City Arts increases international links with visit to Kurdistan

Date published: 23 Sep 2013

Posted by: Joe Pick

Photo of dancer in sheet with Kurdish writing

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We are excited to share that City Arts has been invited to visit the Sulaimany-Kurdistan area of Iraq by the regions Ministry of Culture and Youth.  Creative Programme Manager Kate Duncan will give a presentation to Government Ministers about the work City Arts does, and the structure of arts and culture in the UK.

Kate will travel with award-winning choreographer & dancer Shane Shambhu.  A Kurdish audience will be invited to a showcase of two dance pieces that Shane previously performed for City Arts during the World Event Young Artists Festival in 2012.

During the visit, Shane will work with a number of Kurdish theatre practitioners:

The workshops have been devised for participants to gain a deeper understanding of how to use and engage the body in theatrical performances and utilise these skills to build upon developing a stage presence.  In addition, the ability to creatively explore and discover new ideas and methods of developing work to expand the notions of what theatre is possible of achieving”

Kate Duncan said:

“We are delighted that Shane is able to travel with us to Kurdistan and we are looking forward to make ongoing links with Kurdish artists that had first begun in 2008 with our Artists in Exile Programme, Co-ordinated by Gaylan Nazhad. It is a pleasure to be working with Gaylan once again, who will also be supporting this short programme of work whilst we are in Kurdistan.”

Shane will be performing the following two pieces of work to Kurdish audiences at the Hall of Culture in Sulaimany.


A classical Indian dance piece from the style of Bharatanatyam, re-choreographed to show the cultural unlocking of the form and highlight the impossibility of disassociating from one’s cultural and religious background.

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A fresh, comical and imaginative take on the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story reflecting on modern science and human identity.