The flood-light Jerash Forum, packed with a large enthusiastic crowd, was the setting on Friday night for a highly memorable performance by the Family International. The four singers and five dancers in this volunteer group are, true to the group's name, from a wide range of countries including Denmark, Sweden, Australia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Indonesia and Malaysia. Following their Jerash performance, the group will head off for appearances in Gaza, and various venues in the Middle East and Asia.
With the fluid, sinuous movements of the dancers providing a dynamic backdrop, the talented group sang their way through a very varied program of Arabic and English songs with different themes and contrasted tempos.
The two up-tempo songs " Shater" ( an original Diana Haddad song ) and "Two Moons" ( an Amr Diab original ) were sung in a very original way which added a new dimension to these familiar pieces. The two Arabic songs, however, which caught the audience's patriotic ears were a "New Dawn" dedicated to King Abdullah II, and "A Big Heart" dedicated to his late father, King Hussein. The song "Zourooni" ( a Fairuz original ) marked the show's end, and as the enthusiastic applause died slowly away, the flame at the Forum's center flickered in silence for a few moments as a symbol of the festival's international mission.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )