Ya Beirut

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Statement:

After the 2020 Beirut explosion happened on the 4th of August, artists in Jordan are saddened by these events.

We want to send our condolences for the loss of lives and our shared concern for the scale of material destruction.

With the guidance of creative members of Jordanian deaf community and their supportive circle, after two-month intensive rehearsals, a dance performance is created as our statement to express that we will remain by the side of Lebanese people to continue our collective work during these challenging times.

Signatories

Anas Abunahleh, Sanad Abu Assaf, Aya Nabulsi, Obada Asse, Hasan Alresheq, Arthur Tainturier, Abd Al Hadi Abunahleh, Xiaoman Ren

ÔÇťAfter Beirut explosion, my co-creators who works closely with Jordanian deaf community and I experimented to combine contemporary dance with United Arabic Sign Language (Al Arabi Al Muwahad), into a performance set to a song which expresses our solidarity with the Lebanese people for the tragedy that has struck the city of Beirut.ÔÇŁ

 

ÔÇö Anas Abunahleh (Choreographer)

ÔÇťAfter Beirut explosion, my co-creators who works closely with Jordanian deaf community and I experimented to combine contemporary dance with United Arabic Sign Language (Al Arabi Al Muwahad), into a performance set to a song which expresses our solidarity with the Lebanese people for the tragedy that has struck the city of Beirut.ÔÇŁ

 

ÔÇö Anas Abunahleh (Choreographer)

Cast:

  • Concept: Sanad Abu Assaf, Anas Abunahleh, Aya Nabulsi
  • Producer: Studio 8 & Al Muthana
  • Choreographer: Anas Abunahleh
  • Sign language interpretation: Al Muthana
  • Dance: Obada Asse, Hasan Alresheq Movement consultant: Abd Al Hadi Abunahleh
  • Film maker: Arthur Tainturier
  • Photography: Xiaoman Ren, Reema Shatat, Arthur Tainturier

ÔÇťVery much moved by the performance (and the song). On my way to Beirut!┬á

I’ll have the song in my head!ÔÇŁ

 

ÔÇö Audience

Why Sign Language?

This production is initiated by Sanad Abu Assaf, founder of al Muthanna Project (dual in Arabic), which is a project working on the duality of the Arabic language and the Arabic Sign Language in the art and cultural scene.

The idea behind al Muthanna is making an accessible performances that respects both Arabic and Arabic Sign Language and shows the best in both in order to open new doors on how people see and perceive art projects dedicated to promote the right of engagement of people with disability in Jordan.

After Beirut explosion, Sanad Abu Assaf, together with Aya Nabulsi, the Executive director at Al Balad Theatre met with Abd Al Hadi Abunahleh, choreographer, co-founder of Studio 8, and discussed possibility of creating a dance piece which is inspired by the creation of sign language: the desire to communicate is the primal spark that drives people to sign language; the longing to seek to bring oneself out of the darkness that is imposed up by varies limitation. ÔÇő

Meanwhile, they are trying to push the boundaries of sign language and maximize its spatial and temporal qualities and create an outstanding choreography that bridges the gap between hearing and deaf audience members.

ÔÇťThank you so much for this choreographic statement in support of Beirut!┬á

It is very touching. 

I am intrigued by sign language and to see it part of a dance movement is very powerful.ÔÇŁ

 

ÔÇö Audience

The Music

The chosen music of this production is Beirut Set El Donya (ÔÇťBeirut is the Mistress of the WorldÔÇŁ) by Lebanese singer Majida El Roumi, which is described by many that its lyrics and melody remain immortal in the hearts of Lebanese people.

