Rana Abdulla is a woman with a mission. A champion of human rights, Abdulla is passionate about arts and culture and committed to employing them to give voice to the oppressed.
Two years ago, she produced and directed Dancing Tragedies and Dreams, an evening of theatre and dance focused mainly on the cultural traditions of Palestine. On April 30th of this year, Abdulla produced and directed An Arab Heritage Celebration – two-and-a-half hours of dance staged at Prairie Theatre Exchange.
“It’s not always easy to live in a multicultural society,” says Abdulla. “We now live in a very confusing time. People are nervous about disclosing their national identity . . . We need art and culture to break through barriers – to generate understanding that words cannot express.”
Dynamic and colourful, Abdulla’s productions are a sumptuous feast for the eyes and the ears. They are intricate and sophisticated and most impressively, they are executed mainly by nonprofessional volunteers from the local community.
This year, children from Minnesota joined the Winnipeggers in mounting the production. I recorded the production, in collaboration with local graphic designer Ken Harasym and CKUW-FM’s Michael Welch. We hope you enjoy it.