For this year’s talk we meet storyteller Chrine El Ansary and musician Roy Smila in conversation with Fredrik Wandrup. How to be an artist, working and traveling across not just national boarders, but meeting, finding inspiration and collecting different stories, voices, sounds and feelings both in tradition and in our contemporary world? We get to know about their personal connection to Rumi’s poems and philosophy, and get an insight into their artistic life on the road.

About the participants:
Chirine El Ansary
Cairo born, and Le Coq and Goldsmith’s trained in Paris and London, Chirine El Ansary is a storyteller and physical performer living in Egypt and France, and working in French, English and Arabic. Chirine was one of the first performers to perform in the ancient buildings in the heart of the old city of Cairo, and in the markets and old palaces of Damascus and Aleppo. Today she is an international storyteller and has performed in cities diverse as Sana’a, Nairobi, Zanzibar, Johannesburg, Rome, Naples, Rotterdam and Paris… and made her mark in the UK at the Barbican and Soho theatres. Her work includes performances of The Arabian Nights; her remarkable adaptation of the Banu Hilal epic (premiered at the Barbican in 2005); experimental movement solos based on Italo Calvino’s prose; Sufi tales and performance poetry. She also works as a radio actress, featured in productions such as the Naguib Mahfouz trilogy, on BBC Radio 4, and recordings of her own storytelling for Radio Monte Carlo-Moyen Orient.

Roy Smila
Roy Smila was born in Israel in 1980, to an Indian mother and a Tunisian father. He started his musical journey at the age of 16, first playing ‘conventional’ instruments such as the electric guitar and bass guitar. Travelling the east, Roy was exposed to ancient ethnic instruments and started his musical journey of exploration. He studied oriental violin with world-renowned virtuoso Yair Dalal, and went on to study the lyra, a stringed instrument from the Greek island of Crete, at the school of internationally acclaimed artist Ross Dali.

In 2003, Roy encountered the Kamancheh for the first time, at a concert by Israeli artist Mark Eliyahu, who became his teacher of 4 years. Roy also studied with Mark’s father, Piris Eliyahu, a master and scholar of ancient oriental music.

Roy went on to learn with the great artist and internally acclaimed Kamancheh virtuouso Imamiar Hassanov of Azerbaijan.

Roy lives in Shaharut in the southern Israeli desert, and travels extensively on concert tours. He is also a member of ANNA RF and Arambolla.

Fredrik Wandrup
Norwegian journalist and writer, has been talking to the Rumi Festival’s artists since 2012. In the «Bokhammam» we get to know more about their writing, inspiration, background and thinking. Sometimes we also get to hear and see bits and pieces of poetry, music and storeytelling and Fredrik Wandrup is our guide through the program.