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Dance Comic Strip

Dance Comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in panels to display brief humor and form a narrative of stories of independent dance artists based in Amman with text in balloons and captions.

Amman-based visual artist Xiaoman Ren spends her days creating fun comics that demonstrate what it is like to be a dance artist in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Why Comic Strip?


Scroll down to check out the amusing comic strips below, and follow Studio 8 on Instagram for more information. 

For many aspiring artists,

the dream is to follow their passion

– and make a decent living by doing it.

Until then, bills have to be paid somehow.

We have banker-dance-artists.

We have physician-dance-artists.

But many artists desire autonomy and flexibility

in their day job so they can focus on their passion.

Therefore, most Jordanian dance artist’s day job

often falls into two categories:

retail or food service.

With arts still considered

a “social taboo” in many quarters of the Jordanian society,

many dance artists feel that they need to careful

and always remain sensitive

to the viewers and their sensitivities

(e.g. how to behave, move, dress). 


The Jordanian performing arts are hampered

in their development by the small domestic market,

which cannot sustain a professionalised,

commercial performing arts industry. 


One artist said,

“There is nothing

that could be called

the Jordanian performing arts industry.

We have individual small successes,

but the performing arts sector as a whole;

that is a different story.”

Creativity is felt to be inhibited both by

(government) censorship and public disapproval,

frequently leaving dance artists wondering

“why to bother”.

People often cannot sustain

working as dance artists

for a relatively long period of time;

many eventually stopped their creative work.

These are two stories happened in 2019

in the context that overall the understanding

of the (performing) arts among audiences is very low.

Art is almost entirely absent from the curriculum

across the education establishment

(public/ private; primary/ secondary);

it is thought of as something on the side,

not taken seriously.

This means that young people

are only rarely exposed to art.

This is a real story.

The “request for help” type of email fraud took this form:

an email is sent requesting help in some way.

However, a reward is included for this help,

which acts as a “hook”.

The reward this time

looks like 4 dance performance tickets…

and one of our managers almost fell for it.

Nigerian Scam01

More are coming soon!

Hand Frame -- pencil drawing Hand Frame