Caracalla is an internationally acclaimed dance company that has created a new language in dance by merging Western and Oriental techniques.
The company's international debut was at the Festival of Osaka in Japan in 1972. Since then, Caracalla has travelled extensively in North America and Europe as well as the Middle and Near East and Asia. Recognised today as the leading dance company in the Middle East, the company was founded in 1970 by Abdel Halim Caracalla who continues to be the artistic director of the company.
Caracalla has become a family enterprise as Caracalla’s daughter Alissar and his son Ivan serve as choreographer and director of the company, respectively. Caracalla currently supports a school for dance theatre with 1,200 students and tours with spectacular productions featuring up to 100 dancers.
Caracalla, the enterprising founder of the Caracalla Dance Theatre grew up in the 1940s and 1950s in the historic city of Baalbeck, Lebanon, which, in Greek and Roman times, was Heliopolis, the City of the Sun. As a child, he was entranced by the dance performances he managed to watch during the annual International Arts Festival held in the Roman ruins overlooking Baalbek. Slipping away from home, he would climb the rocks for a bird’s eye view. One day he saw a magnificent dancer in the Royal Ballet leap high in the air while spinning.
This gave the young child a dream to pursue. The problem was that his parents were insistent that he choose medicine for his career. A great believer in the power of fate and the need to follow the dictates of talent, Caracalla defied his parents and went to London in the 1960s to study with the famous American dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham.
Caracalla is passionate about celebrating the historic greatness of the Arab culture and bringing its heroes and their legendary feats to life through theatrical music and dance. His 2009 production, Knights of the Moon, was performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Arabesque Arts of the Arab World festival. The show featured sumptuous costumes in silk and velvet in gorgeous oriental hues against stunning backdrops of dunes and moonrises projected on screen. Caracalla’s works are choreographed with the fluidity of ballet juxtaposed or fused with the innovative dynamism of contemporary dance.
The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) presents Caracalla’s Sailing through Time in two performances: On Friday, May 19 at 7.30pm, and a matinée on Saturday, May 20 at 4pm. For further information and booking, consult the ROHM website www.rohmuscat.org.om