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Latest in Culture


Team unearths first Roman-era basilica in Egypt

CAIRO: Egyptian officials say archaeologists have unearthed the first basilica erected in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria. Antiquities authorities say the basilica is dated to the Roman era and was built on the ruins of a temple from the Ptolemaic reign that ended with the death of Cleopatra. A statement Thursday says two parallel …

DNE

Laugh like an Egyptian

By Chitra Kalyani It’s astonishing that stand-up comedy did not gain stage-presence in Egypt up until a few years ago. Local talents at the “Freedom of Funny” show far outstripped the highlight of visiting artist Ronnie Khalil’s “Brezidential Brobosal” at Sawy Culture Wheel on Thursday. Musical duo High on Body Fat, composed of the portly …

DNE

Cy Twombly, post-war art giant, dead at 83

Influential US artist Cy Twombly, who died Tuesday aged 83, was a key figure in the post-war abstract art world with a career spanning six decades. Renowned for his vast canvasses adorned with scribblings, the artist let his creations speak for themselves, rarely giving interviews or appearing in public. The director of the Lambert collection …

DNE

Revolution-themed interpretation of Bejart’s ‘Pyramide’ ballet misses the mark

Ballet can now be counted amongst the artistic disciplines touched by Egypt’s recent revolution. The January 25 Revolution has prompted a wave of cultural production, much of it inspired by scenes and experiences from the lead up to Hosni Mubarak’s ouster on February 11. “The Pyramids and the Revolution,” a ballet adapted from famed French …

DNE

Super 8’ message: Technology not our friend

By Ted Anthony/ AP It’s convenient to assign J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8,” one of this summer’s biggest movies, an easy, modular genre: Intrepid small-town kids encounter the unknown, engage it, handle it far better than the adults and find that their emotionally sensitive behavior brings their community salvation. Call it the E.T. Effect. Look closer, …

DNE

‘Elliot’ writer’s opera dropped over gay character

A community opera involving hundreds of children and written by the author of "Billy Elliot" has been canceled after the writer refused to remove lines spoken by a gay character in which he calls himself "queer." Education officials said the school removed 300 pupils due to appear in the production because of offensive and derogatory …

DNE

Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army

Actress Bai Ling said she is confronting a dark chapter from her past: sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager at the hands of Chinese army officers. Bai, 44, who was a soldier in a People’s Liberation Army performance troupe from age 14 to 17, told The Associated Press in a recent interview that she …

DNE

Ibrahim El-Batout on ‘Hawi’, his upcoming movie and future of cinema

  F ive years ago, former war reporter and documentary filmmaker Ibrahim El-Batout was another aspiring filmmaker with an atypical vision deemed incongruous with the homogenous local film scene. A couple of years later, El-Batout became the most influential independent filmmaker in the country, turning the industry on its head and paving the way for independent …

DNE

The Cincinnati kid, Ali and The Hustler

CAIRO: In the salons the tassel-loafer lounge lizards glad-hand groupies. Revolution? A bump in the road, they bluster. The tables will turn, you’ll see. Or will they? The government is calling the bankers’ bluff. Send the players to the video store to find out which hand to play this week. In The Cincinnati Kid (Steve …

DNE

Ancient Egypt treasure gate unearthed in Luxor

CAIRO: Egyptian and French archaeologists have unearthed a 2,700-year-old stone gate belonging to Nubian King Shabaka while digging near Luxor’s Karnak temple, the ministry of antiquities said on Sunday. The gate, which was found to be "in good condition," once led to the room holding the king’s treasures, the ministry said. "It is the first …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: Life before the revolution

Three years ago, a little indie film with no stars called “Ein Shams” (Eye of the Sun) came out of nowhere to take the Egyptian film industry by storm, challenging censorship, sidestepping shooting permissions’ circle of hell and ultimately becoming the first independently-financed film to acquire a commercial screening in Egypt. Over the past three …

DNE

Egypt(dot)Now to capture revolutionary youth spirit in 18-day festival

CAIRO: About a month after the protests started in January, Mariam El-Hitami was speaking with a friend of hers who had been active in the demonstrations and was recovering from a rubber bullet that hit his left eye. “Let us build Egypt,” El-Hitami, one of the organizers of Egypt.Now, remembers Jawad Naboulsy telling her. Friday, …

DNE

A ‘Byrd’ singing disco of our time

By Chitra Kalyani Since marketing his first single when he was 15, electronic artist Neobyrd has figured out the formula. “To get signed you need to spend 40 percent [of your time] doing music, and 60 percent marketing yourself,” said the artist at the launch of his album “Transbyrd” at Cairo Jazz Club on Monday. It …

DNE

Pirate radio airs dreams amid tear gas and fear

As tear gas fired by riot police lands inside their Syntagma Square camp, the brains behind a pirate radio station broadcasting Greek Indignants’ dreams of a new revolution vow to stay the course. The music is hardly cutting edge, coming straight from the era of the uprising against the US-backed Greek colonels — "Riders on …

DNE

SODIC Art Symposium: First attempt at public art

With his distinctive light blue eyes and soft demeanor, famed Egyptian sculptor Adam Henein stood observing the towering metallic figures. The statues, numbered at about 20, directed their gaze at the horizon of the desert in which they were standing. It was early June on a balmy summer’s evening when the sun started to set, …

