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Mediterranean Arts Festival - "Arlecchino, Servant of Two Masters"; Ink Painter Wilson Shieh; Film Review: "Knocked Up"; Fado Singer Cristina Branco (23 Oct 2007)


Kicking off last Friday, the month long Mediterranean Festival is bringing to local audiences a sampler of the region's finest art forms. There is fado from Portugal, Spanish flamenco, Italian comedy, Greek tragedy, Turkey's whirling dervishes, Egyptian dance, and North African music. From this Friday to Sunday at Shatin Town Hall, audience get the chance to laugh at one of Italy's classic comedies. "Arlecchino, Servant of Two Masters" is a three-act comedy written by Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni in 1753. It is a classic example of commedia dell'arte, a semi- improvisational genre that dates to the 15th century. We talk the lead actor of Arlecchino, Ferruccio Soleri,who's been performing the role for 47 years. Wilson Shieh works in the medium of gongbi drawing, a traditional Chinese painting style characterised by its meticulous brush work and highly-detailed depictions of human subjects, often scholars or women of high society. Gongbi was traditionally used to reinforce social hierarchy and gender roles. Wilson uses it to challenge gender conventions. He also has fun with the intricate lines traditionally used in realist depictions. In our film review this week Gary Pollard is talking to us about a romantic comedy with a difference, in which a not so perfectly matched couple try to figure out whether they can live together after a casual encounter in which she gets, in the film's words, "Knocked Up". The film's written and directed by Judd Apatow. Cristina Branco is one of a new generation of Portuguese singers who is taking a fresh approach to the art form of fado. "Fado" derives from the Latin word "fatum" or fate. And the songs are full of yearning, or "saudade". The origins of fado are a matter of debate. Some believe it's derived from the music of Portugal's former Moorish rulers. Others say it's inspired by slave music from Portugal's former colonies. Whatever its origins, fado was widely sung in the working class and poor areas of Lisbon by the mid-19th century. Today, it's recognised as Portugal's own national music, its soulful songs a regular feature of the country's cafes and clubs.

The Works
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
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