Mercado Persa festival expecting 8,000 visitors
Featuring music, dance, workshops, lectures and an Arab products fair, the event will run from April 21 to 23 at the WTC Events Center in São Paulo.
São Paulo – Dance and music performances, workshops, lectures and a fair of typical Arab goods will be available to visitors at the 23rd Persian Market – International Arab Music, Dance and Culture Congress, slated for April 21 to 23 in São Paulo. Some 8,000 people are expected to attend. What started out as a celebration for Arab dance practitioners grew into a landmark event that brings world-class starts to Brazil every year.
As she worked out the last details for the 2017 edition, organizer Shalimar Mattar spoke with ANBA. She is the daughter of the event’s creator, the dancer Samira Samia, one of the Arab dance pioneers in Brazil. “Since 1995 we have organized the event every year,” says Mattar. “The first edition had 300 visitors. This year we hope to match last year’s result, with 8,000 visitors over three days of Mercado Persa.”
Attractions will be plenty. The event will span an entire floor of the WTC Events Center, in south side São Paulo. At once, four stages will feature dance performances, workshops, lectures, outfit parades and assorted contests, while an Eastern-style fair featuring 60 exhibitors will offer typical items – costume jewelry, accessories, CDs and DVDs, shishas, books, etc.
International exhibitors are also expected: “Every year we have a Moroccan artist who makes art using Arabic calligraphy. This year we are also expecting Egyptian exhibitors who’ll bring local products. At any rate, most of the products sold are from Arab countries,” explains Mattar.
Mostly focusing on dance and Arab music, the workshops will also be taught by foreign artists: a Syrian violinist has said he will attend, as well as a Russian doumbek player and a Ukrainian ballerina. “The Russians are on the rise in Arab dance,” explains the organizers, highlighting also the presence of a Brazilian ballerina that has been working for years in Saudi Arabia.
There will also be free lectures on topics such as healthcare, beauty and dances, among others. Mattar mentions also social projects, such as one focusing on breast cancer patients that use dance as a recovery tool.
“There will be a lot of art, dance, many things happening all at once,” says the organizer. “We have tours coming from throughout the country.”
Tickets are already on sale on the website www.mercadopersa.com.br, with prices ranging from BRL 65 (USD 20.54) to BRL 130 (USD 41.08) – the cheapest one, half-price, is for children up to 12 years old, elderlies over 60 years old, and students of Arab dances. Some workshops will be charged separately, but all lectures are free of charge for ticket holders. Tickets for Friday and Saturday night concerts are also sold separately.
Shalimar Mattar will also launch her book “Círculo Mulher” during the event with a book signing.
Mercado Persa – International Arab Dance, Art and Culture Congress
From April 21 to 23, 2017
WTC Events Center, Av. das Nações Unidas, 12.551 – São Paulo-SP
Tickets: BRL 65 (half-price), BRL 120 (full). Workshops and presentations are charged separately.
Phone: 55 (11) 5041-6103
<b>*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum and Sérgio Kakitani</b>