Photo credit: Zaynab Mourad
8 p.m. ET Friday, April 28, 2023
TERRANEA: hakawatia of the sea
In-person at AANM or via Livestream
TERRANEA: hakawatia of the sea is a performance that weaves a contemporary mythology about Terranea, a sea spirit who gathers those that have lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. Developed collaboratively along the Lebanese and Sicilian coasts, in the lakes of Mni Sota Makoce (Minnesota, U.S.), and with Palestinian water wells and streams in mind, this dance performance integrates oral histories around bodies of water while delving into the memories water itself can hold. Dancers, musicians and writers come together to imagine how to embody the lessons of this essential element. At the same time, we contemplate how our bodies are affected by absurd and deadly blockages, on land and in water, that impede free-flowing movement. Looking particularly into the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and water, where Palestinian bodies, homes, olive trees and rights are under attack; where indigenous resistance roots are deep and ignited. As well as the broader crisis of the sea; whereas in its past, the Mediterranean was a space of free and fluid migration, the sea is now marked with invisible borders and demarcations of power, with detrimental effects.
Through choreographies, this piece asks our bodies: How do we unravel the ‘stuckedness’ that builds up and sinks deep under our skin? What grief exists at the moment of departure and which bone does it shake? Where are the songs of our ancestors stored, and how might we listen to their rhythm? What life-giving connections can we find, of this earth and of the mythical realm? What is the memory of the sea?
This work began in a solo residency at the Arab American National Museum in September of 2020. After 2.5 years of process and collaborations that took place on Turtle Island, Lebanon and Sicily, with artists across disciplines and places, we will return for a residency that will culminate in sharing the performance TERRANEA: hakawatia of the sea.
Performance by Body Watani Dance Project; choreographed by Leila and Noelle Awadallah in collaboration with the dancers / performers Nakita Kirchner, Sharitah Nalule, Erica Jo Vibar Sherwood, and Emma Marlar. Thanks to our guest performers who joined us for this tour:
Collaborators: Original music by Renee Copeland and collaborator Peter James Roduta featuring vocalist Amal Kaawash and Clarissa Bitar. Mythology of Terranea written by Romy Lynn Attieh, translated by Rana Issa, and read by Wafika Loubani. Farrah Basyouni, and Leila Awadallah. Film by Leila Awadallah with assistance from Xiaolu Wang. Images by Zaynab Mourad.
For more questions, e-mail Fatima Al-Rasool at [email protected]
Leila Awadallah is a dancer, choreographer and film wanderer based between Minneapolis, Mni Sota and Beirut, Lebanon. She is a Palestinian and Sicilian mixed Mediterranean diasporic body born on indigenous lands of the Lakota and Dakota peoples (SD). She is the founder of the Body Watani dance project in collaboration with Noelle Awadallah. Leila is a McKnight Dancer Fellow (2022), a Jerome Hill Fellow (2021-2023) and received Springboard 20/20 (2018-2019) and Daring Dances (2019) fellowships. Mentored by Ananya Chatterjea, she trained, taught and performed with Ananya Dance Theatre (2013-2019). She has a BFA in Dance and minor in Arabic Literature from the University of Minnesota (2016).
Noelle Awadallah نوال is a Palestinian American improviser, performer, maker and teacher who resides in Mni Sota Makoce. She joined Ananya Dance Theatre as a company member in 2019 and is a partner in leilawa’s Body Watani. Her work circles themes of transcendence of time, ancestor imaginings, listening, falling into stereotypes, and storytelling. Improvisational practices guide her movement generating as an honest way to dig and share stories recollected and reimagined from her body rooted in radical imagination of the senses. She dabbles in experimental short films as another form of storytelling. She holds a BFA from Columbia College Chicago (2018).
Photo credit: Erica Ticknor
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