Lila is the Arabic word for night and is also the name of the liturgic ceremony manifested in a trance, as a process of healing and therapy, through a ritual of sensory immersion conducted by music (gnawa), incense, colour and dance. From sunset to dawn, seven colours are revealed, associated with different rhythms and stages of ecstasy. In LILA, Ayoub ElAyady, Khalid Boulhamam and O Morto summarily travel through the seven colours of the nocturnal ritual in all its scope – using both the form of tradition and electronic manipulation.
To contain the spread of COVID-19, in most Portuguese municipalities people are required to remain indoors from 11pm to 5am. During the six hours of a curfew, Teatro do Bairro Alto presented eight intimate pieces online – live-streamed or commissioned to help us face one of the longest nights in the longest of years. In Casablanca, London, Lisbon, Berlin or New York, music, images, words and gestures combine and take the shape of ritual and lecture, letter and gathering, flux and sleeplessness. Waiting for the days to grow longer again.