(Brussels, 1968) is rightly called a multitalent. She sings, acts, writes, dances and is a visual artist. Ghalia Benali grew up in Tunisia. At age 21 she came to Brussels to study graphic arts. She took with her the music from her youth and childhood days: from French chansons, Persian and Egyptian music to sung readings from the Koran. With her present theatrical tour she pays homage to the great Oum Kalthoum, assisted by Moufadhel Adhoum (üd), Vincent Noiret (double bass) and Azzedine Jazouli (Arabic percussion). The Egyption singer, who died in 1975 is still known today as the voice of the Arab world. 'Oum Kalthoum was my first musical school', says Ghalia. At age four she listened tirelessly to an LP record of 'Al Atlal', probably partly fascinated by the hypnotic spinning of the record. With her tour Ghalia Benali aims at bringing to life again the overwhelming emotion of the profound and authentic songs of the great Egyptian diva.(WU 2012)
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'She was my first school of music', says Ghalia Benali. At age four she listened indefatiguably to 'Al Atlal' by the great Egyptian diva, probably partly fascinated by the hypnotic turning of the LP... Now she pays a tribute to Oum Khaltoum at the festival. Ghalia Benali is accompanied by Moufadhel Adhoum (üd), Vincent Noiret (double bass) and Azzedine Jazouli (Arabic percussion).
In the square in front of the theatre there is De Kas. The whole evening Jeroen van Kan talks with writers at the festival for the VPRO radio programme De Avonden Live. Visitors are allowed to peek freely and listen in. In Dutch and English.
21.17: Bernice Chauly
21.35: Ghalia Benali
22.05: Bejan Matur
22.15: Rodaan Al Galidi and Chika Unigwe
22.35: Nazmiye Oral and Kader Abdolah
The Tunisian Ghalia Benali was raised in an artistic family, and she got acquainted early on with music and poetry from all parts of the world. French chansons, Indian musicals, and sung readings from the Koran determined her development as a grown-up singer. Her migration from Tunisia to Belgium was of a big influence to her. Her music takes the audience back to the sweet melancholy of her childhood.