|Culture & Art|
Aleppo Theatre narrates history of theatrical movement in Syria
DAMASCUS– The history of theatre in Aleppo dates back to the beginning of the 20th century in Saif al-Dawleh city as the artists used the shadow puppets art to expose the torment and suffering at the hands of the Ottoman valis and express rejection of their tyrannical practices.
The researcher in the affairs of Aleppo theatre, Mohammad Hilal Domlakhi, said that the Arab and foreign groups which visited Aleppo had great influence on establishing theatre as an artistic movement in Aleppo City which took the presentation of theatrical shows from halls to theatres built by Aleppo inhabitants in the first half of the 20th century such as the Arab School Theatre, the Farouqi School Theatre, al-Baleet Café Theatre, al-Nassr Café Theatre and the four theatres of al-Shahbandar.
In a statement to SANA, actor Omar Hajo said that Aleppo contains important theatres such as al-Lunpark Theatre where Sayyed Darwish, Um Kalthoum and Mohammad Abdel-Wahab presented their songs on its stage in addition to other theaters such as al-Azbakiyeh, al-Sahra and al-Sabah theatres.
Founder of al-Shook Theatre indicated to the importance of al-Hakawati Theatre since the beginning of the renaissance age side by side with al-Qodod and music concerts and the shadow puppets art coming from the Far East which played important role in reviving the artistic movement in Aleppo.
The real birth of theatre art was at the hands of artist Yousef Ne'amatullah Jad who presented the first theatrical show titled "Bridgitte" on the Maroni School Theatre in Aleppo in 1872, based on sermons and literature novels.
The artistic life in Aleppo flourished again in 1919 by Aleppo's finest writers and translators such as Basil bin Touma bin Jerjus Ayoub who established the Literature Club which was followed by many theatrical groups, the first of which is Eid Group and "Syria's Star" Group.
In 1919, artisit Abdel-Qader al-Shawa established the group of the Arab Islamic School in cooperation with Aleppo's best teachers such as Abdel-Wahab al-Sabouni, Wajeeh al-Refaai, Asaad Kwrani, Saleh Mardini and others.
The theatrical critic Abdei-Fattah Qalaaji said that the 20s and 30s of the twentieth century witnessed the foundation of several theatrical groups including Armenian youths who came from Cilicia to Aleppo in addition to establishing the National Acting Club in 1925 whose members comprise famous figures such as Amin Taj Eddin, Fahmi al-Haffar, Mahmoud Haqi, Ali al-Nasser and Moustafa Barmada.
The most influential group in the theatre art in Aleppo was the National Group for Acting founded in 1937 under the leadership of teacher Fateh Ghadanfar whose show was broadcast through the radio for the first time.
Artist Ghassan Maknasani said that the National Theatre which was founded in 1976 had a great role in enriching the theatrical movement in Aleppo.