On October 6, 2018, I performed The PlaygroundwithYaa Samar! Dance Theatre: a multi-channel video installation and live durational performance which examines the role of games in popular culture to normalize war and violence. Featuring video footage from the American war in Iraq, the US/Colombia '94 World Cup match, and an xbox gaming station alongside four live performers stationed in cell-like rooms subjected to music torture techniques used on prisoners at Guatanamo Bay, The Playground invites audience members to question their own role as an observer in this context; at what point does their participation implicate them in the action of the game? This five-hour installation was performed as part of the 2018 Nuit Blanche Brussels festival.
Last Ward Preview Performances
A new evening length performance by Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre. Last Wardfollows one man's journey towards death in a hospital room. Surrounded by the sterile mechanisms of modern medicine, the patient reflects on his life, relationships and connection to place, as the ritual of doctor visits and family calls merge with his imagination into a surreal landscape of tragedy and humor. Written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, with choreography and music by Samar Haddad King, Last Ward blends dance and theater (in Arabic with English subtitles) in a highly-visual evening length performance. Preview performances took place in August, 2018 in Jerusalem and Haifa.
YSDT Residency at Chaillot Theatre in Paris
YSDT continued the creation process of our new evening-length dance theatre work, Last Ward, during La Fabrique Chaillot, a five week creative residency period in Paris. Last Ward follows one man's journey towards death in a hospital room. Surrounded by the sterile mechanisms of modern medicine, the patient reflects on his life, relationships and connection to place, as the ritual of doctor visits and family calls merge with his imagination into a surreal landscape of tragedy and humor. Written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi and choreographed by Samar Haddad King with Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre and guest artist Khalifa Natour, Last Ward blends dance and theater (in Arabic with English subtitles) in a highly-visual evening length performance.
YSDT residencies in Colorado and NYC
This Spring I joined YSDT — with company members from Palestine in the US to collaborate for the first time — for the launch of a new creative process during residencies at the Dance Initiative Residency in Carbondale, CO, April 6 - 13, 2018, and Baryshnikov Arts Center Residency in New York, NY, April 16 - 21, 2018. Click here to read and listen to coverage on our Colorado residencies in the local news!
Clouds, bird, boat (while loop I)
This new dance film, created with and inspired by photos by A-CHAN, was made in collaboration with Galen Bremer and Stephanie Sutherland, with choreography and performance by myself. The piece was featured as part of Sky and Cloud / Winter Spring, a photography exhibit by A-CHAN at +81 Gallery in SoHo, New York, February 15 - March 16, 2018.
Weft at Cucalorus Festival
Weft investigates how we weave our personal narrative from the people, places, and communities we come to know throughout our lives. Developed in residencies in the U.S and abroad through site-based improvisation, dance for camera, and studio practice, this multi-media solo work incorporates movement, music, film projection, and textiles in an intimate live performance that attempts to unravel the thread of one artist’s journey. Original score by Galen Bremer. World premiere on November 8, 2017 at Cucalorus Festival, Thalian Theater in Wilmington, NC.
Seoul Dance Center Residency
October 16 - November 2 2017, I was an artist in residence at the Seoul Dance Center in South Korea for the development of Weft, a multimedia collaboration with composer/videographer Galen Bremer. During this time I also offered a series of workshops for movers of all levels at SDC, and for pre-professional dancers at the Ewha Dance Academy in Incheon. You can view more photos of my time in Seoul here.
YSDT Workshops and Lecture Presentations
Throughout the month of September 2017, Artistic Director Samar Haddad King and myself offered a series of workshops and lecture/presentations at Drew University (Madison, NJ) and Fordham University (Bronx and Lincoln Center campus). These programs focused on YSDT's work redefining and reclaiming space in conflict zones through artistic projects.
Against a Hard Surface
Against a Hard Surface, an evening-length work by Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, asks what happens to a group of people isolated from the rest of the world by a wall. Created by theatre director Amir Nizar Zuabi and choreographer Samar Haddad King, Against a Hard Surface is a portrayal of human resistance and resilience in a dystopian landscape. World premiere: April 29, 2017, Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival. Additional performances: Al-Hakawati Theatre, Jerusalem (May 3, 2017), Krieger Center, Haifa (May 4, 2017). European premiere: June 6-8, 2017, Theater der Welt Festival in Hamburg, Germany.
