Dance films by Palestinian and Palestinian-American artists
Hosted by Fidget
This program includes dances for the camera by four Palestinian and Palestinian-American artists and companies who live and work in the U.S. and The Levant. During the pandemic many choreographers began making dance films as a way to share their work. Palestinian artists–who often don’t have access to their collaborators or audiences due to frequently closed checkpoints and denied visas–have been experts at remote and digital collaborations for years.
The participating artists, Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre (with Samar Haddad King, Artistic Director and Zoe Rabinowitz, Executive Director), Mette Loulou von Kohl, Leila Awadallah, and Aya Razzaz make films that address their identities in the Palestinian diaspora, and their relationships to land. Their work, while aesthetically diverse, contains threads of viscerality and dream-like qualities. The longest of the four works is Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre’s 3 X 13–co-created and directed by Eimi Imanishi– includes 12 narratives, 8 countries, and 5 languages, as each participating artist recounts a journey that changed the path of their lives.
The dance filmmakers will either be present to talk about their work in-person, or they will share their process in a prerecorded talk.
Program A, 7:00pm:
Athar Jiddo by Aya Razzaz
GREEN: An Uprising, An Intifada by Leila Awadallah
not-yet-titled by Mette Loulou von Kohl
Program B, 8:30pm:
3 x 13* by Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, co-created and directed by Eimi Imanishi
Aya Razzaz (she/her or they/them) is a performance artist, choreographer and filmmaker whose work ties the exploration of personal, communal, and intergenerational histories. She excavates verbal and somatic stories from the occupation of Palestine, the Syrian refugee crisis, and various liberation movements in the Arab world. Focusing on the embodied experiences of displacement, occupation, and incarceration, and how these experiences are inherited through the body, Aya’s solo and community based works invite the audience to witness and fall into various states of kinesthetic empathy.
LeilAwa [Leila Awadallah] (she/her) is a Palestinian American dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker based between Minneapolis and Beirut. She is the founder of Body Watani dance project and practice. Her works emerge from physicalized reflections and questions around the notion of body-as-homeland by integrating lands, ancestors, and embodied memories with traditional Arabic dance forms and historical / present day engagement with both political and settler colonial impacts on bodies / movement / spaces / places.
Mette Loulou (she/her) was born from the orange at the center before the new world came. She is a queer femme, of Lebanese/Palestinian and Danish ancestry. She has lived in New York, Romania, Morocco, Denmark and England. Mette Loulou is fascinated by the intersection between her personal identities as a jumping off point to reveal, dismantle and rebuild realities and dreams. She grapples with her past to complicate and better understand her present. Mette Loulou weaves movement, words, and objects into the exploration of her embodied histories. She exists in two places at once.
Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre creates invigorating performance and education programs that expand access to–and promote understanding through–the arts, rooted in the belief that art should be liberating, transformative, and accessible to all. The company operates out of the United States and Arab World and is committed to uniting diverse artists and audiences in the creative process.
Samar Haddad King, Artistic Director, YSDT (3 x 13 co-creator, choreographer)
Samar Haddad King is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA program in NYC. Her work has been commissioned throughout the US, Europe and Arab World. She was the 2015 recipient of the Prix des Jeunes Créateurs Palestiniens pour la Diversité des Expressions Artistiques at the Palest’In & Out Festival in Paris, 2018 resident artist at Chaillot – théâtre national de la Danse (Paris), 2019/20 Resident Fellow at The Center for Ballet and the Arts (CBA) at NYU and 2021 Toulmin Creator (CBA/National Sawdust). Samar frequently collaborates on theater and musical theater productions, and lectures on her transnational, cross-disciplinary work.
Zoe Rabinowitz, Executive Director, YSDT (3 x 13 performer, project manager)
Zoe Rabinowitz graduated from the Walnut Hill School for the Arts before earning her BFA in Dance from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program, with additional studies at De Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in the Netherlands. She has performed with various artists throughout NYC and nationally. Her own work for stage and film has been presented throughout the US, and abroad in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Mexico, and South Korea.
This event is sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace-Philadelphia (JVP-Philly) and produced by Nicole Bindler.
*3 x 13 was first developed at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU (where Samar Haddad King was a 2019/20 Resident Fellow), and is supported in part by the A.R.T./New York Relief Fund for NYC Small Theatres, Dance/NYC’s Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund, NYC Covid-19 Response and Impact Fund in the New York Community Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, and Takatof Grant for Palestinian Cultural Institutions as part of the A.M Qattan Foundation in Collaboration with Al Mawred Culture Resource.
Advance tickets strongly recommended.
They Exist in Two Places
Friday, March 25, 2022
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Fidget, 1714 N. Mascher Street, Philadelphia
Information & Tickets: https://www.thefidget.org/upcoming/they-exist-in-two-places-at-once
This event is for vaccinated and masked audiences. Please be up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations as determined by your eligibility/age category. Vaccine cards (or photos of them) will be checked at the door. Windows will be open for ventilation.
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