DNE

Shoes come in all sizes

By Chitra Kalyani “The future of football is female,” proclaims one of the texts that tie the collection of photographs at Sawy Culture Wheel. German photographer Claudia Wiens launched her exhibit, along with the book, titled “Shoe Size 37 – Women’s Football in Egypt, Palestine, Turkey and Germany” on Saturday. Supported by Goethe Institute in Cairo, …

DNE

French Egyptologist who saved Nubian temples dies

PARIS: French Egyptologist Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, known for her books on art and history and for saving the Nubian temples from flooding caused by the Aswan Dam, has died at the age of 97, her editor Telemaque said Friday. In a career spanning more than half-a-century, Desroches-Noblecourt also helped preserve the mummy of King Ramses II, …

DNE

Large inscribed limestone blocks unearthed

CAIRO: French archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of 3,000-year-old colored limestone blocks believed to have been used to build the sacred lake walls of a temple dedicated to the goddess Mut. Egypt’s minister of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, says the blocks were unearthed in San El-Hagar in northern Egypt. Hawass said in a statement Monday the blocks …

DNE

Impressions in an Arab mirror

By Chitra Kalyani Phillipe Vincent pinches bits of air around the table when describing his play to Daily News Egypt. Despite what the title suggests, “An Arab in My Mirror” does not provide a reflection of one community in another, but rather several impressions of characters in both worlds. “The present is an air pocket,” said …

DNE

Egypt to restore ancient boat found near pyramid

CAIRO: Archaeologists have begun excavating a 4,500-year-old wooden boat found next to the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of Egypt’s main tourist attractions, Egypt’s top antiquities official said Thursday. The boat is one of two buried next to the pharaoh Khufu in what appeared to be a religious custom to carry him in the afterlife. …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: A fateful journey into the dark soul of Russia

What is the Russian soul? That is the questions great novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky spent his life trying to answer, an elusive question that never left me during my trip to Russia a couple of months ago. My memories of Russia have been largely blissful. I did not take a liking to Moscow; a humongous, unkind …

DNE

Serbia’s icon-painting nuns combine religion and art

On the wooded slopes of southwestern Serbia’s Golija mountain, a dozen nuns at the Gradac monastery have devoted their lives to God but have not turned their backs on their lifelong passion: painting. Twenty years ago Jasna Topolski, already a famous artist who had graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, arrived at …

DNE

The reveries and delusions of Yasmine Chatila

Egyptian artist Yasmine Chatila is no newbie to Manhattan’s Upper East Side art scene — one of the world’s toughest art markets to break into. Born in Cairo with a master’s degree in photography from Colombia University School of Arts, Chatila again impresses critics and art aficionados alike with her new exhibition, “Reveries & Delusions” …

DNE

Silence less golden in movies with talking, texts

It seems like such a quaint notion: Folks would go to the movie theater, buy their tickets at the box office, then sit down, shut up and pay attention for two hours to what was on the screen. Now, the piercing glow of cell phones lights up the darkness like so many pesky fireflies, and …

DNE

Hip-hop the soundtrack of the Arab spring?

By Rose Hackman/Common Ground News Service Behind the scenes of the Arab spring since late 2010, hip-hop with a political twist has become a soundtrack to pro-democracy movements across the Middle East and North Africa. It may come as a surprise to some. How could hip-hop, a traditionally Western — and particularly American — music genre …

DNE

E Street Band sax player Clarence Clemons dies

Clarence Clemons, the larger-than-life saxophone player for the E Street Band who was one of the key influences in Bruce Springsteen’s life and music through four decades, has died. He was 69. Clemons died Saturday night after being hospitalized about a week ago following a stroke at his home in Singer Island, Fla. Springsteen acknowledged …

DNE

Croatian exhibition spotlights Tito’s iconic Galeb yacht

By Lajla Veselica/ AFP A local exhibition showcasing artworks banned by 20th century totalitarian regimes has lifted out of oblivion a powerful symbol of socialist glamour: former Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito’s famous presidential yacht Galeb. “We were looking for an attractive space to be a counterpoint to the art that we represent,” said Branko Franceschi, …

DNE

Publishers low-key for 9/11 anniversary

By Hillel Italie/ AP The book world plans a low-key remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Most of the works about the events will be reissues and updates of older works, from CBS News’ “What We Saw” to Noam Chomsky’s word-of-mouth best-seller “9/11.” The output will not compare to the first …

DNE

An Ant’s Cry: The exploitation of the revolution continues

In the recently released Ahmed Fouad Negm biopic “El-Fagoumy,” director Essam El-Shamaa ventured to capitalize on the January 25 Revolution by inserting footage of the protests at the very end of the film. The footage bore no connection to the narrative which ends in 1979; this was simply a disgraceful stunt to put more bums …

DNE

If pigs could fly: The imaginary world of Qarm Qart

By Chitra Kalyani “I don’t need a perfect picture,” says Qarm Qart, “I need a perfect subject. A man. A pose.” The rest “doesn’t matter, because I cut it.” Collage is Qarm’s means of creating an alternative reality, of taking scissors to the ugliness of this world and embroidering the rest with beads, glitter and sequins. …

DNE