Lebanon

Maqamat Dance Theatre

Beytna

A chef calls the shots, via the monumental rollable table that structures the stage in Beytna. She is the only woman in this production and acts as an omnipresent calming influence amid the turbulent occurrences that gradually unfold. The elongated board is simultaneously a clear indication of the theme, because here, everything is indeed about eating and cooking. For this production, four dance soloists from completely different cultural circles very openly engaged in research on their respective traditions and personal experiences. The result is a multifaceted piece of dance theatre, in which the emotions occasionally come to the boil, but which also demonstrates that, to a vast extent, what unites, prevails. Anani Dodji Sanouvi from West Africa dances alongside Omar Rajeh of Lebanon, who devised the concept behind Beytna. Europe is represented by Belgium’s Koen Augustijnen. The part played by Japan’s Hiroaki Umeda has now been taken over by Moonsuk Choi of Korea. Four exquisite musicians from Lebanon and Palestine are also on stage and take part in what happens. Beytna offers an invitation to attend a festival for all the senses, which combines dance, text, film, music and (not to be forgotten) cuisine in the most wonderful ways.

Omar Rajeh

Omar Rajeh

Dancer and choreographer Omar Rajeh of Lebanon is one of the leading artists in his region. His choreographic works, in which he, for instance, scrutinises the significance of the body in a societal context, have been presented internationally by Maqamat Dance Theatre, which he founded in 2002. His politico-cultural activity in his home country is also important: he has initiated education structures for dance, set up platforms for contemporary dance and established key transnational network structures. Picture: Joerg Letz

Koen Augustijnen

Koen Augustijnen

Koen Augustijnen initially studied history. He found his way into the world of theatre and dance via workshops. He has worked with Wim Vandekeybus, Susanne Linke and David Zambrano, among others. He has danced in many of Alain Platel’s productions and the years he spent as a member of les ballets C de la B have left a decisive mark on him. From 1997 to 2013, he worked as one of the house choreographers for this dance collective, creating several internationally successful productions. He has been working on a freelance basis since 2013. Picture: Danny Willems

Anani Dodji Sanouvi

Anani Dodji Sanouvi

Dancer and choreographer Anani Dodji Sanouvi was born in Togo, grew up in Gabon and lived for a while in Senegal. The influences on his dance training included Ateliers du Monde in Montpellier and Germaine Acogny’s École des Sables in Senegal. He has benefited from artistic exchanges with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, William Kentridge and Peter Sellars. This dancer combines African and European dance traditions. He vehemently scrutinises his position as an African dancer in a non-African context. Picture: Jean Van Lingen

Hiroaki Umeda

Hiroaki Umeda

Japan’s Hiroaki Umeda, born in 1977, lives and works in Tokyo. He is a dancer, choreographer, photographer, stage designer and much more. His works are minimalist and radical at the same time, futuristic and yet always firmly rooted in Japanese traditions. He is known for stage productions that are combined with ingenious visual-arts effects in sophisticated ways, sometimes blurring the border between real and virtual imagery.

Moonsuk Choi

Moonsuk Choi

Born in 1981 in Daegu, South Korea, Moonsuk Choi studied dance at Sejong University in Seoul. With his piece Two Different Ways, he won first prize at the Dance Association of Korea’s festival for young choreographers. He has worked as a dancer at Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken, at Company MAFALDA under Teresa Rotemberg and at Tanztheater Wuppertal (Sacre), for example. In Beytna, he has taken the place of Hiroaki Umeda and choreographically created a variation on his part, using his own movement vocabulary. Picture: Dongmin Yang

Programme:

Beytna

Choreography:

Omar Rajeh (Lebanon), Anani Dodji Sanouvi (Togo), Koen Augustijnen (Belgium), Hiroaki Umeda (Japan), Moonsuk Choi (South Korea)

Composition and live music:

Ziad Ahmadie, Youssef Hbeisch, Samir Nasr Eddine, Ziyad Sahhab

Graphic design and video animation:

Joe Elias/Nimslabs

Stage design and costumes:

Mia Habis

Lighting design:

Victor Duran Manzano

Voice:

Nohad Rajeh

Dancers:

Omar Rajeh, Anani Sanouvi, Koen Augustijnen, Moonsuk Choi

Chef:

May Bou Matar

Production:

Maqamat Beit El Raqs

Co-production:

BIPOD – Beirut International Platform of Dance, Tanzquartier Wien, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, CCN de La Rochelle/Cie Accrorap, Theater im Pfalzbau, Ludwigshafen, and Fondazione Fabbrica Europa

Premiere:

6th of April 2016, Tanzquartier Wien (AUT)

Swiss premiere

More information:

Maqamat Dance Theatre