2019 - 2020
Anna Martine Whitehead’s S P R E A D
Leila Awadallah: Daring Dances 2019/20 Artist-in-Residence
Leila Awadallah's movement research is rooted in the study of embodied Arabic calligraphy; where repetitive writing with the body becomes a practice towards carving out and engraving connections among home, language, and ancestral lineage.
During her residency at Daring Dances, Leila will begin to codify a specific letter-to-movement relationship for this developing dance language so it can serve as an alphabet for writing-initiated-movement. Joined by her collaborator, Palestinian-American visual artist Lamia Abukhadra, they will activate embodied Arabic calligraphy to investigate how it speaks to conversations surrounding diasporic Palestinian-American identity.
Woven between research-based, political, and imagined frameworks, they will develop RAS ABU 'AMMAR IS HERE, a multidisciplinary piece that looks at settler colonial violences and strategies of ethnic cleansing both in the U.S. and in Palestine, while engaging creative tools of writing, moving, speaking, and imagining as a means of resisting erasure and forces of oppression with urgency.
A work-in-progress version of RAS ABU 'AMMAR IS HERE is part of the Daring Dances evening collaboration with the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn. The shared evening of work focused on identity, place and imagination, and also included performance by Detroit-based choreographer Audrey Johnson.