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Fragen zu Crossing Borders

1. Was bedeutet Al-halqa?


Al-halqa is a public gathering in the form of a circle around a performer or a
number of performers in a public space, be it a marketplace, a medina gate or a
newly devised downtown square. The required space is not a specific space and
the timing of the oerformance is random. No fourth wall with hypnotic fields is
erected between stage and auditorium. Any marketplace or medina gate can be
transformed into a stage; the entire circle is a playing area. It is a space of
popular culture that is open to all people. It hovers between high culture and low
mass culture, sacred and profane, literacy and orality.
2. Inwiefern trgt Al-halqa zur Konstruktion einer marokkanischen
Identitt bei?
Al-halqa has been a vital source of artistic delight and entertainmennt in all ist
diversity, as well as means of constructing cultural identity. Besides ist aesthetic
aspects as a performance event, it is a medium for providing information an
circulating social energy, a social drama an a subsidiary school whose syllabus is
as fluid as ist rich repertoire. In sum, al-halqa contributes tot he representation of
histrorical consciousness and cultural identity, through formulaic artistic
expression.
Given al-halqas capacity to implicate Others, it negotiates the differing
relationships among ist participants. And in the process, it reformulates cultural
values and self-knowledge as it engages ist audience in a constant game of roleplaying. The performance imbues the human actionns oft he narratives with a
heightened potential to shape, reflect, and mirror cultural identity.

3. In welcher Weise diente Al-halqa als Anregung von postkolonialen


Dramatikern wie Tayeb Saddiki?
After a brief period of passive appropriation of Western theatrical models (from
the 1920s until the early 1960s), Moroccan postconial dramatists established a
dialogue with al-halqa and eventually shifted it tot he space of dramatic writing.
Saddiki pioneered this new dynamic with a play entitled Diwan sidi abderrahmma al-majub in 1965.
Saddiki is part of the festive theatre movement which is related to cerem ony
and festivity. Indeed, Saddiki is considered the first festive theatre director to
revolt against the Western tradition and ist closed theatrical building. Saddiki
benefited from the first wave of theatrical training in the first training center in
Morocco fort he practice of theatrical art, supervised by two Frech artists. He then
moved to France for further theatrical research. After his return to Morocco he
realized that the plays that he had adapted, translated or Moroccanized were
not projecting his deeply rooted festive instincts and finally disavowed the
Western model.
Tayreb Saaddikis theatre is an expemplary first instane of hybridity in festive
theatre. After consumin numerous adaptations from the Western theatre, he
inaugurated a new approach to theatre-making in Morocco. The play Diwan sidi

abder-rahman al-majjdub represents the emerging festive theatrical enterpreise


in postcolonial Morocco; it is on the borderline between Western theatre and
Moroccan pretheatrical forms. For the first time in the brief history of Moroccan
theatre, Saddiki transposed al-halqa as an aesthetic, cultural, and geographical
space into a theatre building, the space oft he Western Other.
Diwan sidi aber-rahman al-majdub is a play conceived in an open public place. Ist
opening refers us to ist hybridized formation through ist persistent reflexivity, a
device that holds up the mirror tot he performance itself. The plays structure is
circular rather than linear. Onstage actors transcibe the circular form of al-halqa
through a series of acrobativc games and body language. They play audience for
each other as the narrator (the storyteller) gives space to his little halqa. Saddiki
s al-halqas are semicircular rather than circular, espressing his tendency fto
engage the audience inn thhe making of spectacle rather than having them
hypnotiued in a Western bourgeois auditorium divided by a fourth wall.

In fact, Saddikis appeal for a universal theatre at the outset oft he play is part of
a strategy of resistance and confirmation of Moroccan theatrical difference.
Saddiki makes a a space for a new theatrical tradition in Morocco that retrieves l
bsat as an old Morrocan performance behavior that incorporates much oft he
halqas performative techniques, and transposes it not only into the present but
also to the stage building. Here, Saddikis negotiation of lbsat is genuiely
hybridized with other universal theatrical traditions. He invokes international
theatrical traditions, bringing to the fore a universal theatrical genealogy into
which he incorporates his present practice of lbsat, which is based on action and
narrration.
4. Wie bewertet der Autor die Verlagerung der Al-halqa in
Theatergebude?
The autors main objectives in this article are highlighting al-halqas theatricality
as a performance space and critizising its transposition to the stage building, a
transposition that has intensified al-halqas hybridity and performative yet ironic
double effects.
The transpostion of al-halqa to a theatre bulding reveals an unexamined
indecison. Such indecicion i spart oft he predicamente oft he Moroccan
postcolinal subject, a subject who finds himm/herself constructed at the
crosssroads of differnt narratives: the Western and the local.
Postcolonial theatre has boldly come to terms with the hybrid condition oft he
Moroccan subject who cannot exist oftherwise, due to the traumatic wounds that
were inflicted by the colonial enterprise.
The transfer of al-halqa to the stage constitues a positve oscillation between
opposites insofar as it bridges the gap of bipolar opposties by arrying them.
Saddiki and Sghits theatres exemplify this marriage between East and West,
past and present, traditional and modern.
5. Wie bewertet der Autor davon ausgehend den kulturell hybriden
Status des marokkanischen Theaters?

The autor criticizes that the western theatre is seen as the unique model that
should be imitated and reproduced in other words: there is no other theatre but
the Western one. However, despite the illusionn of boundedness, historically,
theatre evolves through mimetic borrowings and appropriations cultural
exchanges. There is no theatre in isolation. The Western theatre itself is a hybrid
model. Furthermore, theatrical art is a hybrid medium that necessiates a
transformation of somethin written into an acoustic and visual world.
The result is a third space, a hybrid construct that fuses Self and Other, East and
West, popular and mmodern, and all other bipolar opposites that the hybridized
mind imagines to have existed before.
The Moroccan theatre today is construed within a liminal space, on the borderline
between different tropes. It cannot exist otherwise,, for it juxtaposes differen
heterogeneous enities only to emerge as a hybrid drama that is spaaced between
East and West. It is a fusion of Western theatrical tradition and the local Arabic
performance traditions. The hybrid nature of Moroccan theatre is manifested in
the very transporsition oft he halqa from Jema el-fna to modern theatre buildings.
Hybridity characterizes the postcolonial conditionn of Moroccann theatre today.
Moroccan theatre is a hybrid theatre, par excellence. It is no longer an imitation
oft he western theatre, or a pre-theatrical form. Instead it is a new hybidized
theatrical tradition that is obased on transposition of all that ued tob e conceived
o fas pre-theatr tot he theatre building.