Against a Hard Surface is a production of Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre and supported by the A.M Qattan Foundation/ The Qattan Grant for Performing Arts 2016 and Covillo Lynch Foundation, and co-produced by Sareyyet Ramallah in partnership with the Palestinian Museum.
In collaboration with composer Galen Bremer, this three week residency at the Marble House Project in Dorset, VT, provided space for the preliminary investigation of a new work entitled Weft, a multimedia solo based on the mythology and practice of weaving. A work-in-progress performance of the work was shared on September 13, 2016, at Marble House Project's Art-SEED performance series.
CUNY DANCE INITIATIVE Residency and Showing
In collaboration with Khaled Barghouthi, this month-long residency provided space for the development of a new work entitled MarchIn at Lehman College in the Bronx. Inspired by the camera movements of handheld video footage, and the implications of living through, and witnessing via video, various traumatic incidents, this process involved site exploration, video projection and a studio showing for students on August 30, 2016.
Harrisburg Dance Festival
On June 25 and 25, 2016, know you screened at the first annual Harrisburg Dance Festival in Harrisburg, PA, with live performances on June 26th at the Susquehanna Art Museum, featuring the solo version of be-seek-let (pictured) and Wardrobe of Choreography, Outfit #1 by Emma Hoette, in collaboration with Zoe Rabinowitz and Jessie Young.
Archaea for the Evergreens
Inspired by the Evergreens Cemetery on the Brooklyn/Queens border, Anne Zuerner's Archaea for the Evergreens, brings together abstract, spiritual and scientific ideas surrounding life and death through a large-scale, site-based work. Performed by: Martita Abril, Chris Braz, Sara Gurevich, Ainesh Madan, Penelope McCourty, Jenna Purcell, Phoebe Rose Sandford and sixth grade students from the MS 358 Dance Company on Saturdays and Sundays from May 22 - June 11, 2016. Music by: Galen Bremer. Rehearsal Director: Zoe Rabinowitz. Photo by Whitney Browne.
be-seek-let is a duet for a dancer and bicycle that investigates the relationship between human and apparatus. In a world that blurs the line between animate and inorganic, this work reimagines the connection between human and environment. be-seek-let is set to an original score by Galen Bremer, and was created with support from Women in Motion and the Manhattan Community Arts Fund. Performed on June 7, 2016 at the 15th Annual New Dance Festival in Daejeon, South Korea. Photo by Galen Bremer.
Modern Dance Workshops
Modern dance and improvisation workshops for students at Chungnam University and META Dance Company members in Daejeon, South Korea from May 31 - June 4, 2016.
Alongside+ is an international collaboration with Won Kim, Young Hoon Oh, and Tim Motzer, performed at the Arko Arts Theater as part of the International Modern Dance Festival (MODAFE) in Seoul, South Korea on May 27 and 29, 2016. Alongside+ deals with the understanding and consideration that are the prime value for the people in the world. It explores the sharing of recognition that comes out of the exchange among people based on individual free thinking. Also, the work suggests an example of horizontal, not vertical, relationship among people.
Inspired by a cemetery on the Brooklyn/Queens border, Anne Zuerner's Archaea brings together abstract, spiritual and scientific ideas surrounding life and death. This work is a re-envisioning of a large-scale, site-based work that will premiere at the Evergreens Cemetery in Spring 2016. Performed at Triskelion Arts, February 6 & 7, 2016. Choreography by Anne Zuerner. Performed by Sara Gurevich, Jenna Purcell, Zoe Rabinowitz and Anne Zuerner. Music by Galen Bremer. Photo by Steven Schreiber.
Work in progress performances with Sara Gurevich at Triskelion Arts, part of the WAXworks Showcase on January 3, 2016, and Eden's Expressway, as part of Movement Research's Open Performance Series on December 22, 2015.
A duet for two dancers and two bicycles choreographed by Zoe Rabinowitz. Performed by Lena Lauer and Zoe Rabinowitz from May 21-24, 2015 at the West End Theatre as part of the Soaking WET Series. be-seek-let was commissioned by Women in Motion and supported in part by public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.