From street art to theatre, we regularly bring new cultural opportunities and experiences to performers and audiences throughout Jordan. Over the years, we have supported and participated in a wide range of arts projects, including international collaborations, showcases and concerts. Read on to find out more about our cross-cultural work in the arts.
Made By Many - Creative Co-working Hubs
The programme has been created following a regional pilot in 2012/13 and a review of the learning from that pilot with the Ford Foundation. The programme aims at seeking out creative practitioners and cultural pioneers who are exploring the frontiers between culture, enterprise, social development and technology and are specifically involved or interested in the creation of co-working and collaboration spaces. The programme connected them to experiences, opportunities and expertise from the UK and Europe within their own communities. Eleven emergent creative practitioners and innovators from Jordan participated in this regional programme.
‘Made by Many’ seeks to:
- Identify and support emerging creative practitioners and cultural pioneers who are exploring the frontiers between culture, enterprise, social development and technology and are specifically involved or interested in the creation of co-working and collaboration spaces.
- Establish and Develop Creative Hubs as spaces, networks and collaborations for creative and cultural innovators working to support community development. This will be reflected both in the shape and content of the offer and also in the selection criteria and therefore profile of participants.
- Create a network of Creative Hubs in the region – and connect it with practice and policy-makers from the Middle East and the UK. and connect it with existing groups of creative entrepreneurs, cultural innovators and policy-makers from the Middle East and the UK.
- Raise awareness of key issues affecting the cultural sector, and stimulate critical thought and new sustainable practises and projects.
- Strengthen the influence and position of the cultural sector cross-sectorally and regionally as a key social agent.
UK Contemporary Dance Festival
We aim at the British Council to provide opportunities for audiences in Jordan to experience the culture and creativity of the UK and vice versa, therefore, we support presenting the best of UK contemporary dance in Jordan. We also strongly believe in promoting institutional collaboration and enhancing the capacity of local dance festivals to host more international work. The British Council announces each year a Call for Proposals targeted at Contemporary Dance Festivals in Jordan with the aim of supporting them to host UK work as part of their festival programme.
In collaboration with the 7th annual Amman Contemporary Dance Festival in April 2015, the British Council presented this year an exhilarating performance by Aakash Odedra Ltd Company. “Rising” is the successful debut production of Aakash Odedra Company. It featured four works performed by Aakash, exploring different processes and aesthetics to create a new personal language.
BalletBoyz is an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company. In April 2012, the British Council invited the UK-based dancers to give a special performance of their work The Talent in Amman.
This was the result of our collaboration with the 4th annual Amman Contemporary Dance Festival, organised by the King Hussein Foundation’s National Center for Culture and Arts (NCCA). In addition to commissioning the performance, we also arranged for the award-winning stars of BalletBoyz to run a workshop for young Jordanian dancers.
Candoco Dance Company
In collaboration with the 5th annual Amman Contemporary Dance Festival in April 2013, the British Council presented two exhilarating performances by Candoco Dance Company. A leading contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers, Candoco showcased its productions Set and Reset/Reset and Looking Back to an audience at Al-Hussein Cultural Center in Amman.
Combining a workshop and screening, Forward Motion was a cross-cultural project introducing new filming methods to Jordanian filmmakers and choreographers.
In collaboration with the Zakharef in Motion Dance Festival and SAE Institute, the British Council invited British-Spanish artistic filmmaker Isabel Rocamora to deliver a workshop at SAE Amman in July 2012. Participants worked under Isabel’s supervision to produce their own films, gaining new skills in filming dance and motion in the process.
Wired Aerial Theatre
The British Council helped organise and support the residency programme of the British bungee-assisted dance company Wired Aerial Theatre in spring 2013. In collaboration with the Zakharef in Motion Dance Festival, we gave a number of young Jordanian dancers the opportunity to take part in the residency and showcase their talents alongside Wired during the opening of the festival. Jordanian audiences were also treated to a performance of the critically acclaimed Stuffed by Wired at Al-Hussein Cultural Center in Amman.
The Animals and Children Took to the Streets
1927 is an award-winning UK theatre company. In 2011, in collaboration with Al Balad Theater and Al-Hussein Culture Center, the British Council organised two evening performances and a matinee performance of the 1927 production The Animals and Children Took to the Streets exclusively for schools. This was part of our campaign to expose younger generations to the UK’s finest and most innovative theatre work. Included in the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase 2011, the show combined live music, performance and storytelling with film and animation, and was well received all over the world.
“Amazing and very artistic. It was one of those magical theatre experiences. I personally have never seen this genre of theatre – and I think more of it needs to be available to people in Jordan.”
Dana Shalabi, audience member at The Animals and Children Took to the Streets
The Vanishing Horizon
In collaboration with the Aat Festival celebrating International Women’s Day, the British Council was proud to present a performance of The Vanishing Horizon by the UK theatre company Idle Motion in Jordan in March 2012. A stunning piece of devised physical theatre, the production was one of the highlights of the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase 2011.
Road to Roots
In summer 2012, the British Council brought together UK and Jordanian musicians in an innovative cross-cultural project celebrating musical diversity. Road to Roots sought to explore cultural heritages, enrich the musical knowledge of performers and audiences, and create long-term future partnerships between musicians from very different musical backgrounds.
Road to Roots saw three UK musicians join Jordanian musicians from the Rum Group, a musical collective led by Tareq Al Nasser. Featuring joint working sessions and rehearsals, the project culminated in a concert in June 2012. Held in the British Council car park, the Mawqef concert was attended by approximately 1,000 people.
UK Film Week
With the aim of bringing the best of UK film to Jordan, the British Council collaborated with The Royal Film Commission and the Rainbow Art House Theater in March 2013 to organise a UK Film Week. We presented four recent British films based on popular English language books: Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and My Week with Marilyn.
A British Council graffiti art project, Outer Space, provided a group of 12 young Jordanian graffiti artists with an amazing opportunity to explore and express their creativity and imagination.
Led by acclaimed UK graffiti artist Stik, the project took place in the community of Jabal Al Qala’a in November 2012, in partnership with artist residency programme An Urban Reflection and the Creative Jordan: Platform for Visionary Ideas Festival.
Via a series of collaborative workshops, Stik encouraged the participating artists to learn from each other, and helped them to research, design and execute their artwork. The young Jordanian street artists developed their graffiti skills, while exploring different themes related to self-expression, identity, freedom, their connection with society and visions of the future.
After two weeks, over 20 works of art were displayed on the walls and store shutters around Jabal Al Qala’a as part of a special street arts exhibition. Find out more about the Outer Space project on the British Council's blog.