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"If you don't like the world," advises pianist and composer Joelle Khoury, "create one".After a painter friend visited the institution, Khoury was inspired to create an audiovisual performance exploring the role art played in the lives of such women as Dalida, Marguerite Duras, Billie Holiday, Frida Kahlo, Oum Kalthoum, Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf, many of whom viewed their creative pursuits as an escape from harsh realities.Khoury was originally intending to pair her audio with live painting, but when her original collaborator pulled out of the project for personal reasons she decided to feature the painter in filmed recordings instead. Khoury turned to filmmaker Arzoumanian and contemporary baladi dancer Paulikevitch to work with her on putting together a multilayered, multidisciplinary performance. Working from Khoury's score, Arzoumanian assembled a film sequence using archival footage of the women featured in the audio, photographs of famous statues and artworks, footage of traditional baladi dancers (including one of Paulikevitch's teachers) and recorded footage of Khoury's actor and artist friends. As the pre-recorded audio and visuals play out on stage, Khoury and Paulikevitch will punctuate the performance with live piano music and dance.Working with Khoury's score is a new experience for a dancer used to moving to traditional music, but it's one Paulikevitch says he relishes.
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