Play featuring Arab dishes is back on stage

28 de junho de 2016

São Paulo – The play “Salamaleque” is back on stage again for a short run starting July 16 in the city of São Paulo. Staged for the first time in 2013, the play innovated by promoting an immersion in the Arab culture through recollections. In it, the character Elizete, played by actress Valéria Arbex, recalls stories of Arab immigrants that came to Brazil while preparing Syrian cuisine dishes in a kitchen. At the end of a play filled with memories and aromas, the audience is presented with the dish prepared on stage.

Since the opening, “Salamaleque” received modifications based on the many stories of Syrian refugees that left their country due to the war started in 2011. “Three years ago we were talking about the Arab Spring, which also affected Syria, and we thought that there it would once end also. But, unfortunately, it hasn’t happened this way. Since then, we made subtle changes that portray the refugees, question intolerance, the look directed to the refugee and the features of the Arab culture that exist in the memory of people”, said the actress.

Valéria is the granddaughter of Syrian grandparents and still has relatives in their hometown Yabroud. She says that she decided to write “Salamaleque” after reading the love letters exchanged between her grandmother and grandfather when they were still dating. Based on these accounts, the text was written to portray several stories and features of the Syrian culture. To write the script, she interviewed several Arabs and noticed that many of the stories took place in the families’ kitchens. Thus, the play is staged in a kitchen.

Before the start of this new season, “Salamaleque” will be shown at the Paraty International Literary Festival (FLIP), in Rio de Janeiro state, this Thursday (29). After that, it will travel to the capital of São Paulo. “The play establishes identification not only with the Arab culture, after all everybody remembers a dish prepared by their grandmother, of a memory related to the kitchen”, says the actress.

“Salamaleque” was written by Alejandra Sampaio and Kiko Marques. The latter also directs the play with Denise Weinberg. Gastronomic advisory was provided by Graziela Tavares, with set and costume design by Chris Aizner, lighting by Guilherme Bonfanti and original soundtrack by Sami Bordokan and William Bordokan. The soundtrack was based on Syrian and Lebanese folk songs and is performed using traditional instruments such as the lute, similar to an acoustic guitar, darbuka, used in percussion, and nay, the Arab flute.

From July 16 to August 27
Saturdays, 6 pm. Duration: 60 minutes.
Tickets: BRL 50 (USD 15)
Eva Herz Theater, Livraria Cultura Conjunto Nacional, Avenida Paulista, 2.073, Consolação, São Paulo, SP
Phone: +55 11 3170-4059

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani