In February 2015, Paula Jeanine Bennett traveled to the small market town of Sefrou, Morocco in the Middle Atlas mountains and participated in an residency coordinated by Culture Vultures, an arts hosting organization. Her folk opera, “A Village Of One” became “Village Dial Waheda” in the local language, darija. An ensemble of 12 rehearsed and subsequently performed in Sefrou (Town Hall/Baladiya), Fez (Arabic Language Institute Riad) and Meknes (Theater El-Mnouni). The work underwent a profound transformation with new songs, sections and cross-cultural adaptation. A choir of 7 women, a traditional Moroccan storyteller (Hakawati), a musical ensemble of oud, Andalous guitar and bendir drum and a regional monster (Boujloud) brought "Village" to life in a breathtaking way.
For more information, please visit avoomorocco.blogspot.com
"The silent solitude that women always felt and lived has finally found a voice, a sweet melodic echo that can now be sung and heard by many women that met "A Village Of One" and became a part of it. Proud to be one of them."
- Fatima Ouaryachi, ensemble member
Photographs by Otman Elyoubi