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Caracalla Dance Theater Takes ‘Jamil and Bouthayna’ to Jeddah

Caracalla Dance Theater Takes ‘Jamil and Bouthayna’ to Jeddah

Tuesday, 7 February, 2023 - 09:15
Ancient Nabataean carved rock tombs near AlUla. AFP

After AlUla, where the story of Jamil ibn Ma'mar and Bouthayna Bint Hayyan was born, and the Theater of Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, in June 2022, the Caracalla Dance Theatre plans to perform the Arabic epic love story of Jamil and Bouthayna in Jeddah, on “The Jamil and Bouthayna Theater” established by the ministry of culture.

Scheduled between 9 and 13 February at 9 pm, the five-show play is starred by Amal Bouchoucha (Bouthayna) and Samer Ismail (Jamil) alongside many esteemed figures including Huda Haddad, Joseph Azar, Simon Obeid, Gabriel Yamine, Aleco Daoud, and Saudi stars Abdul Nasser Al Zair, Abdul Hadi al-Shatri, Hassan Abdullah al-Ali, and Amal Ramadan.

Directed by Ivan Caracalla and choreographed by Alissar Caracalla, the show takes its spectators to a beautiful Arabic time, and tells the story of a pure love between Jamil and Bouthayna.

The couple’s first encounter in Wadi al-Qura started with a dispute that later turned into an eternal love bond.

People gossiped about the couple, the father of Bouthayna heard and the rage filled her tribe, so they had to separate. Old Arab traditions stated that a girl’s reputation lies in her beauty and decency, and a poet who hails her beauty in his poetry, would never be accepted.

The tribe of Bouthayna refused to start a clash with the tribe of Jamil, but when they failed to stop him, they pledged to hold him accountable and complained to the Wali, who decided to kill him.

Days passed and grief filled Jamil’s heart, the space of AlUla couldn’t contain his sadness especially after Bouthayna’s father decided to marry her to another man who’s accepted by her tribe. At the time, Jamil decided to leave to Damascus, to the palace of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, where poets and poetry are highly respected, and where he met the Umayyad poetry trio: Jarir, Al-Farazdaq, and Al-Akhtal.

Carrying his longing, bitterness, and wait, Jamil continued his journey, and travelled from Damascus to Egypt, leaving his heart in AlUla. He didn’t like the palace life he was granted in Egypt, and preferred spending times with the gypsies.

From the Nile Valley, he sent his will to Bouthayna, in AlUla, to say goodbye with poetry that immortalized their love.

Back to the present, to Saudi Arabia which has become an oasis of art and creativity with all the development, advancement, and knowledge, the new theater in Jeddah is set to host a large celebration that highlights the human unity embodying cultural diversities between nations.

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