Dance Performance: “Developing Community Through Dance in Lebanon”
May 28, 2015 6:30 PM–8:30 PM
LAU New York
During the Lebanese Civil War, many artists continued to create and teach dance and theatre, crossing borders and risking their lives to bring art to the people.
Amidst the current political unrest in the region, how does art play a role in creating a certain sense of normalcy, hope, and balance? Does developing community through dance help in the face of struggle?
Professional dancers from LAU and Stockton demonstrate to New Yorkers the positive impact dance has on the lives of Lebanese people living in the current instability. They also explain the success behind the International Dance Day Festival in Lebanon, an annual event that brings recognition to the need for artistic expression to maintain humanity.
- Nadra Assaf has been teaching at LAU since 1991. She is the founder of Al-Sarab Alternative Dance School and has many dance productions to her credit. Since 2011 she has been organizing the International Dance Day Festival. Assaf received her PhD in Education from Leicester University and her MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College.
- Rain Ross is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Stockton University. She has worked with a diverse range of choreographers and has presented her work at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts and DUMBO Dance, among others. She earned her MFA from the University of Iowa and her BA from Mount Holyoke College.
- Beau Hancock is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Rowan University. He is a recipient of the Ellen Forman Memorial Award from Drexel University and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Project Stream Grant. He has an MFA in Dance from Temple University and a BA in Dance and American Studies from the University of Kansas.
- Alex Abdallah and Maria Saliba are currently enrolled at LAU, and have participated in many performances with Al-Sarab Alternative Dance School. Bacel El Hachem is a recent graduate of LAU and a well-accomplished dancer who has won championships in Latin dancing. Danielle Gillis and Emily Vaughan are currently students at Stockton University and Rebecca Brodowski is a Stockton University alumna.