Ya Beirut
Ya Beirut…Lady of the World
We confess to the God alone:
We you made us jealous
And your beauty hurt us
We confess now:
We were not fair to you nor merciful
We did not understand you or excuse you
We presented you a knife instead of a rose
We confess to the just God:
We injured you and made you tired
We burnt you and made you cry
We burdened you oh Beirut with our sins
Ya Beirut
The world is not enough
We now know your roots are part of us
We now know what our hands had committed
Rise…Rise…Rise
Rise from under the rubble
Like an almond’s rose in spring
Rise from your sorrows….Rise
Revoulution is born from sorrows womb
Rise from under the rubble
Rise for the love of forests
Rise for the love of rivers
Rise for the love of rivers, valleys… and man
Rise for the love of man
Rise oh Beirut ….Rise
Revolution is born from sorrows womb
Ya Beirut….Ya Beirut

ÔÇťWe went through a challenging yet most rewarding journey to try to understand the varied nuances of deaf community and their supporters, from an ÔÇťoutsiderÔÇŁ view of the deaf cultural group of Jordan.ÔÇŁ

 

ÔÇö Anas Abunahleh (Choreographer)

ÔÇťWe went through a challenging yet most rewarding journey to try to understand the varied nuances of deaf community and their supporters, from an ÔÇťoutsiderÔÇŁ view of the deaf cultural group of Jordan.ÔÇŁ

ÔÇö Anas Abunahleh (Choreographer)

100 Hours Practice

Both of the performers of this piece, Obada Asse, Hasan Alresheq, are hearing, being the opposite of deaf.

They memorize the signs used in this piece but they are not able to understand fully of meanings of each sign, nor could they tell the subtle difference of meaning, expression of communication with signs.

With the constant guidance of Sanad Abu Assaf, sign language interpreters, members of the deaf community, choreographer, Anas Abunahleh, and the two performers went through a four-month-journey.

While maintaining the recognizability of the signs and dance figures/phrases, they experimented, rehearsed, and practiced more than 100 hours intensively to create this 5 minutes dance work.

This production was realized as part of a talent incubation program,┬áÔÇťChoreography Creation CampÔÇŁ (CCC) . The production process of “Ya Beirut” was detailed explained to all 23 participants of the incubation program, as a case study by Anas Abunahleh.

A series of exercises related to Anas’ conceptualization, movement experiment, movement composition are practiced among all CCC participants.

On 25th of September, 2020, an-in-progress performance of this piece was presented to all CCC participants in Studio 8 dance lab. The performance was released online on the 4th of December of 2020, marking the 4-month-anniversary of Beirut Blast.

Project “Ya Beirut” has been realized as part of ÔÇťChoreography Creation CampÔÇŁ (CCC) organized by Studio 8, with the support of Drosos Foundation, EUNIC Jordan and European Union in Jordan.

What is CCC?

CCC is a pilot version of a talent incubation program that supports emerging local young choreographers, dance makers, performance directors to sustain their individual or collaborative creativity, and, in the process, finding new ways to be connected with their audiences.

To know more about CCC program, click on the big C button below. Get digital access to the teaching manual of CCC program, click on the on the big M button below.

Project “Ya Beirut” has been realized as part of ÔÇťChoreography Creation CampÔÇŁ (CCC) organized by Studio 8, with the support of Drosos Foundation, EUNIC Jordan and European Union in Jordan.

What is CCC?

CCC is a pilot version of a talent incubation program that supports emerging local young choreographers, dance makers, performance directors to sustain their individual or collaborative creativity, and, in the process, finding new ways to be connected with their audiences.

To know more about CCC program, click on the big C button below. Get digital access to the teaching manual of CCC program, click on the on the big M button below.

Feedback

helpful information that is given to emerging dance makers of what can be done to improve a dance piece.

 

ÔÇťI watched this video on mute. Because if we want to create a performing piece for deaf people. we have to act like them.ÔÇŁ

ÔÇťI liked it a lot.ÔÇŁ

ÔÇťI liked the rhythm of the moving bodies, the minimalism of all the performance and the message trying to send.ÔÇŁ

ÔÇťAs a hearing person, I feel that I would want to know more about members of the deaf community and I believe there is a lot to learn from them. Regarding to the piece, I would like to comment more on the movement itself. I propose to explore more on how the body can dance on the lyrics, and the music. I wonder how a deaf person will think of the moving body of a dancer that can hear the music. I wonder whether it is possible to find a way, to share our ability to hear music with a deaf person through dance, or movement. For example, I would be curious how would one translate violin, or guitar, or accents and music notes into movements.ÔÇŁ

– Zafeiria Tsirakaki – Dancer, Choreographer, Contemporary and ballet teacher

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