WINONA, Minn. — The 2018-2019 Page Series will conclude with Winona artist Sharon Mansur’s “Dreaming Under a Cedar Tree 2.0,” an immersive evening of dance performance, art, food, and conversation with Middle Eastern flavor. Performances will take place Wednesday, April 24, and Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Page Theatre on the Saint Mary’s University Winona Campus.
“Dreaming Under a Cedar Tree 2.0” reflects upon Sharon Mansur’s Lebanese heritage, the complex and fluid nature of cultural identity, and the power of place in our dreams. A site-specific, reimagined version of the original event that premiered in fall 2017 at Outpost Winona, “Cedar Tree 2.0” integrates Mansur’s experiences during her first trip to Lebanon in spring 2018. Called “moving and transformative” by 2017 audience members, the immersive event will feature a solo dance performance by Mansur, visual elements contributed by a variety of artists and Mansur family members, Middle Eastern food, and an open discussion with audience members.
This will be the final installment in this season’s Cedar Tree Project, which saw an exhibition of Lebanese photographer Fadi BouKaram’s work as well as a performance featuring Mansur and dancers Leila Awadallah and Leyya Mona Tawil. The project offers Mansur, whose work was hailed as “visually creative” by The Washington Post, the opportunity to share her experience as an Arab-American and open dialogue with the Winona community. The performance aso takes place during Arab American Heritage Month, which ArabAmerica.com cites as an “opportunity to enhance understanding of the nuanced and diverse aspects of Arab American heritage that is often forgotten or intentionally avoided by the media.”
“We’re living in a time where there are challenging and complicated questions, misconceptions, and sociopolitical concerns regarding the Middle East and Arab-Americans,” said Mansur. “As an Arab-American artist I’m grateful for the opportunity to add to the conversation by sharing aspects of my Lebanese heritage, my family’s immigrant history, and my personal story through art, food, and dialogue.”
“Presenting 10 Cedar Tree Project events over the past eight months has helped us to foster among our community members a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the broad and diverse experiences of Arab and Arab-American artists,” said Theresa Remick, managing director of Saint Mary’s Performance Center. “It’s been so encouraging to see Winonans wholeheartedly embrace this project and to see how it has helped build local support for Sharon’s work and for modern dance.”
Tickets are $15, and can be purchased online at pagetheatre.org or by calling the Saint Mary’s Performance Center box office at 507-457-1715 (noon to 6 p.m., weekdays).
About Sharon Mansur
Sharon Mansur is a Lebanese American experimental dance and visual artist, educator, curator, mover, and shaker based in Winona. She is committed to dance as a transformational and healing catalyst for individuals and communities. Her performance/installation projects and dance films have been presented throughout the U.S. and abroad, and she is the curator of The Cedar Tree Project. Sharon was a guest artist at the 2018 International Dance Day Festival Lebanon (IDDFL) at the Lebanese American University in Byblos. She is grateful for the generous support she has recently received for her artistic projects and community engagement activities from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (2017), a Springboard for the Arts Hinge Arts Fellowship (2017), and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant (2018). She is also a 2018 Winona Fine Arts Commission Awardee and a 2018 McKnight Dance Fellow. Visit mansurdance.com to learn more.
About The Cedar Tree Project
Throughout the 2018-2019 Page Series season, The Cedar Tree Project explores cultural heritage, perceptions, and identity through the lens of Arab and Arab-American artists and invites people to develop deeper understanding and empathy through artistic exchange. Curated by Winona artist Sharon Mansur, events include dance performances, visual art installations and exhibitions, panel discussions, workshops, and community gatherings with Mansur and visiting artists. Visit pagetheatre.org/the-cedar-tree-project to learn more.
About the Page Series
Now in its 32nd annual season, the Page Series connects professional performing artists from around the globe with thousands of Winonans each year. With events at the Joseph Page Theatre on the Winona Campus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, as well as at locations throughout the Winona community, the Page Series offers dance, music, theatre performances, workshops, classes, and more that inspire, uplift, educate, and invite community members to discover the relevance of the arts in their daily lives. Visit pagetheatre.org to learn more.
The Cedar Tree Project is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.