Caracalla Dance Style
In 1968, Abdel Halim Caracalla founded what would evolve into the first and most prominent professional dance theatre of the Middle East, creating a body language based upon the Martha Graham dance disciplines blended with Arabic heritage, thus creating a unique "Caracalla Dance Style".
The Caracalla Family
The Caracalla family originated in the valleys of Lebanon, which is in the city of Baalbek, called City of the Sun by Alexander the Great. In Roman times, Julius Caesar erected three temples here, for Jupiter, king of the gods, Bacchus, god of fertility, wine and theatre, and Venus, goddess of beauty, and the Ancient Romans made pilgrimages there. In 198 AD, Rome was under the rule of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the famed Emperor Caracalla, who granted residents of Baalbek the great honour of Roman citizenship.
Two thousand years later, the Caracalla family remains rooted in the same city of Baalbek, and Caracalla’s descendants have chosen the arts as a way of continuing on with the legacy of their ancestors. Caracalla Dance Theatre’s current artistic director, Ivan, and choreographer, Alissar, are the son and daughter of the group’s founder, Abdel-Halim Caracalla. They carry Caracalla’s honour and glory on their shoulders, and together they have grown up with the theatre, steering it toward the artistic and creative avant-garde.
Sailing the Silk Road
In July 2016, the Caracalla Dance Theatre premiered its latest production Sailing the Silk Road
at the most prestigious arts and culture festival of the Middle East, the Baalbeck International Festival, with the participation of over 100 artists and collaborations with performers coming from China, India, Iran and Italy. Currently, the company is on its world tour.
Sailing the Silk Road
is inspired by the fascinating encounter of civilizations of the silk road and its historical account of great heroes, adventurers, thinkers and pioneers who had carved the communication highway of the ancient world and built a bridge of tolerance and understanding between the East and West, culminating in glorious achievements.
Throughout our history, artists have been the guardians of humanity and preservers of dreams, translating our identities through their creations and transporting it from one century to another, defining our human values from one era to another. Where would we be without art and artists? For without them there would be no creativity, and without creativity the light of humanity would go into extinction.
We in the West, love to think we are culturally far more sophisticated than the East, but for pure splendor ingrained with soul, Caracalla is an unprecedented joy.
I doubt the London stage has seen such textile beauty, such opulent headdresses, such marvels clashes of brocade and braid. Caracalla Dance Theatre have made their own bridge between East and West. Set ebulliently to Ravel's Bolero which sounds better than usual when played on Arabian instruments… better 2001 Caracallas than one Béjart.
These are people who don't want to imitate anyone.
Dream a little dream of dance; Lavish, energetic and spectacular!
The Washington Post
Caracalla Dance Theatre's played to standing-room only crowds over the weekend at the Kennedy Centre… In fact, the stage has never sparkled and throbbed as the Opera House did at Saturday's performance by this entrancing Lebanese troupe… Clearly, it's good to be king of the musical theatre world in the Middle East.
The company of dancers dressed in Abdel Halim Caracalla's fabulous costumes, stomped their way into our hearts by loving every minute of it. 2 Stars for Boris Eifman's Red Giselle, 3 Stars for Caracalla's Thousand and One Nights.
A contemporary dance form that blend the great of the Orient with the earthiness of Western modern dance… A new language of movement which fuses modern Western Traditions.
A performance with strong and shrill flavors, like the hues of the sky and the nature that makes Lebanon a credible hypothesis of the terrestrial paradise. The remarkable technique of dance acquired by the company of professionals, a natural harmony that links the dozens of ballerina present, involved in choreography; The result is a show of great emotional impact.
Il Meeting Notiziario
Caracalla Family, the driving force behind the Middle East's leading dance theatre… the dancers skim over the stage in one breath of surging humanity – we'd give our teeth to join in…
Costumes are sumptuous, with fabrics and designs sourced from all over the Arab world by Caracalla; every costume is handmade and unique, and shimmers with vibrant colours; dance sections by the company are infectious.
Scenario, Lyrics & Poetry: Abdel Halim Caracalla
Musical Advisor & Supervisor: Mohammad Reza Aligholi
Music & Costume Designer: Abdel Halim Caracalla
Scenographer: Giuliano Spinelli
Lighting Designer: Jacopo Pantani
Projection Designer: Sergio Metalli
China Opera and Dance Drama Theatre
Beijing Dance Academy
Participating Indian Choreographer: Astha Dixit
Indian Music: Vidhi Sharma, Ahsan Ali, Amaam Ali, Fateh Ali
Chinese Music: HA Silu
Opening Animation Sequence: Ali Noori Oskouei, Seyed Olyaee
Choreographer: Alissar Caracalla
Director: Ivan Caracalla