Abdel Halim Caracall, the Lebanese creative artist from the City of Sun and history Baalbek, was BAU’s honoured guest at the "Success Story" organized by the Public Relations Department for the seventh year in a row in the presence of HE President Hussein Al-Husseini, Consultant to Prime Minister Saad Hariri Dr. Ammar Houri, BAU President Professor Amr Galal El-Adawi, and a crowd of artists and media figures as well as the guest’s friends and family along with BAU family and students.
As with every year, this event is an opportunity to highlight the successes of distinguished personalities. This year, Abdel Halim Caracalla, who received many appreciation and culture medals, engaged the audience with his personal and artistic experiences in which he transcended himself starting with heritage, being the main land and source of giving in search of the content and its dimensions to create an artistic form that is compatible with the subject. For Caracalla, content is not affected by time, contrary to form that constantly alters with time and generations.
In his poetic introduction of Caracalla, Poet Talal Haidar described him as the life-time friend, for they both come from Baalbek where they harvested the heritage seasons and wandered the temples together. Caracalla was worried about a body attracted by the earth, so he used body language to write a language that can only be comprehended by a body that walks on the water.”
“Caracalla sat with his destiny and together they sketched his creative career in the musical dance theatre across half a century starting with pole-vaulting upwards to jump over all stages towards the impossible,” Haidar continued.
In the form of a TV dialogue, the event was held in Jamal Abdel Nasser Hall and moderated by Director of Public Relations Ms. Zina Ariss. In her welcoming speech, she presented Caracalla’s most successful works, pointing out that “he watered all theatres with his sweat and effort for Lebanon to shine bright in the world.”
“Talking about Caracalla is but like wearing a perfume of pride with which we arm ourselves to any artistic and cultural event, ostentatiously boasting of an ingenious Lebanese who catered to his theatre as does loyalty to good land, and stood on the stage of life as a distinguished Lebanese name and a flag that hovers with creativity,” Al-Ariss continued.
Caracalla in his talk started with his career as an athlete who was the Arab countries’ champion pole-vaulter, representing Lebanon in international games several times. Then, he studied the history and science of dance theatre at the Marta Graham School in London and modern dance in Dijon in France (Hahie Lemon School). His band’s first launch was in the stadium of the Temple of Jupiter in Baalbek.
Regarding his works of art, Caracalla made it clear that he is inspired by “heritage, Arab history and tales of the East, from a Bedouin roaming the desert, where innate music emanates from the feet of a camel or horse on the desert sands, where King Hussein, the late King of Jordan who was greatly influenced by Caracalla’s 'Black Tents' which talks about Bedouin life, took care of the band’s tours in Europe and America.”
“If you are an artist, no one but you can access your own self to explore creativity through your heritage, identity, and location. If art doesn’t resemble us, it is worthless. We must evoke an art that looks like us and introduce it to the whole world," Caracalla continued.
Concerning stardom, he maintained that “it is very important to convey our civilization to the world but in a contemporary form, a dialogue between the past and the present. We must explore history for themes that affect the world and contain humanitarian lessons, highlighting Lebanon’s bright image in the Arab civilization and in the course of knowledge.”
With respect to his family, Caracalla talked about how he developed the sense of land and heritage in his son and daughter, and how the family work together to create a dance show, with each playing key roles in the artistic team. His daughter Elissar takes charge of designing the dance and his son Ivan directs all of the elements into a theatrical format.
As for his ambition and future message, Caracalla pointed out that “I should not stop. I love to create all that is different and uncommon; ambition without knowledge has no value. The artist should have a humanitarian content in his creation and structure of the musical dance theatre. I want to transcend myself in every work and look for new horizons in themes, melodies and music distribution.”
The meeting concluded with President El-Adawi presenting BAU honorary shield to Caracalla as a token of gratitude and appreciation of his efforts and contribution.