamed V National Theater. All of these have been with Hind, the twelve year old who lives across the alley from here.

This intensive cultural program began when Chad, one of the Fulbright senior scholars, sent a group email that he had thirty free tickets to a choral celebration of three Mediterranean cultures. The choir's performances included renditions of Fayruz's "Habaytak fis-Sayf," which an first year Arabic student can croon to you, as well as "Zurooni, kuli sena marra (Harram tinsuuni bil-marra)" These, if you can imagine it, were sung not with the standard-issue Arabic melodies in which they do all of the multiple tones in a single note (musicians: what's that called?) but how it would sound if a Teutonophile were doing all of the arrangements. In a word: weird.

There was also a song in Hebrew, and the final piece was "Carmina Burana." This is the reason why I went. I will never get tired of hearing O Fortuna! Plus, it makes me brush up (however little) on my Latin.

Now, Hind attended this performance with me because, on the same day as the performance, Chad sent a message that he had not tickets for thirty people (fifteen each allowing two to enter), but for sixty, and that we should feel free to bring more guests. I had invited Ghizlane, one of the people in the history graduate seminar that I attend (erm, attended; I haven't gone in a month, since I was in Spain and whatnot.) She said that she would come, and bring one of her friends. She ended up texting me that she wasn't able to make it, though, so it was a good thing that I had a date regardless.

How this came about is that as I was preparing to leave, Hind rings the doorbell. She asked what I was up to, and I told her. I asked her if she wanted to come along, figuring that it might be fun if she did, but that the chances that her parents would let her leave the house for four hours in the evening on a school night were probably pretty slim.

"Waakha," she said. (That means "okay," for those of you who aren't up on your Moroccan colloquial Arabic.)

She went across the street and asked her mom, and returned in a minute. She was ready to go.
Her mom was at the door, so on the way out, I told her that we'd take a while, maybe up to four hours.

"Waakha," her mom said.

So we walked across the medina and to the National theater. I think that Hind enjoyed the performance very much, as she smiled and clapped a lot; Kristen (my roommate, who was also at the performance, but who had arrived later) and Hind and I walked back home through the medina, stopping for pizza along the way.

The next day, Hind came over with a card. It was an invitation (admitting two) to a production of Al-Qantara (The Bridge), a play that was going on at the Mohamed V National Theater on Thursday.

So I went with her.
The play, which was sponsored by the National Association for the Preservation of Amazight Culture (the society's name is actually different than that, but you get the point), was not in any language that I speak.

As far as I can tell, the play was about the following:
• a man
• he enjoys drinking coffee and is mean to the coffee-server
• he also enjoys laughing, exaggeratedly, much to teh delight of the audience, who may or may not speak or understand the language of the play
• he dies in an accident involving crossing a bridge and being crushed by pieces of the bridge that fall on top of him
• it is unclear as to whether the bridge is physical or metaphorical, but in the play it was physical, and poorly constructed, and made of wood. Also, the play started almost an hour late.

I asked Hind if she had understood; I presumed that she had, since she had laughed so much.
"Shwiyya," ("a little") she said.

Then on Friday, there was a free ballet. It was put on by the Turkish National Theater's dance troupe in celebration of the recognition of fifty years of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Turkey.

Hind and I walked over, and met up with Andrea, Alex, and Kristen. We had a lovely time, although I was particularly sneezy, and the first part of the ballet was a bit academic. Then there was a part where they wore deep purple (I would describe them as an oxblood, although the lighting kept changing and so the colors kept changing) and the music was what I would call an electroklezmer, but maybe that's just what Turkish music sounds like? I can't recall having heard any Turkish music ever and having been aware of it as such.

Since then, Hind has come over to do French homework and to eat dinner yesterday (we made tacos; there were about seven people over, most over the age of twenty.) Today, she knocked on the door to see if I wanted to go to a play with her tomorrow; I'm going to Fez, though, so I couldn't plan on it.

Recommended: taking your twelve year old neighbor to three cultural events in one week. Even if you have no idea what's going on.


Blogger Morgan said...

Hind is also good at playing parlor games like 'psychiatrist' with intoxicated cake-stuffed collegiate types.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Zora said...

Is that pronounced Mo-Vee, or Mo-Sank? Or Mo-Khams? (Not so catchy...)

12:10 AM  
Blogger AV said...

I pronounce it Mo-Five, but Mo-Sank is an acceptable variant.

7:04 PM  

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