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Palestine Circus Festival’s 'United for Freedom' opens in Ramallah

Sept. 30, 2018 12:45 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 30, 2018 2:48 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The second edition of the Palestine Circus Festival, entitled "United for Freedom," opened over the weekend in the central West Bank district of Ramallah, with the participation of about 200 local and international artists.

Palestinian officials, a representative of the European Union, representatives of international and local cultural and artistic organizations, municipalities and public and private institutions, as well as a large crowd, watched the opening ceremony, the Carnival and XY company show, held at the Istiklal Park.

The European Union Head of Cooperation, Alessandra Viezzer, said "Circus has long been a strong tool for self-expression, entertainment and storytelling around the world. It brings all people together, whether young or old. In Palestine, the EU is proud of being one of the main supporters of the Palestine Circus: the first to exploit the great potential of Palestinian youngsters in artistic productions."

Viezzer added "Today, we celebrate the opening of remarkable performances from Palestine and Europe. A joint European-Palestinian cultural partnership that is evident throughout. The EU believes that culture is the best vehicle for the people and their narrative. This is why we support culture in Palestine: to tell the Palestinian story."

The XY Company from France impressed the audience with the outstanding opening performance at Istiklal Park and performed its distinguished show "It is not Yet Midnight," a show about balance and perfection thus becomes one about imbalance and instability.

The opening event also included a daytime interactive show entitled “Petit" by the Frutillas Con Crema Company from Chile at al Bireh Cultural center, using acrobatic movements and different circus arts to encourage the audience to search for self in a small world of wishes.

The festival is organized by the Palestine Circus School in partnership with Nablus Circus School, with the support of the European Union, Consulate General of Sweden in Jerusalem, Swiss Drosos Foundation, Jawwal as the main sponsor, media sponsorship from Raya FM radio, advertising sponsorship from Sky Advertising, and in collaboration with many local and international partners.

The participants in the festival include international circus teams from Argentina, the United Kingdom, Chile and France with more than 12 performances.

The festival is scheduled to continue until October 6th and will be touring 32 locations that include Jerusalem, Ramallah, al-Bireh, Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem, Jenin, Tulkarm, Birzeit and refugee camps, along with the besieged Gaza Strip, as well as Amman, Jordan's capital.

Organizers of the festival, Palestine Circus School and the Nablus Circus School, said in a statement that "The festival aims at strengthening the social and physical creativity of Palestinians and to unite their talents with international groups under the circus arts and to integrate and enable them to become active members in order to highlight Palestinian identity and culture."

The Palestine Circus School, a non-profit organization, was founded in Ramallah in 2006 to teach and develop circus arts in Palestine. The school trains annually more than 230 students. Eight circus performances have been produced in 12 years for more than 108,000 audiences locally and abroad.

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