P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2004
Mexico's Premier Contemporary Dance Company to Perform at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) MASS MoCA's Cinema Lounge will present a double feature as part of the museum's "New Voices of Islam" weekend on Thursday, October 21, at 8 P.M. Our Times is an inspiring portrait of Iranian women's forays into politics by the outspoken director Rakhshan Bani Etemand. The film follows a group of female college students who campaign for a reformist candidate and a 25-year-old divorced mother who runs for president. The short film Covered Girls opens a window into the lives of Muslim-American teenage girls in New York challenging American stereotypes about this misunderstood culture. A discussion group will follow the films.Our Times (or Rusegar-e ma) is a docu-fiction piece which focuses on the lives of several Iranian women throughout the 2001 presidential elections. Iran's most respected feminist filmmaker, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, worked with two groups of women -- one old, one young -- to contrast the drastically differing political views. The younger girls support the incumbent president while the older women attempt to run for office despite being kicked off the ballot by the all-male government. The two story lines are tied together by Arezoo Bayat and her daughter who struggle to make a living in the turbulent political climate. Directed by Janet McIntyre and Amy Wendel, Covered Girls follows three Muslim-American high school girls, who wear the traditional full-length dresses and head scarves. Kiren coaches her high school basketball team, Amnah has a black belt in Karate, and Tavasha creates a CD of original rap songs. The three speak about prejudice, faith, and their post 9/11 experiences when pushed, threatened and even spat on. Rakhshan Bani-Etemad will attend the screening and participate in two discussions the same day. Before the film at 6 P.M. the role of women in the Muslim world will be the topic of a conversation with William Darrow, the Jackson Professor of Religion and chair of the department of religion at Williams College. Bani-Etemad will also take questions after the screening. Bani-Etemad is one of the leading female contemporary filmmakers in Iran, making films that focus on controversial topics, such as poverty, crime, forbidden love affairs, problems facing women, and questions about the traditions of society. Her international reputation and recognition continue to grow: in 1992, she became the first woman to receive the Best Director award at the Fadjr Film Festival. Other awards include the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno film fesitval for The Blue-Veiled (1995) and an award from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development in the Netherlands. Other events that weekend include What's Old is New: Making Islamic Stencils with Northern Berkshire Creative Arts on Saturday, October 23, and 1 P.M. and a Whirling Dervish Dance Party in Ann Hamilton's corpus on Saturday, October 23 at 8 P.M. All "New Voices of Islam" events are made possible in part by the Islamic World Arts Initiative, a program of Arts International generously supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, in collaboration with Dartmouth College's Hopkins Center for the Arts and Hood Museum of Art. To learn more about Dartmouth events visit www.dartmouth.edu/~hop/ Tickets forOur Times/Covered Girls are $6. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available in advance through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall St. in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.