AUG 16 | From The Middle East
Battery Dance brings to light a selection of diverse dance-makers from Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran, Palestine and Lebanon in a program that challenges stereotypes and encourages the deepening of trust and mutual understanding. We take the opportunity of memorializing the life of Ayman Safiah who lit up stages around the world and was inspiring a new generation of young dancers when his journey was tragically ended earlier this summer.
HOEDY SAAD | LEBANON
Folk Vogue | World Premiere
Folk Vogue brings together the arts of voguing, belly dancing and Roma music to create and pioneer a unique dance video fusion. Hoedy creates a new wave of voguing in the middle east, arranging the costume and set/location as well as directing.
About the Artist
Twenty-five-year-old Hoedy Saad introduced Voguing as both culture and dance to the Lebanese dance and club scene. A self-taught dancer, choreographer and performer Hoedy started voguing in 2013 and introduced the House ballroom scene to Beirut in 2017. He has since performed on some of the grandest stages from Beirut to Amsterdam, and has been featured in various music videos as a dancer and choreographer. Hoedy practices as a full time Veterinary Doctor in his hours away from the dance world.
PROJECT TAG | IRAQI KURDISTAN / U.S.
A Call for Prayer | World Premiere
An invitation to make peace with our own chaotic selves.
About the Company
Project TAG is directed by Hussein Smko who hails from Erbil, the Kurdistan region of Iraq. “Alone With Hussein”, a film about Hussein by Home Alone Studios, which premiered alongside the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, inspired the foundation of his company. Project TAG grapples with the intersections of dance, theater and performance while exploring themes of religion, politics and war as a lived experience. Through its work, Project TAG seeks to challenge cultural stereotypes and advocate for international unity. Hussein is the recipient of Battery Dance’s Adel Euro Fellowship for Dancers Seeking Refuge.
TANIN TORABI | IRAN
Exploring social and cultural issues in Iran where dance is prohibited, a performer moves among the people in an old bazaar in Tehran, capturing their reactions.
About the Artist
Based in Iran and Ireland, Tanin Torabi (طنین ترابی) works in performance, choreography, and film. She holds degrees in Contemporary Dance and Sociology from the University of Limerick. Featured in festivals worldwide, Torabi’s recent works include The Dérive, Invisible Point, Ruby, Beyond the Frames and Immensity. She choreographed numerous theatre productions, most recently for “Powdered Milk” and “We Won’t See them Again.” Tanin performs and collaborates with international choreographers.
IN REMEMBERANCE OF AYMAN SAFIAH
Internationally renowned Palestinian dancer, activist, and artistic pioneer Ayman Safiah, dubbed the “Arab Billy Elliot” by foreign press, tragically lost his life at the young age of 29 after pushing a female friend to safety in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2020. During this evening, there will be screenings of various works and collaborations of Ayman’s in celebration, tribute, and remembrance of an artist who touched the lives of thousands around the globe and who challenged the world to always keep moving.
AYMAN SAFIAH | PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Between Two Worlds | U.S. Pemiere
Chronicles Ayman’s most recent co-creation with Leena Diab “Between Two Worlds” for Palestinian students at the Alamal Dance School in Nazareth.
Dawn | World Premiere
A short film co-created by Ayman with Modular Synth artist Raymond Haddad.
YAA SAMAR! | PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES / NYC
Samar Haddad King & Samaa Wakeem Remember Ayman | World Premiere
Various performances and features taken from Ayman Safiah’s 6 years of work with Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, interviews from former colleagues, and footage from his co-creation “Bread” with Sharon Hilleli.